Here at UNM Study Abroad, we are dedicated to helping our LGBTQ+ students feel as safe as possible when they travel abroad, and to offer resources to them to aid in their knowledge of their destination country and the attitudes surrounding LGBTQ+ people wherever they are traveling. If you are an LGBTQ+ student looking to travel abroad, please read through the entirety of this section and take a look at some of the resources provided. Don’t be afraid to reach out to us if you have questions or would like help when researching options for LGBTQ+ students abroad. Please also reach out to the UNM LGBTQ Resource Center for extra services and resources specific to UNM LGBTQ+ students.
Being Out Abroad
Before going abroad, consider the safety risks you may be taking by being out while abroad. Be sure to research beforehand the laws and customs of your location to see if being out will put you in danger. If you do plan to be out, consider which circumstances will be safe to be out in, such as with your program, homestay, with friends or if being out in public will be safe. Please see below for more resources to help you make an informed decision.
Consider the cultural expectations and norms you will be subjected to in different housing situations. If you will be staying with a local family or other students, consider if, when, and how you may disclose your identity to those living with you. If you are a trans student staying in on-campus housing, look into access of gender-neutral or private restrooms if needed. Also look into how housing will accommodate you if dorms are separated by gender.
If you are a trans student, consider the problems you may face if you identify with a gender different than that listed on your official documentation. These problems may arise when traveling, when securing accommodations, or when applying for a visa. Consider if it is important to you to have your passport and other documentation match your identity before you travel abroad. Consider simultaneously updating your legal documents if you wish to have an official name or sex change before you go. Information on how to apply for a change of sex marker on your passport can be found here.
IES Abroad LGBTQ+ & Ally Resources- Includes advice & experiences from other students, general resources, gender identity resources, and ally resources.
The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association- The world federation of national and local organizations dedicated to achieving equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people across the globe.
Rainbow SIG- List of resources for LGBTQ+ students traveling abroad.
Rainbow Europe - LGBTQ+ information about European countries.
Laws & U.S. State Department Information
ILGA Sexual Orientation Laws World Map 2019- Shows status of protection/criminalization of LGBTQ+ people around the entire world.
UC Davis LGBTQIA Resource Center- Includes interactive map advising on LBTQ+ laws in certain countries, as well as advocacy centers and in-country resources.
LGBTI Travel Information from the U.S. Department of State- Useful information from the USDoS regarding preparing for travel and in-country travel as an LGBTQ+ traveler.
Rainbow Scholarship- a scholarship for LGBTQ+ students who aim to participate in high-quality, rigorous education abroad programs. To be considered, students must self-identify that they’d like to be considered for this scholarship on the Fund for Education Abroad application.
12 Study Abroad Scholarships for LBGT Students- GoAbroad.com’s list of 12 scholarships specifically for LGBTQ+ students.
Gilman Scholarship- This is a scholarship program through the U.S. Department of State specifically for underrepresented students wanting to study abroad.