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Gender & Women’s Topics

Cultural dynamics, gender roles, dress norms, health and safety: these are some of the important topics travelers benefit from thinking about before they depart on their study abroad program. Adjusting to a new culture and potentially unfamiliar gender roles can present travelers with a variety of reactions and feelings. Some locations may be more challenging to adjust to than others due to the gender norms and mores of its given culture.

Interactions between people will differ from culture to culture and some places may have a more marked segregation between men and women than many are used to in the U.S. Additionally, in some countries, locals may more openly initiate unwanted comments, attention or behavior towards travelers. Preparing yourself for a new culture and researching how to keep yourself safe can offer piece of mind as you prepare to go abroad.

Your research starts here. Read through these resources, talk with past program participants and chat with some advisers at UW Study Abroad to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. See also the Health and Safety section of our site.

Additional information for transgender students can be found in the LGBTQ student section.

Resources, Guides and Personal Stories

UW Resources

Optional orientation: Being a Woman Abroad

Based on student interest & recommendation we have developed the orientation “Being a Woman Abroad: How to Stay Safe, Healthy and Culturally Mindful.” It is our goal to provide study abroad students with information regarding female health and safety, relationships abroad, and international expectations of women from the US. We, along with other female students who have recently traveled abroad will be offering advice and facilitating discussion as well as answering any questions or concerns you may have. All genders are encouraged to attend!

For more information and to sign up for the next session.