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Study Abroad Office

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LGBTQ+

With global acceptance of the LGBTQ community on the rise, students who belong to this community have many great opportunities to explore cultural aspects of identity while abroad. However, there are still a number of countries with laws restricting the queer community, smaller cities where acceptance is nonexistent, and cultural norms that reinforce anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment. While preparing to study abroad, it’s important to consider host country attitudes and familiarize yourself with resources available. Though the unique challenges an LGBTQ individual may face abroad is largely dependent on their individual identity, there are some highlights that all individuals who belong to the queer community must consider. Your Study Abroad Advisor and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs are a great first step to help you navigate how your identity and time abroad will intersect.

Questions to consider with an Advisor/by yourself:

 
Finding a community abroad
  • Is there a local LGBTQ organization that organizes meetings or events?
  • How important is it for me to connect with other LGBTQ individuals while abroad?
  • Are there any LGBTQ-friendly establishments in my local community? How can I locate them?
  • What LGBTQ resources are available to me at my host university?
  • How open will I be about my sexual orientation and gender identity with my peers, professors, and others I meet while abroad?
Health, Safety, Legality
  • Will my host family be accepting of my identity?
  • What are my safety needs and perceptions, and how can they best be met? Is the program able to make special accommodations for students who request single rooms, private baths, or certain roommates?
  • Are there specific safety issues for LGBTQ individuals in my host country?
  • What is the legality of same-sex sexual behavior?
  • Are there any restrictions on the expression of LGBTQ individuals?
  • Are there hate crime laws in place that protect LGBTQ individuals?
Host Country Culture
  • What are the cultural attitudes towards sexual orientation and gender identity in my host country?
  • How are individuals who belong to the queer community perceived?
  • What are the norms and behavioral expectations of the LGBTQ community in my host country?
  • What do typical male/female gender relations look like?
Transgender Students
  • Will I need access to any medications or medical services abroad to support my medical needs? Are these medications, like hormones, available in my host country, or can I legally travel with them?
  • Does my insurance cover health services, including physical transition, while abroad?
  • What laws are in place regarding gender identity and travel documentation?
  • How are transgender individuals perceived in my host country?
  • What are my safety needs and perceptions, and how can they best be met? Is the program able to make special accommodations for students who request single rooms, private baths, or certain roommates?

Scholarships:

  • Rainbow Scholarship: The Rainbow scholarship is awarded to LGBTQ students who want to pursue meaningful, intensive education abroad programs. This scholarship is awarded by the Fund for Education Abroad and students must self-identify in the FEA scholarship application.
  • The Point Foundation LGBTQ Scholarship: Point Foundation is a national, publicly supported, scholarship-granting organization focused on helping LGBTQ students. Each year the scholarship ranges from $5,000 to $28,000.

Resources:


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