Faculty & Staff
Health & Safety
Incoming Exchange Students
Alcohol and Illegal Drugs
During your study abroad program, the illegal use of drugs and alcohol is strictly prohibited. The consequences of illegal drug use during your program may include immediate expulsion from the program, loss of all course credit, and full payment of the program fee or worse yet, arrest or imprisonment.
Many countries have a different attitude about the consumption of alcohol and the legal drinking age than the United States does. You may find that the laws of the host country allow persons over the age of 15 or 16 to drink all types of alcoholic beverages and that beer and wine are commonly served with meals. In spite of this, being drunk is not socially acceptable and is sometimes illegal.
Americans abroad are subject to the laws of the host country. Remember that laws concerning illegal drugs are much more severe in Latin American, Asia and Europe than in the United States. If you are caught buying, selling, using, or carrying any type of controlled substance, from marijuana to mescaline, it can mean:
Remember, once you leave the United States, you are no longer covered by U.S. laws and constitutional rights. Bail is not granted in many countries when drugs are involved. The burden of proof in many countries is on the accused to prove his or her innocence. Evidence obtained illegally by local authorities may be admissible in court. Few countries offer drug offenders jury trials or even require the prisoner's presence at his/her trial. Many countries have mandatory prison sentences of seven years or more without parole for drug violations.
Information from the Department of State Publication 9980, August 1992.