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Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Education abroad can be a great opportunity for self-exploration and individual growth, and sexual orientation and gender identity can be fluid concepts. Should you identify yourself as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex, it is very important to research your host country’s attitudes, laws and related crime rates prior to your departure.

Some of the questions you should be able to answer are:

  • What are the current and past laws in the host country? These include hate crime laws, laws of consent (can be different between hetero couples vs. same-sex couples), etc.
  • What is the cultural attitude surrounding the community with whom I identify?
  • Are there open communities in the country? Or at the local university?
  • What are the inter-gender communications?

Additional questions can be found at diversityabroad.com.

Many students struggle with the concept of being “out” while abroad while being true to their own identity. It is important to remember to put your safety first while at the same time respecting who you are. Here are some resources and tips to help you through this process:


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