Legal issues

While traveling internationally, you have no special protections as non-citizens or as students. You are subject to the laws of the country which you are in.

Ignorance of the law is not permission to break the law.

Your foreign citizenship does not prevent you from being arrested for breaking local laws in another country. Your embassy will advise you and often visit you if you are imprisoned, but cannot get you out of jail! Penn State travelers are subject to host nation laws and those laws may be different than what you are used to. Students also remain subject to the Penn State Student Code of Conduct.

Never travel internationally with any amount of medical marijuana. Marijuana is illegal in many countries. Students with a U.S. prescription for marijuana can be arrested, prosecuted, and deported if in possession of any illegal substance while abroad. Airports and airplanes are federal jurisdictions. You can be detained and arrested when going through security. Federal authorities do not recognize the medical marijuana laws or cards of any state.

From the News:
Bangkok: U.S. tourists held after exposing themselves at Thai temple

Where do I find information about local laws?

Look up your destination country on Travel.State.Gov.  The “Local Laws & Special Circumstances” section of each country page will discuss unique local laws that may impact you.

Self Check

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