This qualitative study explores the experiences of female students on study abroad programs, with the aim of answering the following questions: do they face unique challenges as female students (including harassment or assault), how do they avoid or cope with any negative experiences, and can we as language departments better prepare our students to have the best experiences possible? The participants for the study were primarily 12 of 50 students involved in the Brigham Young University Study Abroad to Cairo, Egypt during Spring and Summer terms 2010. Data include participant observation, student journals, and ethnographic interviews conducted during the last few weeks of the program. Data analysis reflected gendered experiences in socializing with native speakers as well as experiences with harassment, and even sexual assault. The thesis argues that proper student preparation is the key to their continued investment in culture and language learning. Future research could include a look at second language learners across the Middle East, factors that contribute to harassment and assault, and gender as a predictive factor of language gains.
College and Department
Humanities; Center for Language Studies
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Walsh, Heather Raquael, "The Female Experience: Study Abroad Students in Egypt" (2011). Theses and Dissertations. 3193.
gender, study abroad, Middle East, second language, Arabic, harassment