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Research Your Destination

Talk to your Education Abroad Advisor about potential destinations you are considering. You are encouraged to self-disclose any questions/concerns/opportunities important to you so that our office can advise you of international experiences that best meet your needs.

How Do I Know If Where I Am Traveling Is Safe? 

Read important country information on and the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you will be traveling. Find information specific to LGBTI travelers in the Special Laws & Circumstances section and HIV/AIDS entry restrictions in the Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements section. Be aware that while most countries around the world are supportive of the LGBTQ community, some countries are not welcoming towards or accepting of LGBTQ people so it is important to figure out where your potential host country falls on that spectrum.

If you are interested in connecting with the LGBTQ community in your host location, research your prospective host university or school for student clubs, on-campus offices, etc. that serve the LGBTQ community.

Determine whether the program you are interested in offers pre-departure information and/or on-site support that is specific to your needs.

Always research current events and news for the region where you will be traveling.

What Are The LGBTQ Laws Abroad? 

  • Remember you are subject to the laws and the justice system where you travel. It is important to understand what the laws in the country (and any countries you may visit) are because, depending on the location, it may be illegal to show any displays of affection or even to be out. This is particularly a concern in Russia as well as some countries in Africa and the Middle East.
  • Be cautious of potentially risky situations.
  • Avoid excessive physical displays of affection in public, especially in more conservative countries or regions. Note that you may be more likely to experience difficulties in rural areas.
  • Watch out for entrapment campaigns. Police in some countries monitor websites, mobile apps, or meeting places, so be cautious connecting with the local community. 
  • Be wary of new-found “friends.”  Criminals sometimes exploit the generally open and relaxed nature of the LGBTI scene. 
  • Some resorts or LGBTI neighborhoods can be quite segregated.  Be aware that local residents may not approve of expressions of sexuality when you are in surrounding areas.

The nearest U.S. embassy or consulate may be able to help if you run into problems overseas, especially if you feel you cannot approach local police or have had difficulties already.

Note: Information above provided by