Each country, and sometimes different communities within the same country, will have different laws, attitudes, and beliefs about gender identity and sexual orientation. When you study abroad, you have an opportunity to view these attitudes from a new perspective and deepen your own understanding. Just as you navigate different cultures in your home, on campus, with your family, friends, in formal and informal settings, there will be numerous cultures to navigate abroad as well. Your existing skills, combined with local knowledge from insiders like your study abroad program provider, can help you navigate the transition successfully.
You may wonder whether your identity will be accepted and embraced, or worry that you will feel isolated. When choosing a program, recognize that some locations are more open than others, and consider whether that is an important factor in choosing a program. Before you go, you should take some time to research the situation in your host community. Think about the laws, the climate for queer people in day-to-day life, and whether your healthcare needs are readily accessible. If the official language isn’t English and if you plan to be out, you may want to learn some words related to your identity in the local language.
Below we have included some helpful resources to serve as a guide. Did you know that our Center has a staff member dedicated to helping students navigate these issues? We welcome you to discuss your situation and plans further with us by making an appointment or sending us an email: Meghan Mason, email@example.com.
Department of State Selecting your Gender Marker Instructions
IFSA Study Abroad Stories for LGBTQ+ Students
IES LGBTQ+ and Ally Resource List and Instagram Live
School for Field Studies Identity Abroad and Advice for Future Students
ILGA Sexual Orientation Map and Trans Legal Mapping Report
National Center for Trans Equality Know Your Rights | Airport Security Information | Passports
GoAbroad Meaningful Travel Tips and Tales
USAC Blogs and Packing Pride, Identity & Diversity in your Study Abroad Suitcase Podcast
CIEE Diversity & Inclusion City-Specific Resources for Studying Abroad
Vacation Rental Options for LGBTQ Travelers (for break travel) from Consumer Reports
Sparkle, United Kingdom National Transgender Charity List of Resources
OutRight Action International Research
Navigating LGBTQIA Identity Abroad Panel Video from Temple
LGBTQIA+ Student Experiences in Ireland Video Panel
Refuge Restrooms database of safe restrooms for trans and nonbinary people
Traveling while Black and Lesbian, a memoir by Khanyisa Mnyaka