AIDE General Social Identity Resources
At AIFS Abroad, we want to support all participants in their study/internship abroad journey, inclusive of gender, race, religion, age, physical ability, or sexual orientation. Everyone has a complex identity, and faith, spirituality, and religion are important factors when deciding on a program location.
Everyone’s experience is unique. We recognize the location you choose can have an impact on your sense of belonging. We encourage you to use the information below as you review your options to select the program and location that will be the best choice for you. If you do not hold the identities that are amplified here, this information is still a great resource for you as well. It will give you a better understanding of those who have this identity.
If you would like to speak with AIFS alumni who share your social identities or one of our AIDE Advocates, you can use the student portal or email us at email@example.com and let us know. We would be happy to connect you.
Questions to Think About:
- Are there laws or attitudes in your host country that affect aspects of your gender identity?
- How are current events shaping the way your identity of being a woman interpreted by the host community?
- How do men treat women in your host country? How do race and ethnicity impact this treatment?
- How are women expected to behave in your host country?
- Are there stereotypes in your host country about women from the United States?
- If you find something to be offensive while abroad, how should you react? If men stare and catcall while you walk down the street, how do you react at home versus in your host country?
- What are the cultural norms regarding friendship and dating? What are the normal personal boundaries in your host culture and how do they compare to your home culture?
- How might your day-to-day activities or interactions need to be adjusted to remain safe and respectful of local cultural norms?
- Do you regularly utilize any health or counseling services at home, and will these be available and covered by insurance abroad?
Tips to Consider While Abroad:
- Be aware that there are different cultural norms abroad for women and that people you encounter may be less inclusive than you may expect. More details on cultural norms will be provided in your pre-departure handbook and at the on-site orientation upon arrival.
- Be aware of culturally-appropriate clothing for different locations, including religious or sacred spaces, beaches, and in the classroom.
- AIFS Abroad staff in-country are there to support you, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. They can provide insight into local cultural norms, connect you with resources in your host community and assist you if you experience challenges.
- It is recommended that all participants follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.
If you witness or experience discrimination while abroad, we encourage you to report it to AIFS Abroad staff. If you do not feel comfortable reporting to staff on-site – or if the incident involves on-site staff – please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions and tips include selections from the University of Alabama Capstone International and Michigan State University Office for Education Abroad websites.
AIFS Abroad Scholarships and Grants
AIFS Abroad offers scholarships and grants for participants. Learn more:
Scholarships & Grants