Event Title

Love and Sex Abroad: Student Risks, Assumptions, and Expectations

Start Date

11-8-2010 1:30 PM

End Date

11-8-2010 3:00 PM

Description

SIT students, many of whom are young women, study in a number of countries around the world. Although their main focus in going abroad is to further their education through academic learning, our programs are very experiential, and we encourage integration with the culture through homestays, language learning, and interaction with the people. Our students are young, and relationships of a romantic nature are very important to them. Some students have serious boyfriends and girlfriends at home in the USA, and choose to remain faithful to their partners. Frequently however, students become involved in romantic/sexual relationships with host country nationals. This experience can be very positive for both individuals - unfortunately however, it can also place our students at risk, particularly when his or her expectations and assumptions are not those of their newly found sweethearts. These problems can vary from physical safety, including date-rape or coertion, to emotional pain and upset – any of which can directly impact the student's learning experience abroad.

In this session, which draws on the knowledge and experience of the participants as well as the facilitator, we will first examine how young North Americans are perceived in much of the world where SIT has its programs. We will discuss what draws young men and women into intercultural romantic relationships, including some of the potential pros and cons of this experience. We will also look at these situations from the perspective of host country nationals, and their own expectations and assumptions. Finally, we will develop strategies to assist our students in navigating these complex and potentially difficult situations, both in terms of their physical safety and their psychological well being. The conclusions drawn from this session will be applicable to the numerous countries in which we have programs. There will also be time to address any specific issues the participants wish to discuss.

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Aug 11th, 1:30 PM Aug 11th, 3:00 PM

Love and Sex Abroad: Student Risks, Assumptions, and Expectations

SIT students, many of whom are young women, study in a number of countries around the world. Although their main focus in going abroad is to further their education through academic learning, our programs are very experiential, and we encourage integration with the culture through homestays, language learning, and interaction with the people. Our students are young, and relationships of a romantic nature are very important to them. Some students have serious boyfriends and girlfriends at home in the USA, and choose to remain faithful to their partners. Frequently however, students become involved in romantic/sexual relationships with host country nationals. This experience can be very positive for both individuals - unfortunately however, it can also place our students at risk, particularly when his or her expectations and assumptions are not those of their newly found sweethearts. These problems can vary from physical safety, including date-rape or coertion, to emotional pain and upset – any of which can directly impact the student's learning experience abroad.

In this session, which draws on the knowledge and experience of the participants as well as the facilitator, we will first examine how young North Americans are perceived in much of the world where SIT has its programs. We will discuss what draws young men and women into intercultural romantic relationships, including some of the potential pros and cons of this experience. We will also look at these situations from the perspective of host country nationals, and their own expectations and assumptions. Finally, we will develop strategies to assist our students in navigating these complex and potentially difficult situations, both in terms of their physical safety and their psychological well being. The conclusions drawn from this session will be applicable to the numerous countries in which we have programs. There will also be time to address any specific issues the participants wish to discuss.