Transgender and Non-Binary Students Abroad

Studying abroad can be a great time to learn about gender identity and expression across the world and forge connections and alliances across cultures. For transgender and non-binary students, the decision to study abroad can raise many questions, so we invite you to use these resources to learn more about what being abroad might look like for you.

The Study Abroad office can help to answer your questions and begin building your study abroad support system. As a transgender or non-binary student studying abroad, you may want to keep in mind the following items:

The Study Abroad office can help to answer your questions and begin building your study abroad support system. While studying abroad can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for students of all genders, it is imperative that you keep yourself informed and understand the risks that studying abroad may present.

Travel-Specific Resources

Destination Information

Optional Template for Informing Professors

For more country-specific information, you can view the U.S. State Department’s Country Factsheet for your country of interest for specific laws pertaining to transgender people abroad. Additionally, you may view the Human Rights Report for country-specific violations of LGBT laws, discrimination, and incidences of violence.

Student Stories and Advice

"Ni él, ni ella: Being Nonbinary in Spain" was written by a student studying abroad on an IES Abroad program in Spain, and discusses the ways that they navigated language, cultural differences, and gender presentation in Salamanca.

“A Transgender student in Japan” was written by a high school study abroad student in Japan, and describes the challenges, coping strategies, and importance on finding your community in study abroad ventures. This piece also includes tips for integrating into the local culture and setting realistic expectations.

“A Trans Guide for Staying Safe While Traveling” is an excellent resource for travel tips, what to expect from TSA, and how you can stay safe while abroad.

Additional Resources

Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide (TvT) provides an overview of the human-rights situation of trans and gender-diverse persons in different parts of the world. The link above contains country-specific information about the cultural, social, legal, and healthcare climates for trans individuals in 190 countries.

National Center for Transgender Equality is a great resource for transgender issues and knowing your rights.

The LGBT Student Guide for Education Abroad provides numerous resources, tips, and safety information for students studying abroad. It also includes helpful country-specific information on local laws, attitudes, and culture surrounding gender identity and sexual orientation.

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.

The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association is a world-wide federation of national and local groups dedicated to achieving equal rights for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people everywhere.