Dating Abroad → Safety

Dating abroad can be fun, but it's important to stay safe. Here are some behaviors to be aware of when it comes to navigating relationships.

Updated over a week ago

Dating abroad can be exciting and fun!

You may have some new feelings to sort through and understand. Talk to an adult that you trust about your feelings and be willing to listen if they have concerns. People in a relationship should treat each other with kindness and respect at all times.

Relationships are supposed to be fun and enjoyable! If things are not going well in a relationship, it may be time to end it. Your host parents or a teacher at school can help you if you have questions about relationships.

Here are some general guidelines to respect your host family's boundaries in your homestay (especially for students under the age of 18):

  • Always get permission before inviting guests.

  • No love interests are allowed to stay in your bedroom.

  • Host parents must be home during the visit.

  • Students must not engage in any sexual contact or sexual activity that is culturally inappropriate in the U.S., including contact with minors or with any member of the Host Family household.


The first priority for all relationships is safety. Your host family, our team and counselors at your school are always here to listen and help. Additionally, you can call, text or chat with someone anonymously at

Because there are so many feelings involved, it can be challenging to know if/when a relationship is no longer healthy for you. Here are some behaviors to be aware of when it comes to relationships:

Dating Violence

In relationships, there are some things students need to look out for. One of those things is dating violence, which is a type of intimate partner violence. This can occur between people in a close relationship and can be physical, emotional or sexual in nature. Students need to be aware of how to stay safe in relationships.

  • Physical violence occurs when a partner is hit, pushed, slapped, pinched, shoved, kicked or otherwise treated roughly.

  • Emotional or psychological violence is verbal in nature and includes harassment and/or threatening comments. This could include bullying, shaming, name calling, degrading or keeping a partner away from friends and family.

  • Sexual violence is forcing a partner to engage in a sex act when the partner does not consent. This can be physical, or it can also include threats to spread rumors if a partner does not agree to have sex.

  • Stalking is another type of harassment, which refers to a pattern of threatening tactics that cause fear in the victim (showing up at your workplace, showing up without being invited, hacking into your accounts, etc.)

  • Sometimes dating violence takes place in person, but it can also take place over the phone, by repeated texting, e-mail or other online sources. Students need to make sure that their relationships are healthy and safe.

The bottom line is that unhealthy relationships should be terminated immediately. Teens sometimes think teasing and name-calling are a normal part of a relationship, but these behaviors can quickly develop into more serious types of abuse.

Preventing Abuse

Ultimately, the goal is to stop dating violence before it starts. Learning strategies that promote healthy relationships is crucial. It is important to learn skills to form positive relationships and avoid potentially dangerous relationships.

  • If you feel uncomfortable in a relationship, talk to an adult that you trust immediately.

  • Avoid situations that do not seem safe and let your host parents know who you are with and when you will be home.

  • Students should report any signs of abuse that they experience (or see a friend experiencing) immediately.

    • Many teens do not report abuse because they are afraid. It is always safer to get help from a trustworthy adult than to remain in a relationship that is unsafe.

You are not alone.

Bullying or any type of abuse is treated very seriously in America. It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help. Even if you feel like people aren’t listening or won’t take action – DON’T GIVE UP.

  • Talk to your host parent(s) as soon as possible

  • Contact our team as soon as possible

  • You can also call or text the National Teen Domestic Violence Hotline here

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