Traveling with a LGBTQIAP+ identity can pose unique opportunities and challenges. We want students to be their authentic selves while studying abroad, but we also want to be up front about the potential safety risks for individuals within the LGBTQIAP+ community. It is important for you to know that being “out” while traveling or studying off campus can impact your experiences and interactions with the host community. While many locations are very open and accepting, some countries may be openly hostile or have laws against “homosexuality” or other sexual or gender identities. Depending on where you go, public displays of affection or sharing who your partner is could pose safety and/or legal risks. It is important that you speak with IOS, the Gender and Sexuality Center, or the program on-site director about whether or not you should disclose your sexual or gender identity to locals, your host family, etc.
General LGBTQ+ Study Abroad Resources:
10 Reasons Why LGBTQ Students Should Study Abroad (Carleton College)
Advocate – Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer News & Politics
Diversity Abroad – LGBTQ+ Students Abroad
Diversity Abroad – A Roadmap for the Queer Study Abroad Experience
Global Gayz – a travel and culture website focused on LGBT-Gay life worldwide
LGBTQ+ & Ally Resources from IES Abroad
NAFSA – Rainbow Special Interest Group – Study Abroad Students
NPR Article: Know an LGBTQ Student Itching to Study Abroad? Here Are Some Things to Think About
Scholarship Opportunity – FEA Rainbow Scholarship
StudyAbroad.com – LGBT Students & Study Abroad
The U.S. State Department – LGBTI Travel Information
Gender Identity Resources:
National Center for Transgender Equality – Know Your Rights – Airport Security
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) – Transgender Passengers Information
Additional Considerations: e a large population of LGBTQIAP+ identified individuals in the host community? How visible are they?
– Do your research! Are LGBTQIAP+ identities or discussions around sexual/gender identity taboo in the host community?
– If you experience cat-calling, harassment, sexual misconduct/assault, abuse, or other forms of gender-based discrimination or crimes, how do you report them locally and back to campus, if you want to report them? Remember that crime definitions and reporting processes can vary by country. Be aware of what options you may have in your host country.