LGBTQ+ Students Abroad

There is a rich tradition of queer people exploring the world.  Students identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning) can and do study abroad, and they often say that their time abroad was the most exciting time in college. While study abroad can be challenging, the experience can help you learn more about yourself and your identity within a new cultural context.  There are many resources to support you at WWU and abroad!  Please reach out to the Education Abroad Director Ryan Larsen or the LGBTQ+ Director, L.K. Langley if you have have questions or need support!

Travel Considerations

  • Travel Logistics
  • Identity Documents
  • Country Differences
    • Learn the laws of your host country regarding LGBTQ+ issues, same-sex sexual behavior, and expressions of LGBT identity and community as you will be subject to them where you travel. In many countries, consensual same-sex sexual activity, public gathering, or dissemination of pro-LGBTQ+ material may be illegal. Read the country information for your destination for more details.
    • Be cautious of and avoid potentially risky situations.
    • 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 may target or attempt to extort LGBTQ+ foreigners and the generally open and relaxed nature of gay 'neighborhoods' and beaches; and unfortunately, not all LGBT people are trustworthy and kind.
    • Some resorts or LGBTQ+ neighborhoods can be quite segregated. Be aware attitudes in surrounding areas can be much less accepting.  Context is everything; similar expressions or behaviors may have vastly different meanings in different places.

Department of State LGBTI Travel Information