Recap: On the night of Friday the 13th, there were coordinated terrorist attacks in multiple locations throughout Paris, leaving 129 people dead and more than 350 people injured.
Paris is now in a state of emergency, which could last for several months. What does that mean exactly? Security. In public sectors throughout the city, there will be an increase in security. This means that body searches can be conducted without warrants and other security measures will be taken.
What’s Paris like now: The Saturday and Sunday following the attack, the streets were completely empty. Restaurants, supermarkets and pharmacies were deserted. Students attending class on Monday 11/16 at Paris Diderot (Paris 7) met security guards at the entrance of every academic building who were conducting bag searches. Major attractions are indefinitely closed.
What now?: Safety is the primary concern for individuals studying and living abroad in Paris and throughout Europe and the Middle East. As threats are being made toward a number of countries in Europe, it is essential to exercise caution wherever you are. If you are planning trips, be sure to do research before you leave and allow extra time to go through security (which is even more so strict and meticulous now).
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
-If you want to visit high-profile touristy events/areas be very careful.
-Even if it is a bit pricey to get international cell phone coverage for calls, texts, and especially internet, these are a must when you are traveling.
-Research emergency phone numbers for every city that you plan to visit, and save the numbers to your contact list (do this right now!).
-Buy and save non-perishable foods to have in case of an emergency lockdown or curfew.
-Have your passport on you at all times.
-Create an account with STEP (US department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment program). This will provide you with safety resources while abroad.
-Always make sure that people know where you are during weekend trips (parents, closest friends, study abroad program staff).
-Check the news every night, especially the night before leaving for a trip.
All Things Abroad is happy to answer any questions that you may have regarding the Paris attacks, safety abroad or anything else. We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.