A Word About Location

Being abroad will present opportunities to think about identity in a whole new cultural context, which can be a rewarding learning experience that challenges your preconceived notions of what it means to be Queer. Concepts of identity and the way Queer individuals are perceived vary from country to country, and even between regions within the same country. Students abroad may find themselves visiting places that are more affirming of Queer identity than the United States, and this difference may be reflected in national laws that extend equal access and protection. Other countries may have laws that criminalize homosexuality and an accompanying social hostility toward any public expression of Queer identity.

However, national laws and public opinion do not always tell the full story of what a Queer student can expect. Just as there are Californians who strongly oppose the legalization of same sex marriage, there are individuals who support the Queer communities from countries that demonstrate legal intolerance. It can be helpful to consult with several different sources when gathering information in order to assess the relative standing of Queer individuals in any place you plan to visit.