Gender Abroad

Gender roles and societal expectations in other countries may differ from those in the U.S. Because of this, it is important to be aware of these differences and keep those in mind when choosing your study abroad program. The Study Abroad Center (SAC) prioritizes the safety of our students and hopes to prepare them for distinct situations that may come up during your time abroad. Doing some research ahead of time can make a big difference when it comes to preparation for studying abroad, especially with safety concerns. With more information about differences in how gender impacts people in another country, this can help you to be more aware of potential uncomfortable situations and to stay safe during your travels.

Questions to Consider

  • What are the typical gender roles in my host society? Are these well-defined or more fluid? What are the perceptions and expectations for people that identify as different genders? 

  • What are the gender stereotypes of people from the U.S. in this country? How will this potentially impact my experience abroad?

  • How do men treat women in this country? In what ways is this different from what I am accustomed to?

  • In what ways does gender impact one’s political and social power in my host country? How does this impact the opportunities I would like to experience?

  • How are my personal values and beliefs about gender similar to socially accepted gender roles? How are they different? Am I willing to compromise or adjust certain aspects of my own values to make safe and culturally-informed choices?

  • What are relationships (both platonic and romantic) like between people of differing genders in my host culture?

  • How are issues such as gender-based violence, sexual harassment, or sexual assault understood and treated in my host society? What laws are there regarding these issues and do they align with what action is taken?