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The Ohio State UniversityOffice of International Affairs

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Call 911 for emergencies: police, fire, medical (on and off campus). For non-emergencies, call 614-292-2121 (on campus) or 614-645-4545 (off campus).

Blue Light Emergency Phones

These phones are located all across campus. Activate the phone by pressing the red button and speak into the intercom to request police, fire and medical help or to report suspicious activity.

Exchange Visitor Program Emergency Hotline

The U.S. Department of State offers a hotline that is available 24 hours a day for international students to contact them in emergency and urgent situations. Call toll-free at 1-866-283-9090.

Safety at home

  • Do not admit strangers into your apartment
  • Lock doors and windows even when you are home
  • Close your curtains or blinds at night
  • When out of town, use timers on your lights and have a neighbor collect your mail and newspapers so it appears that someone is home

Safety on the phone

  • Do not give out personal information (like your social security number or bank account number)
  • You may get phone calls asking you to make purchases or donations—it is not safe to give your credit card number over the phone
  • You may get phone calls from person saying they are from a government agency (for example the Internal Revenue Service or Federal Bureau of Investigation). Do not give them your personal information. These are scams.

Safety when walking

  • Walk confidently and pay attention and be aware of your surroundings
  • Avoid walking alone, especially at night
  • Utilize the blue light telephones placed all around campus if you fear for your safety on campus
  • Avoid dark streets and alleyways
  • If you think you are being followed, walk into a crowded, well-lit area
  • Never get into a stranger’s car—if someone in a car asks for directions, stand away from the car when talking to them

Safety in your car

  • Keep car windows and doors closed and locked, even when you are in the car
  • When parking at night, select a parking space that will be well lit upon your return
  • If you are parked on campus and lock your keys in your car, or your car won’t start, call public safety at 614-292 -2121, or use a blue light emergency phone
  • If you are pulled over by a police officer, do not get out of your car unless instructed to do so and keep your hands where the police officer can see them

Safety with ride-share services

  • Discounted Lyft rides are available through the Ride Smart program at Ohio State
  • Visually confirm vehicle information and description and driver’s name
  • Wait until the driver calls you by your name before entering the vehicle
  • Do not ride in the front seat or share your cell phone information
  • Before getting in the back seat, check that the child-lock is disengaged
  • Follow the ride-share vehicle on GPS (if available)
  • If you feel unsafe, leave the area and contact authorities

Protect your identity and possessions

  • Do not give anyone your social security number, credit card number or bank account information
  • Call the company and cancel the card if you notice one is missing
  • Do not fall for scams targeting international students; visit oia.osu.edu/internationalstudents/scams-warning-guide
  • Do not leave personal belongings in public areas like classrooms or libraries
  • Do not leave possessions unattended in your car (such as wallets, laptops, cell phones, or passports); lock them in your trunk
  • Do not leave your dorm room unlocked