It is important to be aware that the way in which lesbian, gay, bi/pansexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) identities are perceived and understood differs greatly between each country and culture. While LGBTQ individuals can be widely accepted in some countries, other countries can be largely intolerant. As in any cross-cultural situation, it pays to observe and be sensitive to local customs, while respecting your own self expression. There isn't one way to conduct yourself while abroad, but it is important to remember that your identity is complex. Aspects of your identity that feel most salient in the United States may not feel as important abroad. For example, you may be surprised that in many countries, others perceive your most salient identity to be your national identity as opposed to other identities you hold.
We recommend utilizing the online resources listed below as you prepare for your study abroad experience. Educating yourself about the country you will be studying in, how they address LGBTQ issues, and any applicable laws will go a long way in helping you have a safe and meaningful experience abroad.
International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association: online country guides and an interactive map with information on how GLBT issues are addressed in specific countries
NAFSA: Association of International Educators - Rainbow Special Interest Group: valuable information for LGBTQ students traveling overseas
US Department of State LGBT Travel Information: helpful country-specific information, including the human rights report
University of Arizona LGBTQ Affairs: on-campus resource for students
Go Abroad LGBT Student Guide to Study Abroad: link to a comprehensive guide available