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The John Paul II Project, Inc.
The John Paul II Project takes safe and smooth travel very seriously. Below we provide preliminary guidelines for traveling to Poland, along with general travel and safety information. Closer to the departure date, we will send out specific travel instructions. Upon arrival in Poland, participants will be given further in-depth preparation on traveling smoothly and safely. Our policies regarding student’s safety are detailed in the Student Handbook. Attached below are more in-depth tips for Travel Resiliency, provided by Alternative Resiliency Services Corp.
There are a number of simple ways to make your traveling easier and safer. Here are a few basics we encourage.
- Someone always knows where you are. You cannot leave overnight without first informing the JP2 Project. We need to know where you’re going, with whom, why, and for how long. This will be done by filling out a short form online before you leave.
- Emergency Contact Info. You’ll be given the below card upon your arrival. You should keep it with you at all times. The first side has important numbers and addresses, the other side says in Polish: “Hello! I am lost. Can you help me contact my group?”. This can help in case you are unable to use your own phone (Click here to print).
- Never travel alone. The “buddy system” is tried and true. When you leave, you should consider bringing a friend.
- Learn to travel in “Code Yellow”. In other words, don’t be a space-cadet, or paranoid, while moving about in public. Be alert, and calm.
- Communicate. “If you see something, say something”. If you think something isn’t right tell a JP2 Project team member or a local authority, right away.
- Know where you’re going. We love to help participants get where they want to go. Whether it’s here in Krakow, Rome or somewhere else, we can help you plan your travels. We provide our participants with emergency information cards for any foreign destination (eg. local US Embassy address and number, etc).
US Department of State’s “STEP”
The JP2 Project enrolls everyone who participates in our programs abroad in the US Department of State’s STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program).
STEP is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Benefits of Enrolling in STEP
- Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
- Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
- Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.
(Source: Us Dept. of State)
Safety of Poland
“The U.S. Department of State has assessed Warsaw and Kraków as being a LOW-threat location for crime directed at or affecting official U.S. government interests. Polish National Police statistics underscore that Poland continues to be one of the safest countries in Europe.” (The Annual Crime and Safety Report by the Overseas Security Advisor Council – the John Paul II Project is a member of OSAC)
- Click here for a map view of their ranking of European countries
- Click here for the list of countries.
- The FBI’s Travel Safety Brochure for students traveling abroad. Please read, and print it out for reference during your travels.