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Women Going Abroad

Beliefs about gender values and norms vary from country to country, so you may experience or witness behavior that is not commonplace in the United States but is in your host country. It is also important to recognize that how you dress and behave in the United States may be inappropriate for where you're living abroad. Depending on where you go, you may receive unwanted attention or witness actions towards women that cause you to feel upset and confused. It is important that you do as much research as you can about gender roles and norms in your host country before going abroad and also bring clothes that are similar to what the local women wear. Your safety is what it most important, and you can contact our office any time if you have questions. Diversity Abroad provides a great list of questions you should ask before you go abroad as well as tips for when you're abroad:
Questions for Women
  • Is it safe for me to go out alone at night? Are there areas or places I should avoid? 
  • How are women expected to behave? 
  • How do men treat women? 
  • What are the cultural norms regarding friendship and dating? 
  • Do people in my host country have stereotypes of American women? 
Tips for Women
  • Do research on gender roles and their history beforehand. 
  • Put your safety first and be aware of your surroundings. 
  • Dress and act like the local women to avoid standing out. 
  • Be aware of cultural differences, including body language, that may be misinterpreted in your host culture. 
  • Talk with other women who have studied abroad to find out more about their experiences. 

Please consult the resources below as well.