Assistance from U.S. Authorities

  • U.S. consular officers are available at U.S. Embassies and Consulates in most countries overseas. They are there to advise and assist U.S. nationals, especially if they are in serious legal, medical or financial trouble. (They do not perform the work of travel agencies, information bureaus, or the local police.)

  • All study abroad students who are US citizens are encouraged to sign up for the Department of State’s STEP (Smart Traveller Enrollment Program) prior to departure.  This will result in the student receiving advice from local US officials in the event of an emergency in the host country.

  • If a Whitman student runs into trouble with the local authorities, they should remember that they are subject to local laws. Local laws, U.S. laws, and international agreements can tie the hands of the American representatives. The U.S. government does not have funds for legal fees or other related expenses for U.S. citizens who get into trouble overseas.