Cultures vary in terms of how sexual and gender identities are defined and understood. You will find that attitudes and tolerance toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans issues vary from country to country, and possibly even within each country, as they do here in the U.S. Some countries are more welcoming and legally protective than the U.S., while others are less accepting and more restrictive.
Being knowledgeable about sexual identity and gender expression in the area where you will be studying will allow you to have a rewarding international experience. When researching the environment of your host country, it is important to learn about cultural norms and local manners; laws of the host country; general attitudes toward LGBTQIA persons; and the various LGBTQIA organizations, support services, and media that may serve as resources to you before, during and after your time abroad.
Some questions to ask
Take some time to become familiar with your host country before departure. Educating yourself on cultural attitudes toward variations in sexuality and gender expression abroad can help ease your transition and make for a safer and more enjoyable study abroad experience. Some questions to ask:
- How does the host culture interpret and handle different sexual identities and gender expressions? If I am "out" at home, will I be able to express myself in similar ways abroad?
- If I am not open about my identity at home, will the host country provide more freedom for me? If so, how will I transition once I am back home?
- What laws exist that affect LGBTQIA persons? Are laws different for men and for women?
- Can issues related to sexuality and gender expression be discussed and debated openly?
- Are certain forms of sexual or gender expression, including displays of affection that are generally accepted in the U.S. (whether queer or straight) expected to be private in your host country?
- Where are some nearby LGBTQIA-friendly establishments? How can I find them?
- Are there local support and community networks for LGBTQIA students in the host country?
You may wish to begin your research by familiarizing yourself with campus, community and web resources dedicated to LGBTQIA issues. In addition to local resources, there are several well-known organizations that offer information and support for international travelers and/or study abroad students. You may also make an appointment with one of our Education Abroad Associate Directors in order to discuss any concerns.
Temple University has a network of organizations and services in place for LGBTQIA students. Consider reaching out to one of them before going abroad for tips and resources.
- Campus Student Organizations:
- Temple University Wellness Resource Center, Mitten Hall, Lower Level
- Be sure to check out their Student Guide to LGBTQIA Life, updated every year
- Temple IDEAL
- NAFSA: Association of International Educators’ Rainbow SIG site has resources and information specifically for LGBTQIA students seeking to study abroad.
- Diversity Abroad has an LGBTQ Study Abroad Guide, as part of their diversity and inclusion guide series.
- International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA): a global travel network committed to connecting LGBTQIA travelers with queer-friendly businesses and events. Their website offers a country-by-country searchable database.
- International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA): an international organization committed to achieving equality for LGBTQIA persons all around the world. They have a comprehensive list of the legal status of LGBTQIA identities for each country, including regularly updated maps that visually depict sexual orientation laws across the world.
- International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC): another international organization dedicated to expanding civil liberties and they offer country-specific legal information for LGBTQIA travelers.
- The U.S. State Department has a special page for LGBTQIA travelers.
- GlobalGayz.com: offers country-specific, first-hand travel experiences from queer travelers.
LGBTQIA+ Resources by Program Type
Temple Campuses Abroad
Mario Mieli Cultural Circle
The Homosexual Culture Circle Mario Mieli is an independent association founded in 1983 by the merger of two Roman organizations, "Fuori" and "Collettivo Narciso": deals with the claim and protection of civil rights of LGBTQI people (lesbian, gay, bisexual , trans, queer, intersex) and of the person in general, of the fight against all forms of discrimination and promotes cultural and socialization activities (Sundays at the Mieli, La Vie En Rose, youth group).
Stonewall Japan is a community organisation providing support for, and enhancing the lives of English-speaking Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and other sexual and gender minority people (LGBTQIA+) in Japan no matter their race, nationality or religionStonewall Japan is a community organisation providing support for, and enhancing the lives of English-speaking Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and other sexual and gender minority people (LGBTQIA+) in Japan no matter their race, nationality or religion.
COGAM is a democratic, participatory, inclusive, independent and non-profit organization. We have worked for more than 30 years for LGBT+ Human Rights and and for a more plural and respectful society, promoting the conditions allowing that freedom and equality for all people and for the diverse groups in which they are integrated are real and effective without exclusions.
Temple Exchange Programs
Taiwan Tongzhi (LGBTQ) Hotline Association
Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association is the oldest and the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organization in Taiwan. Hotline is dedicated to achieving equality and provide resources for the LGBT community through creating public dialogue and gender inclusive sexuality education. Hotline serves more than 50,000 LGBT people and non-LGBT people each year in its diverse programs focused on gender and sexuality education, support for parents of LGBT children, hotline services, care for LGBT elders, HIV/AIDS prevention, intimate partner violence, transgender issues, and community initiatives.
Rainbow of Hong Kong
Rainbow of Hong Kong is a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) organization concerned with the quality of life in the LGBT community and founded and operates the only LGBT Community Centre in Hong Kong. Rainbow of Hong Kong has partnered with the Departments of Social Science and Social Work at the Hong Kong Baptist University, City University of Hong Kong and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, providing their Intern and Placement Students with an operating venue to study sexual orientation issues. We frequently receive foreign visitors and strive to better serve the community, locally and globally.
Zhitong Guangzhou LGBT Center
At the Zhitong Guangzhou LGBT Center we advocate for health, equality and diversity. We are dedicated to opposing discrimination in all forms and providing health-related programs for the LGBTQ community in China. We are involved in numerous charitable activities in Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, including anti-discrimination advocacy for sexual minorities, cultural and artist development, volunteer capacity development, as well as HIV prevention and treatment.
Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights of Korea
HaengSeongIn started as LGBT association of Korean University in 1997 and has changed its name to the current organisation, HaengSeongIn in 1998, and since then our organisation as one LGBT representative has been leading LGBT activity till now. Many gender diversities, such as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transexual and Intersexual come together to achieve the society respecting the human rights of minorities.
Be’er Sheva, Israel
The Pride House in Beersheba
The Pride House has an active community center. Most of the community activities take place in the evenings and on weekends. There are groups for diverse audiences: youth, young people, men, women, transgender people, psychodrama, and more. Most groups meet once a week. There are also activities for the general public (LGBT and straight people): lectures, community discussions, Kabbalat Shabbat (Fridays dinners) and more. The Pride House partners with the Gender studies program at Ben-Gurion University, in a group of Queer Reading students. It participates in lectures and other projects with the local university and the local municipality.
Norwich Pride Community Groups
Norwich, England has a vibrant LGBTQIA+ community with a wide selection of groups and community centers. These groups offer counseling services, sexual health outreach programs, community groups, social events, and more. They also work with local universities to provide outreach to people of all identities.
Lancashire LGBT Community Groups
Lancaster, England is a part of the Lancashire LGBT charity network, devoted to supporting LGBT people, building partnerships and creating allies and champions, improving the quality of support delivered to LGB and/or T People. Their page includes multiple support groups throughout the greater Lancashire region catered to the needs of people with different identities.
Gay and Lesbian Forum of Lyon
The GAY & LESBIAN FORUM OF LYON is an association born in 1996, which offers moments of conviviality, militant actions, information and prevention material against STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections), to the entire LGBTQI population (Lesbian , Gay, Bi, Trans', Queer, Intersex) and their friends (LGBTQI friendly). It allows you to meet, meet and discuss issues and issues related to emotional, sexual or gender identity. It aims to promote the visibility and acceptance of LGBTQI in society and to fight against homophobia, lesbophobia, transphobia and sexism. The FGL is housed at the LGBT LGBTI CENTER at 19, rue des Capucins 69001 in LYON
LGBTQI Support & Involvement
The Hamburg City Government has compiled a list of LGBTQIA+ resources, ranging from counseling services, athletic groups, community outreach, health care, and more. Their webpage serves as a comprehensive starting point for students of all identities and is available in English.
Tübian, Young and Queer Around Tübingen
Tübian is aimed at young people between 16 and 28 years. The community meetings are usually held in small groups, but more people are encouraged to come. If you do not feel comfortable joining the group right away, we are also happy to hold a private preliminary talk to discuss LGBTQ+ resources in the area.
Gold Coast, Australia
Griffith University LGBTIQ+
This student organization’s aim is to provide a judgement free environment for open-minded students to meet up and make some new friends. They also hold regular events to spread awareness and educate people on the sexualities and gender identities that our group encompasses.
Temple Summer Programs
Queerseitig University of Leipzig
Queerstig is a space for LGBTQIA+ people to network, exchange, discuss, plan and carry out events, or just to be able to sit together comfortably. They are a queer, feminist, and politically active group. Even though their main focus is of course on LGBTQIA+ topics, they incorporate other socially and / or politically relevant topics into the program and discuss and work on them together. They meet in an open plenary session that takes place every two weeks.
MAG LGBT Centre Paris
MAG Jeunes LGBT allows young gays, lesbians, bi, trans or questioning to meet in a friendly spirit to get out of their isolation, discuss and share their questions or experiences. The MAG Jeunes LGBT also carries out STI prevention operations, screenings, and counseling services for health of young lesbians, gays, bi and trans people.
Arcigay Palermo provides the LGBTIQ community in Sicily with the following services: socialization and reception, counseling and psychological support, legal advice, medical advice. In addition, the volunteers take care of promoting LGBTQ culture, promoting awareness and protection of sexually transmitted diseases, promoting and organizing meetings in schools and universities. They are nationally affiliated with Arcigay, Italy’s National LGBTI network and can provide help coordinating resources throughout Italy.
Movimento Pansessuale Siena
Movimento Pansessuale provides mental and physical health resources for LGBTQIA+ individuals. They have a youth group, organize community events, and provide sexual health screenings at no cost at their center. They are nationally affiliated with Arcigay, Italy’s National LGBTI network and can provide help coordinating resources throughout Italy.
The Schwulenberatung Counseling Center offers help to LGBTQ individuals, people living with HIV/Aids, and their relatives or partners. All services are confidential. We can provide services in many languages such as Arabic, English, French, Greek, Polish, Slovak, Spanish, Czech, Russian, or Turkish, and will use an interpreter if needed. The center offers resources about coming out, mental health, age related problems, alcohol and drug use, addiction, and STIs.
J-FLAG is a human rights and social justice organisation which advocates for the rights, livelihood and well- being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Jamaica. Our work seeks to build a Jamaican society that respects and protects the rights of everyone. Our board and staff are committed to promoting social change, empowering the LGBT community, and building tolerance for and acceptance of LGBT people.
Belgrade Pride is a community based organization that coordinates different LGBTQIA+ resource centers throughout the region. Belgrade Pride and their affiliates help with counseling, legal assistance, STI/HIV screenings, and community outreach. Their commnity events also include lectures, discussions with the community, panel discussions, film screenings, board games, quizzes to help connect queer people throughout Serbia.