CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A University of Virginia student was sentenced to 15 years in a hard labor prison on Wednesday.
21 year-old Otto Warmbier was on a group trip in North Korea when he was accused of allegedly taking a propaganda banner. He was sentenced to 15 years in a North Korean jail as a result.
How do you make sure nothing like that happens to you if you travel abroad?
A local travel consultant Jennifer Christensen said checking out the embassy website and participating in a Smart Traveler Enrollment Program can help you get prepared for the destination you plan on traveling to.
"It isn't like here, and that's the joy of travel is you get to see something different from here and experience things different from here and that continually helps us grow and to be more aware and more accepting of other cultures and I think that makes us better people," Christensen said.
Christensen said before you leave, it's important to do your research, and consider other countries laws and even more importantly to research their culture.
"You have to take into effect that the laws in other countries, they view things differently than what we do and they see it more completely as an act of aggression or violence or even terrorism to them compared to what we would take it as, "Christensen said.
Christensen said being culturally aware and listening to advice from others about where you plan to go can help make your visit a little smoother.