Sexuality/Sexual Orientation Abroad

Sexuality and sexual orientation can be more or less accepted depending on where you are in the world. It’s important to be prepared for what the local views on the LGBTQIA+ community are. Our office strives for inclusion and safety for all students at all locations, regardless of their sexuality. We acknowledge the intersectional components of overlapping identities, and how they may affect an individual’s experiences in each place. We want to make sure you know how to stay safe and comfortable while navigating your experience in relation to your sexuality. It can be difficult to navigate a conversation about your personal life with your coworkers or host family if you are unsure how accepting they are, just as it is important to know what kind of healthcare you have available to you, and what local dating culture is like, so it’s important to be prepared for the experience.

The following reflection questions may be helpful to consider:

  • Will local values and/or country laws affect my decision to study in a particular country, where certain relationships are criminalized?
  • Depending on the culture of laws of my host country, will I be able to be open about my identity, or will I want to be more caution with who I share my identity with?
  • Does my LGBTQIA+ identity conflict with my host-community’s religious or cultural values or traditions?
  • How safe is it for me to be open about my LGBTQIA+ identity in the host-community? Are there laws in place making it unsafe to be open about my sexual identity?

Sexuality and Sexual Orientation Resources

BU Resources & Community:

Additional Resources:

Here are some more resources we found that could be helpful in your pre-departure research:

While we have not captured every resource for non-straight students on this page, we encourage you to reach out to our office to discuss any questions or concerns that you might have as you prepare for your study abroad experience. If you would like additional resources, or if you have found your own resources that other students could benefit from, please don’t hesitate to contact us at abroad@bu.edu.