Is Georgia safe for Indian students?
Many Indian students are now opting to go elsewhere to pursue their graduate and postgraduate training. The US used to be the most envied place but times have changed in the USA. Almost every day there are reports of random violence in colleges and things seem to be getting worse. The UK has imposed rigid visa requirements and also increased fees. One other option that has opened up is Georgia, the former Soviet Republic. In the past decade, many Indians have already been to Georgia for education. Georgia has many advantages compared to the USA and UK- it is cheap, closer by, and offers an education system similar to the Europeans. But the one question all Indians would like to know is if Georgia is safe?
The majority of Indians go to study in the capital city of Georgia, Tbilisi. First the majority of anecdotal reports from Indian students who have already studied in this country say that they felt safe, the people were friendly and they did not experience any negative event. A few students said that the people of Georgia are initially reserved but once they get to know Indians, they do become friendly and are very sociable.
Based on crime statistics, Georgia has very little crime. Unlike most of Europe or the USA, the crime statistics are very low. There are few murders every now and then, but these are not random events and often related to drug problems. Living in Tbilisi is very safe- the streets are well lighted and there is police presence everywhere. The city has installed cameras in most areas and it is very safe to walk in most places at night. Further, the police in Georgia are extremely friendly and helpful. Most speak some English and will help you get to your destination safely.
The country is very politically stable and internally Georgian people live a harmonious life without any hassles. Occasionally students and protesters do gather to demonstrate against government policies and to be on the safe side, Indian students should refrain from such participation. While most demonstrations end peacefully, trouble can strike anytime depending on the mood of the protesters or the police.
Like any country, petty thefts, pickpockets and burglary do occur in Tbilisi but these problems can be avoided by not carrying large sums of money, being cautious and avoiding being flashy. No matter where you stay, always keep the doors and windows closed at night.
In a recent Gallup poll, both men and women who were surveyed both nationally and internationally ranked Georgia as one of the safest places to travel. This is very different from Europe, USA and even India.
The one area where Georgia has a negative record compared to Europe is driving. They do tend to drive fast and often ignore safety signs. So the best advice if you go to Georgia is do not drive but rather take the transit system;not only is it very efficient but it is also one of the cheapest ways to get around.
No matter where you go to study, one still has to use common sense. Crime can happen to anyone and in any place. For women, they should not make it a habit of walking alone at night or frequent the night clubs without a companion. If you are looking for trouble, you can find it; even in India. So be safe, travel light and Georgia will positively open your eyes and offer you an experience of a lifetime.
For more details contact: DTMU India