EA Prospective Students Diversity Gender

Gender Abroad

The gender roles and perceptions in your host-community may be different from what you are accustomed to at home. As you prepare to leave, it may be important to reflect on how you express your gender through clothing; language; customs; personal traditions, and family & friendship dynamics. The research questions and resources provided below are here to help you consider the intersections of gender and global education. We strongly encourage you to discuss these and similar topics with your Education Abroad Advisor prior to departure.

Think About:

  • How do my personal values compare with my host country’s attitudes about socially accepted gender roles?
  • What are some specific gender norms or dynamics that I may experience while abroad, and how might they differ or be similar to my community at home? 
  • Research women’s rights and traditional values in your host-country, and how certain practices and policies compare to your community at home.  

  Before You Go:

  • Learn how sexual harassment is defined and responded to in the host culture, and what added safety precautions must you follow while abroad.
  • Identify safe resources and people that you can access in your host-community.
  • Familiarize yourself with the dress expectations, language, customs, and values.
  • Research gender relations and cultural norms regarding friendships, family dynamics, and intimate relationships in your host-community.
  • Learn how these relationships are defined and understood, and if there are any laws in place preventing certain same sex and heterosexual interactions. 

UMass Amherst Campus Resources 

UMass Amherst Center for Women and Community: Offers specialized training, support groups, workshops, events, counseling, online services, and more

The Stonewall Center: the bisexual, gay, lesbian, queer, and transgender center at UMass Amherst

Useful Sites to Begin Your Exploration

U.S. State Dept. Travel Tips for Women: general tips for women travelers along with contact information for sexual assault

Her Own Way-a Woman’s Safe Travel Guide: tips and advice for women travelers from the Canadian Government

Sexual Harassment and Prevention in College Students Studying Abroad: an article by Nancy Newport, psychotherapist and consultant to the Peace Corps since 1992 for the SAFETI Clearinghouse of the Center for Global Education 

Solo Woman Traveler Guide: links to essays from fellow women travelers, compiled by Transitions Abroad 

Wanderlust and Lipstick: the leading women-focused travel site, providing tips, reviews, information and inspiration written by women for women

National Center for Transgender Equality Know Your Rights: these resources explain up-to-date rights for transgender people, including helpful information on airport security, and gender designation on visas and passports.

LGBTQIA+ Resources:

LGBTQIA+ Students Abroad

Unpacked: A Study Abroad Guide for Students Like Me: For inclusive student blogs and stories