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LGBTQ+ Students

Studying abroad gives students the opportunity to learn about the customs and values of another country while also allowing them to reflect on their identity. Students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer, or students who are currently exploring and questioning their identity, may be presented with additional challenges when going abroad. Depending on the country you choose to study, the laws and values may be vastly different from those in the U.S. Before you go abroad, be sure to research the laws regarding anti-discrimination, same-sex sexual behavior and the restrictions on freedom of association or expression for LGBTQ+ people. ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and  Intersex Association) is a good resource for information on laws in different countries. Also, be sure read about the LGBTQ+ climate of the country where you will be studying, and reflect on how your identity as a LGBTQ+ person may affect your relationships with others in the host county. 

Northwestern University provides a list of very useful questions to ask yourself as you prepare to go abroad:
  • Does your right to be LGBTQ+ in the United States conflict with your host country's religious or cultural values and traditions?
  • How will you reconcile your human rights with the cultural values of your host society?
  • Are there safety considerations that you should be aware of?
  • What are gender relations in the host culture?
  • What is considered typical male and female social behavior in the host culture?
  • What is the social perception of members of the LGBTQ+ community?
  • What roles do trans people play in the host culture?
  • Does your study abroad program offer LGBTQ+ friendly housing?
  • Does your study abroad program discuss LGBTQ+ considerations during their orientation?
There are a number of additional resources to consult before going abroad.  Please read below for more information.
LGBTQ+ Travel Resources Trans Travel Information LGBTQ+ Mental Health Scholarships
If you have additional questions or concerns, you are also more than welcome to talk with a Study Abroad Advisor in our office, visit the Center for Diversity, Pluralism, and Inclusion or consult SUNY Plattsburgh's LGBTQ+ Online Resource Center.