Study Abroad

""UD Offices for Support

There are several UD offices with staff who can help you consider aspects of your identity and how these may be perceived and treated at your potential destinations.

""Identity Specific Information


Study Abroad for LGBTQ Individuals

Study abroad at UD is inclusive and does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. LGBTQ students are welcomed and encouraged to apply for UD study abroad programs.


All students experience culture shock to some degree when they arrive in a new country; it is common to feel overwhelmed or surprised by attributes of your host country’s culture. Different countries, and even different regions within the same country, may have their own cultural expectations regarding LGBTQ individuals. A little pre-departure research can go a long way to prepare students for how their identity may affect their study abroad experience.


Beyond cultural shock, there may be safety issues associated with traveling as an LGBTQ individual. In some countries, LGBTQ identities or same-sex sexual acts may be unwelcome or even criminalized and can involve severe punishments. Be aware of this possibility and research your host country’s laws before selecting a study abroad destination. If you are unsure whether it is safe to openly identify as LGBTQ in your host country, speak to your faculty director or program coordinator for guidance.


To the other extreme, there are many countries that are highly accepting and inclusive of LGBTQ individuals and grant them more civil rights than are available in the United States.


Questions to Ask About Your Study Abroad Program

  • How are lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals perceived in my host country?
  • How are transgender individuals perceived in my host country?
  • What religious or cultural values will impact my treatment as an LGBTQ person?
  • What are typical gender relations and gender roles like in my host country?
  • Does my host country have a concept of being “out” or openly LGBTQ?
  • Is the program’s housing LGBTQ friendly?*
  • What safety concerns should I be aware of?
  • Are there LGBTQ social or support organizations in my program’s location?


*If you have housing/accommodation needs based on gender identity/expression, please contact your program coordinator upon acceptance to your travel study program. It is easier to accommodate your request if you contact IGS immediately after acceptance.



Additional Resources


US State Department: LGBT Travel Information
What I Learned Studying Abroad as an LGBTQ Person
Wikitravel: List of LGBT Friendly Destinations
Wikipedia: LGBT Rights by Country or Territory
Air Travel Tips for Transgender People

An LGBT Student Guide to Studying Abroad

LGBTQ Students Studying Abroad: Some Things to Think About




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