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Women Traveling Alone

 
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roseyposey



Joined: 22 Feb 2013
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:35 pm    Post subject: Women Traveling Alone Reply with quote

Hello lady travelers!

I've done board searches and haven't found any relating to women travel. Has anyone gone abroad to teach solo, or plans to do so? I've wanted to go abroad to teach for years but I've been held back out of fear being a young woman traveling alone, unable to find a travel partner who wants to up and leave for another country.

Any travel buddies out there? lol. Would love to hear your gals experiences.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3581
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's unclear what you're asking about since there are many of us (women) working/living overseas without any problems. Similarly, there are young, female college students who choose to study abroad as well as women who travel solo as tourists.

What do you mean by travel buddies? Are you referring to backpacking your way from country to country and taking random, temporary teaching gigs? Or do you mean teaching abroad with a legit employer and/or contract?

By the way, no need to post the same questions on more than one forum.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9297
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over the years I've met literally hundreds of female teachers on their own. It's entirely normal and commonplace.
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roseyposey



Joined: 22 Feb 2013
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
It's unclear what you're asking about since there are many of us (women) working/living overseas without any problems. Similarly, there are young, female college students who choose to study abroad as well as women who travel solo as tourists.

What do you mean by travel buddies? Are you referring to backpacking your way from country to country and taking random, temporary teaching gigs? Or do you mean teaching abroad with a legit employer and/or contract?

By the way, no need to post the same questions on more than one forum.


Yes I know, I have studied abroad in Paris. However I feel the context is different when it's teaching as there is no support system as there is when you are attending university.

No, by travel buddies I was just being facetious in finding someone to travel with.
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Denim-Maniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1238

PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Based on my limited experience, someone travelling with a buddy to teach would likely be the odd ones out. Ive met a few married couples who naturally travel together, but the vast majority of teachers Ive worked with in China are those that travel alone.

When I was last with my employer in China there was a twenty-something, thirty-something and sixty-something ... all female and all travelled alone. I actually think I would have missed out on quite a lot if Id travelled with a friend. There are probably very few posts / threads about 'single women travellers' as it isn't an issue and very common.
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 860

PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really understand what you are looking for either. However, if you lack the confidence to go on your own, perhaps you could try to make contact with people who are already in whatever country it is you are aiming for.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3581
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Basic rule... Anyone---male or female---contemplating work/life abroad would do well to research the country culture, current events/news, and general laws of their destination as well as the prospective employer, teaching situation/environment, employment laws, etc. In terms of safety, some countries have age restrictions (minimal age) that affect employment---likewise when hiring one sex over another. Case in point, I'm in ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia where gender segregation is law, intended to protect women from men. And yes, each time I leave my housing for the outside world, I dutifully don my headscarf and shapeless black abaya in order to shield myself from the lustful eyes of men. Seriously. It's extreme, but it is what it is.

Anyway, choose your destination and smartly research it and the employer as thoroughly as you can, but keep your expectations low to avoid disappointment or... worse. However, a legit employer will ensure you're in safe housing, have access to reliable transportation, and most of all, are provided whatever support needed to adjust to a new culture. Additionally, you'd be working alongside and possibly living near other expats who are able to offer advice and guidance.
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denise



Joined: 23 Apr 2003
Posts: 3419
Location: finally home-ish

PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did it for a decade-ish before coming home. I decided where I wanted to go, did some research on the countries/jobs, and packed up and moved.

There definitely IS a support network! As long as you end up with a reputable school, they will help you with visa & bureaucracy issues; teachers will welcome, help, and befriend you; and new teachers often band together for companionship.

Sometimes the "support network" is so strong that you really have to try to break out of it to meet the locals--otherwise, you just end up hanging out with groups of expats. That goes for men and women. The only difference that women might face is the safety factor, but that holds true in our own dear home countries as well/

d
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DrTongue



Joined: 08 Mar 2013
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Denise and nomad soul pretty much nailed it, but as a woman who has been doing this alone (working outside of my home country and traveling on my breaks) for nearly a decade, I haven't found it to be that big of a deal. Researching the destination (and institution if it's for a job) in advance is critical. Of course there will always be surprises, but you should be able to gather enough data to determine whether a particular place will work for you.

Another thing I would suggest is to clarify for yourself what you need in a location. What kind of "support system" are you looking for? Do you need other expats or locals fluent in English? Do you need a school or company where they have a system, or do you prefer an environment where you've got more freedom in the classroom? Answers to those and other questions will help you make some decisions about where you want to go (or if you even want to go).
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1101
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jobs, like study abroad programs, are not created equal.
Some of either, offer a lot of support. Some of either, offer little or no support. And most fall some where in between.
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artemisia



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 867
Location: the world

PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
Case in point, I'm in ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia where gender segregation is law, intended to protect women from men. And yes, each time I leave my housing for the outside world, I dutifully don my headscarf and shapeless black abaya in order to shield myself from the lustful eyes of men. Seriously. It's extreme, but it is what it is.

I always thought the basic tenet was to protect men against exposure to dangerously wanton female behaviour...

OP: So much depends on one's passport, knowledge of a country, its language and personal/ professional contacts that it's hard to generalise too much. There's a difference between arriving in a country where you have the freedom to drop/pick up work as you go and being stuck in a particular job because of a work visa. Often people want the latter because it offers more job security, ready made work colleagues and very often accommodation. I loved being based in Europe where the distinction between female/male teachers was mostly a non issue.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3581
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

artemisia wrote:
nomad soul wrote:
Case in point, I'm in ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia where gender segregation is law, intended to protect women from men. And yes, each time I leave my housing for the outside world, I dutifully don my headscarf and shapeless black abaya in order to shield myself from the lustful eyes of men. Seriously. It's extreme, but it is what it is.

I always thought the basic tenet was to protect men against exposure to dangerously wanton female behaviour...

That too! Very Happy
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Denim-Maniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1238

PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So the good news is ... You CAN do it and you DON'T need that travel partner to make it possible.

It might be a good idea to consider WHO you teach ... (apologies for using CAPITAL letters a lot!) LOL. If you are worried about a social circle, I would strongly suggest you seek out employment where you can teach adults.

That's what I do in China, and I am pretty much assured of a social network from my very first class. My adult Chinese students are almost always willing to accept and issue invitations for dinners, drinks, social events and trips and I tend to build my social circles around them rather than around the ex-pat / FT crowd.

I recently worked with someone in the UK who had spent 18 months teaching kindergarten in China and didnt really meet or befriend anyone local as he had very little opportunity to meet people, other than ex-pats in his area. The nature of the work you do can make a big difference I think.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12085
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She wants to leave Kansas but she is scared.
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