Office for International Study
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Diversity & Study Abroad

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Gender Roles

As a Smith student you may already be accustomed to addressing gender issues with an open mind. Our challenge to you is to now examine the differing patterns of gender roles and expectations in the spirit of intercultural learning.

Making friends with those who have grown up in a different culture is one of the most rewarding aspects of studying abroad. You can alleviate potential misunderstandings by learning in advance as much as you can about the culture where you'll be living. Please feel at ease to discuss your questions and concerns about this or any other issue with any of the Office for International Study staff members.

How to Prepare

You can alleviate potential misunderstandings by learning in advance as much as you can about the culture where you'll be living. For example, how is sexual harassment defined and responded to in the host culture? What added safety precautions must you follow while abroad? We strongly encourage you to discuss these and similar topics with your education abroad adviser prior to departure.

Related Links

Solo Woman Traveler: information for women travelers, solo travel, and more.

Transitions Abroad: helpful online resource.

Her Own Way: practical tips of interest to the female traveler.

Journeywoman Online Magazine: information for women travelers from women travelers; there is also a free e-mail newsletter you can subscribe to.

More Women Travel: adventures and advice ranging from booking your hostel to what events not to miss in more than 60 countries.

Sexual Harassment and Prevention in College Students Studying Abroad: article on sexual harassment while studying abroad, including women's experiences, causes and ways to prevent harassment.

Cross-Cultural Adaptation Among Women: "How Living Internationally Affects Your Life," a study by Erin Jansen.

Culturally Correct Clothing Advice for Women: a collection of country-specifc tips from women travelers.

Recommended Books & Articles

Go Girl! The Black Woman's Book of Travel and Adventure. 1997. Elaine Lee. 8th Mountain Press.

Nothing to Declare. 1991. Mary Morris, Penguin Books.

Safety and Security for Women Who Travel. 1998. Sheila Swan & Peter Laufer, Traveler's Tales Inc.

Traveler's Tales: A Woman's World. 1995. Marybeth Bond, Traveller's Tales, Inc.

Wall to Wall: From Beijing to Berlin. 1991. Mary Morris, Penguin Books.

Women's Guide to Overseas Living. 1992. N. J. Piet-Pelon & B. Hornby, Intercultural Press.