Whether you identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or queer or questioning aspects of your identity, it is always best to learn more about the social climate, laws, and norms for personal interactions in other cultures. Some societies abroad are more liberal than the U.S. on these matters and some less. Inform yourself of these key issues within the countries you are considering for your education abroad experience. Below are links to resources by organizations who have complied information on LGBTQ+ issues throughout the world specific to international education, travel, and campus life. There are tips and resources to help you prepare for your time abroad and your transition back into U.S. American life when you return. Preparing for what to expect in a particular country can make the difference between a wonderful experience abroad and a less than pleasant one.
LGBTQ+ people experience different levels of acceptance throughout the world. Before you go, it is important to reflect on the culturally based ideas and definitions of sexual identity and gender and consider carefully how your identity as a LGBTQ+ person may affect your relationships with host nationals, your cultural adjustment and your overall education abroad experience. Part of your pre-departure preparations should include reflecting on the larger context of acting on your LGBTQ+ identity while abroad. What role as a visitor do you/should you have in the host culture? Does your right to be LGBTQ+ in the U.S. 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 which you should be aware of?
The Office of International Education and Global Initiatives at Binghamton University strives to create a safe and inclusive space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning students and their allies. Never hesitate to contact an advisor in the office for more information or to share your input or concerns. You can also visit the LGBTQ Center on the ground floor of Bartle Library in LSG 549, easily accessed via the doors along West Drive A.K.A. "the brain."
Visit the Binghamton University Q Center Website
LGBTQ+ Resources in International Education
Through Diversity Abroad, an international education consortium dedicated to increasing participation and better serving the needs of diverse and underrepresented students in international education, you will find a list of questions/topics you may wish to consider.
GoAbroad.com has also created a thorough LGBT student guide offering step-by-step suggestions for education abroad from pre-departure and beyond. The guide also includes LGBTQ-specific education abroad scholarship information and summaries of LGBTQ "friendly", "neutral", and "negative" education abroad locations.
CIS Abroad also has a collection of student experiences on Education Abroad programs.
Scholarships are available for eligible students through the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA). The application for Spring 2022 programs is open July 1, 2021 - September 15, 2021 and November 15, 2021 - January 20, 2022 for Fall, Summer, AY 2022 programs. One application is used for multiple scholarships including the Rainbow Scholarship for LGBTQI students.
As the title suggests, the following is an article written by a student describing lessons learned while studying abroad.
9 Major Life Lessons I Learned Studying Abroad as an LGBT by Robin Goralka
For additional resources including a region specific annotated bibliography check out this LGBTQ Students studying Abroad webpage by Carleton College.
LGBTQ+ Travel Resources
ILGA's website is particularly helpful when researching laws around the world affecting the LGBTQ community. ILGA’s aim is to work for the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people and their liberation from all forms of discrimination. The organization seeks to achieve this aim through the world-wide cooperation and mutual support of its members.
Know your Rights - Airport Security, National Center for Transgender Equality
Passports: Transequality.org goes over specific passport requirements for name change, gender marker change, two-year passports, and which forms to use.
LGBTI Travel Information, U.S. Department of State
LGBTQ+ International Organizations
How Do I Get More Information?
Email IEGI at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Q Center website below.
Contact the Binghamton University Q Center
Please note: The content within the resources provided were last reviewed in July 2021 and as such could have changed. Views expressed in links provided or in sub-links within the document do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of International Education and Global Initiatives.