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Women’s experiences studying abroad varies due to each culture’s general attitudes regarding women. What is perceived to be common behavior for women in the U.S might not be perceived in the same light abroad.
To avoid misinterpretations, women should consider the cultures they are visiting. Sometimes, the behavior of women that is considered ‘normal’ in the U.S. might have a sexual connotation in other cultures. A way to avoid misinterpretations is to speak to women who have been or are from your host county to discuss what behaviors are culturally appropriate.
- What are the gender roles in the host country?
- What are the standards of behavior in the culture?
- What stereotypes of my gender exist in the host country?
- How do women in the country commonly dress?
- How do men and women commonly interact in the host country?
- Are they segregated by gender?
- How do men treat women in the host country?
- Are there differences in political and social power based on gender?
- How do local women react to sexual harassment?
- Are there any safety considerations I should be aware of?
- Are birth control and toiletries that I need accessible in the host country?
- How should I react if a sexist incident occurs?
- Who can I talk to if I experience harassment?
- Have other students experienced sexual harassment while abroad?
- How do my personal values compare with my host country's attitudes about socially accepted gender roles?
- What boundaries will I have while abroad and how can I make them clear?
We encourage you to make an appointment with the Study Abroad Advisor to discuss your study abroad plan and any of the topics in this resource guide.