Studying Abroad as an LGBTQ+ Student – Resources and Alumni Experiences

Jun 1, 2022 2:21:00 PM / by Maria Castello

We're celebrating Pride Month by highlighting a list of helpful guides for LGBTQ+ students heading abroad and sharing experiences from CAPA students who have explored their identities while studying abroad.

Happy Pride Month! Each June we celebrate Pride Month and the history and achievements of the LGBTQ+ community around the world, including in our Global Cities.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Dublin_Summer2016_From Maria Razo - Dublin Pride

Caption: CAPA students at a Pride celebration in Dublin.

For LGBTQ+ students planning to study abroad, there are specific considerations they may want to take into account before they go.

Below, we’ve put together a list of resources for LGBTQ+ students who are thinking about or preparing to study abroad:

Resource Guides for Students

Additional resources for LGBTQ+ students looking to study abroad from Rainbow SIG (NAFSA International Educators LGBTQ+ membership group):

Here are some scholarship and funding opportunities available to LGBTQ+ students interested in studying abroad:

Scholarships for Students

Alumni Experiences 

Interested in hearing from LGBTQ+ students who have studied abroad through CAPA in the past? Check out these articles from former CAPA Diversity Advocates Scholars and bloggers:

James Nightengale, Clark University, CAPA London

In this blog post, James shares a guide to queer life in London, focusing on the places and events he appreciated the most—from book stores to dance floors. He found London to be full of welcoming spaces and events for the LGBTQ+ community.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Spring2020_London_JamesNightengale_Brighton Trip

“One of the most unexpectedly meaningful elements of my experience abroad in London has been the many events, bars, clubs, and opportunities available specifically for the LGBTQ+ community. As a queer person myself, I was initially hesitant to explore these spaces or attend events centered around queer issues. I felt somewhat intimidated by the throngs of well-dressed people lined up outside late-night venues and worried I would stand out at more low-key events. Yet my fears could not have been more unfounded: I found the LGBT bars, night clubs, and other spaces to be wildly inclusive and accessible to an initial outsider such as myself.” 

Read more about James' exploration of LGBTQ+ spaces in London.

Jeff Chan, University of Massachusetts Amherst, CAPA Sydney

Jeff tells us about his experience as an LGBTQ+ student abroad. He shares why he chose Sydney as his global location and how he celebrated his identity while abroad.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Spring2019_Sydney_Jeff Chan_DAP Post_Fair Day

“Every country has different social and cultural beliefs about the LGBTQ+ community. This is reflected in their current laws and policies, along with their inclusion (or exclusion) of the community in public settings. As a gay university student, I had to consider this when choosing where I would want to study abroad. I knew that in order to be able to genuinely enjoy the experience, I would need to pick a city that I would be comfortable being myself in. I chose Sydney for its acceptance and inclusion of the city’s rich queer culture.”

Continue reading to find out more about Jeff's experience exploring Sydney as an LGBTQ+ student. 

Hania Powell, Rollins College, CAPA Dublin

Hania discusses her decision to study abroad in Ireland, her experience celebrating Pride abroad, and the LGBTQ+ community in Dublin.


"As a member of the LGBTQ community looking to study abroad, I was cautious to choose a place that I felt would allow me to succeed while being myself.

My decision to study and intern in Ireland for the summer was motivated by the incredible pace at which progress is being made toward equal rights, especially with the recent legalization of same-sex marriage through popular vote, and the country turned out to be the perfect destination.”

Learn more about Hania’s experience studying abroad in Dublin during Pride.

We hope these resources and alumni experiences give you an idea of what studying abroad as an LGBTQ+ student can look like! 

Topics: London, England, Dublin, Ireland, Sydney, Australia, Diversity Abroad