LGBTQ+ Abroad

LGBTQ+ students study abroad every semester from SF State. Study abroad is an amazing opportunity that can come with additional preparation and awareness of potential challenges. We are delighted that you are taking these steps to study abroad. SF State Abroad, as SF State is committed to supporting all our students in pursuing study abroad to enrich their educational degrees with a commitment to nondiscrimination. Because the laws and attitudes abroad vary widely from countries that are open and supportive to some that consider consensual same-sex sexual relations a punishable crime, it is important that you follow the guidelines below to prepare.


Applying to study abroad:

1) Attend an information meeting!

2) Renew or apply for your passport. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the end of your program. If you have a passport as a transgender person, please note that you can change the sex listed on your passport.

3) Research all potential countries using the US Department of State's country information pages for information specific to LGBTI travelers (under Special Laws & Circumstances) as well as their Traveler’s Checklist. (Additional resources can be found below to learn about the cultural attitudes and laws in the country abroad. It is important to do country research early.)

4) Consider housing options for the program of interest. Do you want a single room and is that an option on the program?

5) If you have additional questions or concerns, please speak with a Study Abroad Advisor during drop-in advising hours. Advisors can be reached while applying and when you are abroad.

6) Don't forget to apply for scholarships. Please see the databases below.f

7) Remember, you do have allies around the world#MyPride


Preparing to leave for study abroad:

1) Pack important documents. The US Department of State recommends:

  • "Legal and health documents (such as a living will or health care directive).
  • Parentage and/or custody documents for accompanying minor children (especially if your children do not share your last name).
  • Contact information for your family and/or lawyer in the United States, including someone who has a copy of your itinerary.
  • Address and phone number of the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, in English and the local language."

2) Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).


SF State Resources:

While abroad, SF State students still have access to these resources:

  • Talk to a SafeZone Ally via Zoom while abroad.
  • Speak to your study abroad advisor via Zoom while abroad (email to arrange a day and time).

Report any and all sexual harassment and discrimination regardless of where in the world it occurs. Please feel free to contact Katon Dalton.


Additional Resources:

U.S. Department of State LGBTQ+ Travel Resources

Diversity Guide to Study Abroad

GOAbroad eBook: LGBTQ+ Student Guide Abroad

IES Abroad Country Specific Resources

ILGA: Sexual Orientation Maps

GlobalGayz Travel & Culture Website

The Advocate


Transgender Resources:

Airport Security: Know Your Rights

TSA: Transgender Passengers

IES Air Travel Tips for Transgender Students Studying Abroad

Transgender Crisis Resources



LGBTQ+ Student Scholarship Database (Human Rights Campaign)

Best Colleges: LGBTQ Scholarships for College Students

LGBTQIA Scholarships