In order to maximize your experience abroad, we advise that you should get to know your host country well before departure. As an LGBT student there are some additional things you may want to consider as you prepare to go abroad. The resources below are designed to help you in that process.
Points to Consider When Selecting a Program
Selecting a study abroad program is an important decision. Here are a few points designed to help you select the destination that’s best for you.
- What cultural attitudes, culture or context exists towards sexual orientation in the host country?
- What is the social perception of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the host country?
- What is considered typical male and female social behavior – including gender roles and gender relations – in the host country?
- Are there any LGBT-friendly establishments near the program site?
- Can the program accommodate special housing requests such as single rooms, private baths or certain roommates?
- Does the program have any other resources available for LGBT students?
- Is there a LGBT community nearby?
Preparing to Go Abroad
Once you’ve selected a destination, considering the following points prior to departure will help to ease your transition into your host culture.
- How open will I be about my sexual orientation and gender identity with people in my host country? How might this impact my experience abroad?
- How important is it for me to find other LGBT students and friends while I am abroad? How will I connect with them?
- What kinds of LGBT-friendly establishments, organizations or resources are available in my host country? How will I access them?
- What may make the coming out process different in my host country compared with in the U.S?
LGBT Resources from Other Universities:
- Michigan State University: Info for LGBT Students
- University of Minnesota: LGBT Students Abroad
- Colorado State University
Other Places to Gather Information:
- NAFSA: The Association for International Education has a website dedicated entirely to LGBT students going abroad.
- The International Lesbian and Gay Association: A world-wide federation that campaigns for LGBT rights on a global scale.
For a country-by-country view, visit: http://ilga.org/countries.asp
- The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission: An international human-rights organization.