Women & Gender Abroad

Whether you’ve traveled before or this is your first time abroad, it’s important to consider your host country’s cultural attitude towards gender identity. Depending on where you are, you may find different gender roles and norms than you’re used to. It’s possible that you may be treated differently or be expected to treat others differently based on these factors. Everyone should consider possible issues, challenges, and changes they may face while abroad regarding societal perceptions of gender. When researching potential programs, consider your host country’s cultural differences and how these might impact your everyday life.

Learn about your country and the societal expectations for gender. Before you head abroad, ask questions, such as:

  • What are my host country's attitudes towards gender?
  • What are considered typical gender roles in my country?
  • What are the society's perceptions and expectations for men, women, and transgender individuals in my host country?
  • What are the gender stereotypes of Americans in my host country? 

The best rule is to always put your personal safety first. It is better to risk upsetting another person than to risk physical or emotional harm. And, like anything else, it is important to do your research before you head abroad.  

Online Resources

US Department of State: Information for Women Travelers: includes contact information for embassies abroad and country-specific details
Journeywoman: great resource for women traveling abroad where you can read first-hand travel experiences from a variety of women who have lived or traveled abroad
Her own way - a woman's safe-travel guide: very thorough resource for women travelers
Diversity Abroad - Women Abroad: good questions to consider and travel tips for women
UA Women's Resource Center: on-campus student center for women