During your time abroad, you will be immersed in another culture, meet new people, and have exciting adventures. In order to have a safe and fulfilling experience, it is important to be aware of cultural differences you may experience in your host country. You may be able to avoid misunderstandings and uncomfortable situations if you familiarize yourself with cultural norms before you arrive.
The "International Travel" section on the U.S. State Department's website is an excellent resource for preliminary research of your host country. The website features a country-by-country search function with general background information, as well as information on "Special Circumstances," which highlights must-know facts about your host country, some of which specifically address cultural norms concerning women and minorities.