For many who go abroad, it takes time to become comfortable and adapt to a new culture and setting. It often can be even more of a challenge for those who are members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities. As a student living abroad, it is important that we consider the implications of being identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender and how being “out” may have an impact on our interactions and experiences. This guide is intended to help make that adjustment and familiarize you with some of the challenges that can occur by studying abroad as an LGBT student.
While it is true that certain sites may be more tolerant than others, each location offers its own distinct culture and history that requires the student to have patience and respect as he/she adjusts. This guide has been created to demonstrate the ever-growing international LGBT community through the examples of the NYU Study Abroad sites, and also to grant you the resources to connect to both prior to and during your semester abroad. The information compiled here is the amalgamation of both documented fact and the anecdotes of students, myself included, whose experiences as LGBT students were both challenging and fulfilling. With some reflection, street smarts, and a sense of adventure, studying in a foreign country will be an incredibly rewarding and memorable experience!