LGBTQ Students Abroad
All students, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, should consider making study abroad a part of their degree program and most importantly, as a tool for the development of their identity and self-acceptance. Studying abroad can be a great time to learn about sexuality in different cultural contexts, gain perspective on sexual orientation in the United States, and forge connections across cultural barriers. It is important to realize that in many of the countries where students study, issues related to sexual orientation and gender may be different from those in the United States. While some countries are very accepting of LGBTQ people, others are intolerant.
Tips to Prepare for Study Abroad
Seek out information about the attitudes towards different sexual orientations and gender identities in the country where you are planning to study.
Being knowledgeable about these issues and how they will affect interactions with persons from the host country will allow you to have a rewarding and safe international experience.
For country-specific information, you can view the US State Department's Country Factsheet for your country of interest for specific laws pertaining to LGBTQ people abroad. Additionally, you may view the Education Abroad's country guide, which provides safety risks, laws, and attitudes towards LGBTQ communities in popular study abroad destinations.
Identities Abroad is a resource developed by the Colleges of the Fenway to assist LGBTQ students in preparing for study abroad. We invite you to explore this in-depth resource and utilize some of these elements when considering programs and working with study abroad advising staff.
Written by a CET study abroad student in Beijing, this helpful article gives you an idea of what questions to ask of advising staff and before going abroad.
This article provides advice from a study abroad student in Bordeaux, France about choosing a location that will be open and welcoming, finding your support systems, and adjusting to cultural shifts while abroad.
This article was written by Brandeis student Megan McClory '18 while in Edinburgh, Scotland. She provides perspective on her identity while abroad and why she chose not to be involved with the LGBT+ society on campus.
The Rainbow Special Interest Group (SIG) is comprised of diverse members of NAFSA whose goals are to counsel international students and study abroad students who are LGBTQ. This webpage includes links to travel guides, newsletters, and other resources.
Amnesty International is dedicated to advocating for the rights of peoples of all orientations and identities. This page describes their international initiatives on these issues.
OutRight Action International's mission is to protect and advance the human rights of all people and communities subject to discrimination or abuse on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status. The link above contains country-specific information on these issues.