Gender & Sexuality

Just like in America, individuals in any country may have different beliefs than you might find in your research as a common cultural attitude. Some cultures are very open and accepting of LGTBQIA+ people, but others are not and could put students in a hostile situation or even put their safety at risk. Students should become informed by researching the attitudes, customs and laws in the program location they are considering.

Questions for LGTBQIA+ Students to Consider

(developed by UMass Amherst, The Stonewall Center and CISabroad)

About You

• How open will I be about my sexual orientation and gender identity with my teachers, peers, friends, host family and others?
• How important is it to me to find other LGBTQIA+ students and friends while on my program? How will I make connections with other LGBTQIA+ students, local residents or community organizations? What are my expectations about seeking and finding community?
• Will I need access to any medications, supplies, or services due to my transgender status? Are they available in my program location? If not, will I need any additional documentation to travel with my medication or supplies?
• What are my safety needs and perceptions and how can they best be met? Is the program able to make accommodations for students who request single rooms, private baths or specific roommates?
• What resources are available in my program location for LGBTQIA+ people?
• Are there any LGBTQIA+ friendly establishments nearby? How can I find them?

About the Culture of Your Host Country

• What are the cultural attitudes toward sexual orientation and gender identity in my host country?
• What are considered typical male and female social behavior and customary gender relations and social patterns in the host country?
• What may make the coming out process different in the host country compared to the U.S.?
• What are the norms and behavioral expectations within LGBTQIA+ communities in my host country?
• What is the social perception of LGBTQIA+ people in my host country? How are LGBTQIA+ people socially defined? What roles do they have in the host culture?

About Your Host Country’s Laws

• Are there “public indecency/decency” laws? Or any laws that criminalize same-sex sexual relationships, or ways men and women socially interact?
• What is the age of consent? Does it differ for heterosexual versus same-sex couples?
• Does the law require having “proper documentation” at all times?
• What is the general police attitude toward the local LGBTQIA+ community?
• Is the law applied the same in rural areas as in urban areas?

About Perceptions of People from the U.S. and LGBTQIA+ People:

• What is the attitude of local residents toward people from the U.S., people of other nationalities, “tourists,” and LGBTQIA+ “tourists”?
• What is the general police attitude towards the same as above?
• What is the general police attitude toward LGBTQIA+ people who are visiting the country?


Department of State’s U.S. Passports & International Travel Department LGBT Travel Information 
Go LGBT Study Abroad Guide
IES LGBTQ+ & Ally Resources
NAFSA Rainbow Special Interest Group
The National Center for Transgender Equality: Know your Rights, Airport Security
OutRight Action International (formally known as International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commissions)
World Economic Forum The state of LGBTI rights around the world in 2018
UConn Rainbow Center 
University of South Florida LGBT Student Guide for Education Abroad


American Association of University Women Fellowships & Grants 
Corinne Jeannine Schillings Scholarships
Fund for Education Abroad Rainbow Scholarship
Pride Foundation
Rainbow Sig
UConn Rainbow Center