International Studies & Programs

LGBTQ International Travelers

LGBTQ travelers: You can enhance the safety and comfort of your travel experience by considering how the laws, culture, and social norms of your destination may affect your experience. Don't hesitate to contact us or your program coordinator with questions.


Questions for LGBTQ Travelers to Consider

About You:

  • How open will I be about my sexual orientation and gender identity with my teachers, peers, friends, host family, and others?
  • How important is it to me to find other LGBTQ travelers and friends while abroad? How will I make connections with LGBTQ students, colleagues, local residents, or community organizations? What are my expectations about seeking and finding community?
  • Will I need access to any medications, supplies, or services due to my transgender status? Are they available in my host country? If not, will I need any additional documentation to travel with my medication or supplies?
  • What are my safety needs and perceptions, and how can they best be met? Is the program able to make accommodations for students who request single rooms, private baths, or specific roommates?
  • What resources are available in my host country for LGBTQ people?

About the Culture of Your Host Country:

  • What are the cultural attitudes toward sexual orientation and gender identity in my host country?
  • What are considered typical male and female social behaviors, customary gender relations, and social patterns in the host country?
  • What may make the coming out process different in the host country compared to the U.S.?
  • What are the norms and behavioral expectations within LGBTQ communities in my host country?
  • What is the social perception of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people in my host country? How are LGB people socially defined? What roles do transgender people play in the host culture?

About Your Host Country's Laws:

  • Are there "public indecency/decency" laws? Or any laws that criminalize same-sex sexual relationships, or ways men and women socially interact?
  • What is the age of consent? Does it differ for heterosexual versus same-sex couples?
  • Does the law require having "proper documentation" at all times?
  • What is the general police attitude toward the local LGBTQ community?
  • Is the law applied the same in rural areas as in urban areas?

About Perceptions of People from the U.S and LGBTQ People:

  • What's the attitude of local residents toward people from the U.S., people of other nationalities, "tourists," and LGBTQ "tourists"?
  • What's the general police attitude towards the same as above?
  • What's the general police attitude toward LGBTQ people who are visiting the country?