France is a relatively safe country compared to others in the world. For example, in the latest Global Peace Index, it is much safer than the US and China by a long shot. However, since France is a famous tourist destination and people from all over the world usually visit for the holidays, some petty crimes toward foreigners are quite common, especially in big cities such as Paris. Things such as pickpocketing are quite normal, especially in transportation systems.
Thus, if you are new or unfamiliar with France, it is better to know some transportation safety know-hows. To help international students go around France with some peace of mind, here are some safety tips they can follow.
Keep Your Valuables Near You
If you are going around the city, especially Paris, a known tourist area, always remember to keep your valuables in your body, especially your wallet. Do not make the common mistake of putting your wallet in your back pocket.
If you are carrying a bag, put it inside your bag, and put the bag in front of you. Also, when inside the train, or bus, or other public transportation, do not take out your phone or wallet. This might make you a likely target for pickpockets.
Learn Basic French Words
One of the things you should do, not only in France but in every foreign country you visit is to learn basic words, especially when going around. Learning the language of your host country is important, especially in cases of emergency, or if you get lost and you need help. In France, you should know the French phrases to the following:
- I am lost.
- Where is…
- Excuse me…
- I need help.
- How do you go from…to…
- How much does it cost?
- Thank you!
Prepare Your Ticket and Coins When You Travel
When traveling in France’s public transportations, another useful tip is to prepare your ticket and coins even before going out of your accommodation. Put your ticket or your coins in your bag where it is easy to get. This way, you don’t have to open your wallet when swiping your ticket, or paying for your ticket. Moreover, you can also prepare the exact amount of money for your fare even before your trip.
This practice is not only good for protection from pickpockets, but it also makes traveling more efficient.
Plan Your Trip
If it’s your first time traveling to a new place, do plan your trip. Check the route of the bus or train you are taking, check their schedule, and check how much the ride cost. Also, you can ask your friends what’s the best way to go from one place to another place.
This way, you lessen the chances of getting lost.
Call 112 In Case of Emergency
In some cases, you may face some troubles when going around France. For example, an accident may happen near you such as a car accident. In case of emergency, call France’s emergency number, 112. Operators are sure to connect you with the service you need immediately.
For easier access, dial 15 if it’s a medical emergency, 17 if you need police assistance, or 18 if it’s a fire-related accident.
One of the perks of being an international student in France is the chance to visit many of its famous places, that is why knowing some transportation safety is a must. Learn more about living in France by checking out MSM Unify’s articles about living abroad.