Study Abroad

Sexuality & LGBTQ Students

It is important to be aware of the cultural, legal and social issues regarding sexual and gender identity abroad and how they could affect interactions with people in your host country.

In order to have a rewarding and safe experience, you will benefit from researching the LGBTQ climate of the country you will be visiting. Even if you do not plan to have a sexual relationship while away, educate yourself about specific laws pertaining to sexual behavior, orientation and/or gender expression. When doing your research, try to find out about:

  • The age of consent in the country and legality of same-sex sexual behavior
  • Restrictions on freedom of association or expression for LGBTQ people
  • Anti-discrimination and/or sodomy laws (national and/or local)

Resources, Guides and Personal Stories

University of Washington Q Center Q Center staff are available to meet one-on-one with UW students to answer questions related to navigating LGBTQ identities when studying abroad.

NAFSA’s Rainbow Special Interest Group – Information and resources for gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer and transgender study abroad students run by a professional association for international educators.

Unpacked: A Study Abroad Guide for Students Like Me – Online resource containing stories written by students about LGBTQ+ study abroad.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender U.S. Peace Corps Alumni – Promoting Peace Corps and the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people around the world

Tips for LGBTQ Students Abroad – A PDF from Michigan State University

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Travelers: A collection of Brown University student perspectives about diversity and gender abroad

Laws, TSA and U.S. State Department information

State Department Resource

TSA Information for Transgender People

Transequality.org

Transgender Law Center 

General International Organizations

ILGA – The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association has information on over 110 countries and offers a country-by-country survey of the legal position of GLBTQ individuals.

IGLHRC – The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission is an NGO dedicated to human rights advocacy group.

Scholarships for LGBTQ Students

The Pride Foundation – A foundation that inspires a culture of generosity, connecting Northwest organizations, leaders, and students who are creating LGBTQ equality. They facilitate post-secondary educational scholarships.

Human Rights Campaign – The HRC advocates on behalf of LGBTQ Americans, mobilizes grassroots actions in diverse communities, invests strategically to elect fair-minded individuals to office and educates the public about LGBTQ issues.  They also have student scholarships.

Travel Businesses Directory

IGLTA – The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association provides references to find LGBTQ travel businesses.

Gayguide.net  – A worldwide gay business directory.