Most students who have an experience abroad will describe this afterwards as one of the highlights of their young lives and will not go through any emergencies or serious crisis situations. However, it is inevitable that accidents occasionally happen.
It is always a good idea to check the travel advice on the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs website before you go abroad. If there is a negative travel advisory, you will have to stay away from the specified travel destination. In the case of a study or internship as part of your study programme, you will not get permission from the international coordinator at your home institution to depart for your mobility. If, after your studies, you continue to study abroad on your own initiative, it will be your own responsibility, but we strongly urge you, again, to regularly check the latest updates from the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs (FPS-FA). You may also want to sign up with TravellersOnline. This allows the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to directly provide you with relevant information and support when necessary.
Minor emergencies are situations such as illnesses, accidents and theft. Protect yourself from these kinds of emergencies the same way you would in Belgium. However, seemingly small emergencies can intensify or feel like a serious problem in a different cultural context. Language problems, cultural differences and differences in legislation can present additional obstacles. In these situations, try to stay calm. The international office at your host institution will always be ready to help if need be.
Major emergencies: Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Crises and accidents can happen anywhere. Studying or doing an internship abroad is not necessarily more unsafe than in your own country, but what should you do if you are confronted with an emergency or crisis situation, such as a natural disaster, war or terrorism? To be able to react appropriately to a crisis situation, you have to understand your own emotions, keep yourself as safe as possible and get in touch with your emergency contacts.
In the event of a natural disaster, calamity or accident involving a large number of Belgians, the crisis centre of the FPS Foreign Affairs will be activated. More information about what the crisis centre does and does not do can be found at Diplomatie Belgium. In very exceptional cases, repatriation flights are used to bring stranded Belgians back home. The Belgian embassy in the destination country plays an important role in this, so make sure you are registered on TravellersOnline (only in FR, EN and DE).