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Women Abroad

Many women travel safely each year without incident. However, when it comes to health and security, women travelers are more likely to experience marginalization and unwelcome behavior in the countries they visit. The truth is that women face greater obstacles, especially when travelling alone. While it is impossible to generalize about the experience of women traveling in all places in the world, you may experience some gender-specific challenges when you live or travel abroad.Sometimes when women are out of a familiar environment, guards are let down.  Always be alert and use the same safety precautions as you would in Lancaster, no matter where you are going.  If something negative should happen to you, go to your Program Coordinator for assistance.  Unfortunately, in many countries the issue of female harassment is handled quite lightly and you may be treated accordingly by host nationals.  However, both your on-site program staff and Global Education take these concerns very seriously and will do whatever necessary to help you.

For safety resources check out:
Diversity Abroad - Resources for women and other groups. 
Journey Women - An online resource for women travelers. Optional weekly newsletter with tips on travel and safety for women.
Maiden Voyage - Travel resources for gender-based travel safety.

Think about the safety suggestions below:
  • Walk with alertness.
  • Do not leave your drink unattended or exchange drinks with anyone else
  • Don’t accept a drink from anyone, no matter how nice they seem
  • Avoid drinking from a large open container
  • Be careful of talking about sex.  In some cultures this may be seen as flirtation.
  • Be careful in asking strangers to dance in clubs.
  • Be aware of going to clubs or bars alone. Always travel with others!
  • Do not respond to catcalls you may receive. 
  • Be firm and assertive when you say NO. Be clear and direct to be certain that your intention and the words are understood.          
  • Be aware that behavior which may appear normal to you, such as getting drunk or asking someone to walk you home, may be misinterpreted and place you in uncomfortable situations.