LGBTQ+ Students Abroad
Not only can study abroad help you experience a new culture, it can also be an exciting time for self-reflection and personal discovery. For LGBTQIA students, this process can pose opportunities as well as challenges. In the U.S., perceptions of non-traditional relationships are different from state to state. In the same way, non-traditional relationships are perceived differently from country to country. When researching study abroad programs, it is important to keep in mind the cultural values, social customs, and laws in potential host countries. Be sure to start early in identifying resources in the host country that are devoted to its LGBTQIA populations.
Keep in Mind: The more you know about the country's social customs and policies, the better prepared you will be to address these topics while abroad.
As you research program options, you may want to reflect on the following questions*:
- Does your right to be LGBTQIA in the United States conflict with your host country's religious or cultural values and traditions?
- How will you reconcile your human rights with the cultural values of your host society?
- Are there safety considerations that you should be aware of?
- What are gender relations in the host culture?
- What is considered typical male and female social behavior in the host culture?
- What is the social perception of members of the LGBTQ community?
- What roles do Trans* people play in the host culture?
- Does your study abroad program offer LGBTQ friendly housing?
- Does your study abroad program discuss LGBTQ considerations during their orientation?
* Source: George Washington University
Your LUC Study Abroad Advisor: Can help you find more information about the country you plan to go to and connect you with LUC peers who have studied in that country before. Additionally, program evaluations available in the office are a good way to learn what former students have to say about your host country and what you may encounter abroad.
Student Diversity and Multi-Cultural Affairs: Facilitates intentional reflection of the intersections of identities and critical social analysis of systems of privilege and oppression, SDMA seeks to enhance the experience of all members of the Loyola community by cultivating culturally competent agents of social change.
Diversity Abroad: Preparation tips and strategies for questions about race/ethnic, class, financial, gender, ability, religious, sexual orientation, first generation, and more dynamics abroad. Resources specific to LGBTQIA students can be found here.
Amnesty International: Resources to understand gender and sexual orientation discrimination and issues in the world.
GlobalGayz: LGBT travel and culture website that compiles resources for over 190 countries. Aside from providing legal information, this website allows users to understand broader cultural attitudes toward LGBTQIA issues around the world.
GoAbroad: This article lists 12 study abroad scholarships for LGBT students.
National Center for Transgender Equality: Considerations for transgender people when travelling.
Go Overseas: This website features articles on a verity of topics related to study abroad, including articles by and for LGBTQIA students.
NAFSA's Rainbow SIG: NAFSA promotes the exchange of students and scholars to and from the US by offering awards and scholarships. The Rainbow SIG provides additional resources for LGBT students going abroad. Check out the biannual newsletter for great articles about LGBTQ+ topics abroad!
U.S. Department of State: Resources for LGBTIA travelers and important things to consider.
Greenheart Student Stories: A transgender student who studied abroad in Japan shares his story.
U.S. T.S.A.: Resource for transgender passengers.
Transrespect vs. Transphobia: Country-specific guides detailing the human-rights situation of trans and gender-diverse people.