How do you address the issue of safety for female or non-gendered travelers?
The violent crime rate in our destination countries is lower than that of most urban centers in the United States. Even still, we take the safety of female and non-gendered travelers very seriously. Adapting to cultural norms of conservative dress and behavior is the best way to avoid unwanted attention. All students are required to remain consistent with their public gender identity for the duration of the program, and to present a respectful demeanor in accordance with cultural standards. All students operate on the buddy system for brief departures from the group, for example, use of the restroom. We prepare our students before departure to dress and behave modestly. We regularly exercise the right to insist students change their clothes for more modest attire should they be in violation of these norms. Our host managers are trained to recognize and deflect or redirect potentially inappropriate behavior directed towards students from individuals outside the group. No student of any gender is permitted to engage in unsupervised communication with strangers. No hotel or Homestay rooms open directly to the street: all students’ rooms lock from the inside and are accessible to hotel security and/or chaperone observation.