Going abroad is an eye opening experience no matter where you go. Being a woman and traveling will broaden your minds in ways you never thought was possible. You will learn through exposure. As a woman, there are extra precautions you will need to take to ensure your safety both here and abroad. Gender norms and societal norms varies across cultures. In some countries you may not notice women being treated differently, in other countries you may notice it. In some instances, you may be separated from men and/or receive unwanted attention. Do some research prior to your departure on your host country’s gender roles and how that may impact your experience.
- Research your country in advance. Determine what the attitude is usually towards your gender and the expectations of men and women and those who do not conform to traditional gender roles.
- Your safety comes first. Often foreigners stick out like a sore thumb. You may want to consider dressing in a culturally appropriate style.
- Consider going out on a double date or a group date rather than being alone until you feel comfortable.
- Cultural norms and attitudes towards sexual harassment and victims varies in different countries. This doesn’t mean you need to tolerate this form of behavior. Be knowledgeable about the reporting procedure in your host country and if you experience any form of harassment make sure to report it.
- Consider bringing feminine products to your host country if they are not widely available.
- Gallaudet University’s Coordinator of Education Abroad can advise you on your study abroad options.
- The Office of Diversity and Equity for Students can assist you in preparing for your study abroad in a country with different norms.
- Diversity Abroad is an organization working to increase and serve the needs of underrepresented students in study abroad programs.
- Information from Women Travelers from the State Department has basic information about women traveling abroad.