How to say safe when you’re an International Student

As a student from outside the UK, it can be sometimes confusing with regards to the laws and customs of not only Scotland, but the wider UK.  We hope that the following information can work as a type of ‘cheat sheet’ for you to work from to help prepare you for any emergency or safety situation in which you might find yourself.

Emergency: ‘Call 999’

  • In some countries this is 911, but not in the UK

Non-Emergency: ‘Call 101’

  • Or, if you are on campus call: 01224273327

General Tips:

  • Download the SafeZone App onto your phone
  • Never leave personal belongings unattended (ex: if you’re studying at the library and need to go to the bathroom), take your valuables with you, or ensure a friend you trust is watching them.
  • If you’re going into your building – don’t hold the door open for someone if you don’t know them. They should have their own pass to get in
  • Always cover your PIN at bank machines or when buying something in a store
  • On/After a night out:
    • Don’t walk through parks after dark
    • Always be observant and ‘alert’ know who is in front and behind you (ie: don’t text and walk home at the same time)
    • Learn multiple routes home from town and walk around without using GPS on your phone to learn the lay of the city
    • Try not to walk home alone late at night, always try to be with a friend
    • Always have a text-buddy and let them know when you’ve arrived safely at home after a night out
    • Never leave your drink unattended (you should even take it to the bathroom with you – there will often be drink holders in the stalls)
      • If you have left your drink unattended, abandon the drink and get a new one
    • Do not carry around large sums of money. (Try not to ever have more than £50 in cash on you at any one time)

Transport Safety

  • When Cycling, make sure you have the following:
    • Hi Visibility clothing (vest, jacket, snaps around your trousers, helmet and on your backpack)
    • Helmet
    • Bell to warn people in front of you
    • White Lights on the front for after dark and red lights on the back
    • Good strong lock to lock your bike up
    • Always cycle in the SAME direction as traffic on the road.
      • It is illegal to cycle on the pavement (sidewalk), and to cycle in the opposite direction to traffic (even if you’re in a cycle lane)

*You can buy all the required equipment at Halfords for cycle safety (in Berryden)

Know your stuff

Be aware of Scottish laws and practices. This way you’ll ensure you have a memorable time and safe experience during your time at Aberdeen. Find out more about voting rights, health and healthcare and working during your studies here.

More information: