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**Exploring Boundaries: Female Students’ Journeys Through International Experiences**

has achieved the top ranking among undergraduate students participating in study abroad programs for the 18th consecutive time. A significant portion of these students are women with diverse backgrounds, their experiences often shaped by the cultural nuances of their chosen destination.

Allegra Laing, the executive director of the Global Education Center, actively encourages female students to take part in studying abroad. She emphasizes the importance of connecting with other female students native to the host country to gain insights on navigating the local culture safely.

Laing underscores the significance of practicing cultural humility while overseas. She points out that students sometimes harbor deficit-model perspectives towards women in different cultures and advises being open to understanding varying interpretations of feminism in other societies.

Deficit model thinking refers to the belief that individuals face obstacles in achieving success due to socioeconomic, cultural, and social factors.

Moreover, Laing acknowledges that factors like race, religion, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation can also influence a student’s experience during their time abroad.

According to Laing, study abroad encounters are diverse and multifaceted. She stresses the need to amplify the narratives of students from historically marginalized communities who opt for international studies.

Senior Bethany Marzella challenges misconceptions surrounding studying in a Middle Eastern nation. She notes disparities in treatment but argues that similar issues exist in the United States, dispelling common American assumptions.

Marzella highlights her experience in Jordan, where despite initial concerns from friends and family, she encountered no negative repercussions as an American student.

Similarly, Senior Savannah Willette shares insights from her travels to Thailand and Singapore, shedding light on gender dynamics, particularly in professional settings. Willette recounts an encounter at a law firm in Singapore where gender diversity in the workplace was questioned, reflecting on societal norms.

Willette contrasts the safety levels between Singapore and Thailand, noting Singapore’s reputation as one of the safest countries globally. In contrast, her experience in Thailand presented different challenges, including instances of unwanted attention.

Despite the contrasting experiences in various countries, both Marzella and Willette advocate for studying abroad. They emphasize the value of embracing cultural differences and personal growth opportunities, even in the face of challenges.

In conclusion, both Marzella and Willette encourage students to step out of their comfort zones, highlighting the transformative nature of international experiences despite potential obstacles.