When traveling abroad, gender roles and expressions can vary greatly from country to country. While gender may present itself in some familiar ways, at other times it will vary and be unfamiliar. As you prepare to travel, it is important to understand how you express your gender through customs, dress, language, and personal traditions and how they may differ from the country or region where you will be traveling.
As you research, consider these questions:
What laws and cultural attitudes exist relating to my gender identity? Does this vary depending on context (e.g. on campus vs. off campus)?
How will the climate towards my gender affect the way I engage with my host culture? Will it affect my interactions with others? Will it affect how I should treat those around me?
In what ways do I need to be flexible with my values and expectations regarding gender? In what ways do I need to stand firm in those values and expectations?
How does my gender interact with other aspects of my identity in the context of my host country?
What information and/or support systems do I need in order to ensure my safety and well-being while abroad?
Am I able to achieve and experience the things I want from this program in a safe way?
These resources may be helpful when considering how your gender could influence your international experience:
WVU Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: https://diversity.wvu.edu/
Diversity Abroad, Women Going Abroad: https://www.diversityabroad.com/articles/women-going-abroad
NAFSA: Association of International Educators - Rainbow Special Interest Group - Resources for students studying abroad who identify as LGBTIA+
National Center for Transgender Equality – Resources with articles and updates on laws and your rights when you’re traveling.
TSA, Information for Transgender Passengers: https://www.tsa.gov/transgender-passengers
TransRespect - Trans laws by country.