LGBTQ+ students studying abroad have an opportunity to learn about themselves, their identity and enrich their lives in a global context. CIE understands that the LGBTQ+ community faces challenges, and will continue to provide support to ensure the best possible study abroad experience.

Things To Consider Before Studying Abroad as an LGBTQ+ Student

  • Laws regarding sexuality and gender identity
  • Social attitude towards LGBTQ+ community
  • Norms and behaviors of the host culture
  • Current news of LGBTQ+ events
  • LGBTQ+ meeting places in the host country
  • Host country culture and religion
  • Program location
  • Short-term programs vs. long-term programs
  • How open do you want to express your sexuality and gender identity while abroad?

UCEAP Countries by Risk Level

Minimal RiskLow RiskModerate RiskHigh Risk
Czech RepublicIsraelChinaIndonesia
DenmarkItalyDominican RepublicJordan
GermanyJapanSouth KoreaMorocco
NetherlandsThailandSouth Africa
New ZealandTaiwan

Identity and Safety Abroad

It is important to understand the implications of expressing an LGBTQ+ identity abroad. Concepts of identity and the way in which LGBTQ+ individuals are perceived not only vary from country to country, but even between regions within the same country. Researching the host country before going abroad will help tone down the risks.

Though once abroad, it is recommended that students reevaluate the local LGBTQ+ tolerance levels before coming out. As part of the study abroad experience, students learn to adapt to their new environment by observing local manners and behaviors of their host culture. LGBTQ+ students should exercise the same caution.

Additional Resources

Even while students abroad are still Panthers!, they are first and foremost UWM students, and are always welcome to contact the UWM LGBT Resource Center!