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Sexual Orientation & Identity

Being knowledgeable about sexual identity and how the cultural, legal and social issues regarding sexual identity vary from place to place will better enable you to have a safe and rewarding international experience. Learning as much as you can about how these issues are addressed in the host country will better enable you to have a safe and rewarding international experience.

Making friends with those who have grown up in a different culture is one of the most rewarding aspects of studying abroad. You can alleviate potential misunderstandings by learning in advance as much as you can about the culture where you'll be living. Please feel at ease to discuss your questions and concerns about this or any other issue with any of the Office for International Study staff members.

How to Prepare

Begin researching now by looking at the resources below, talking with a study abroad adviser and program alumnae, and continue while you are abroad by talking with your new friends.

Related Links

An LGBT Student Guide to Studying Abroad (by GoAbroad.com) Note: Students may find the information in this guide to be quite hepful, but please note that not all of the programs listed in the guide are currently approved by Smith.

Rainbow Scholarship
The Rainbow Special Interest Group of NAFSA (Association of International Educators) has created a special annual scholarship for American LGBT study abroad students. Hosted and administered by the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA), the FEA Rainbow Scholarship will award up to $10,000 to an LGBT student for use during the 2015-16 academic year.

Behind the Mask: a Web magazine devoted to lesbian and gay affairs in Africa.

UMass Amherst Stonewall Center: a resource for services and information.

Gay and Lesbian Arab Society: news and articles from the Gay and Lesbian Arab Society.

Gay and Lesbian Travel & Resource Guide: a city-by-city guide to resources and places of interest for both residents and travelers.

International Lesbian and Gay Association: a worldwide federation of national and local groups dedicated to achieving equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people everywhere; offers a country-by-country world survey of the legal position of LGBT people. (Keep in mind that not all countries offer a safe environment for openly gay people).

NAFSA: Association of International Educators Rainbow Special Interest Group: extensive information for gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered students interested in studying abroad including a comprehensive list of related links and bibliography.

LGBT Rights by Country or Territory: information about current LGBT rights around the world.

Recommended Books & Articles

Are You Two...Together? A Gay and Lesbian Travel Guide to Europe. 1991. Lindsay Van Gelder and Pamela Brandt, Random House.

Out in the World: Gay and Lesbian Life from Buenos Aires to Bangkok. 1992. Neil Miller.

Sexual Orientation and Identity: Heterosexual, Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Journeys. 1995. Heather Pierce and Carol Wishik.

The Third Pink Book: A Global View of Lesbian and Gay Liberation and Oppression. 1993. Art Hendricks.

The World Out There: Becoming Part of the Gay and Lesbian Community. 1996. Michael Ford.