LGBTQIA+ Friendly Study Abroad Options
Not being one’s authentic self, is already a trauma of a lifetime that dwells deeply into the souls. Labeling, bullying, and humiliation are some of the dire straits that no one should have to go through, yet something the Queer people prominently endure. A person cannot be totally present and involved in learning if they don't feel accepted, have to hide something basic about who they are, or are afraid at every step. Thats why it gets excruciatingly important for them to reside in a safe space.
When walking through different walks of life, a decision to pursue your higher studies gets intimidating enough but having to limit your options in accordance with your safety becomes even more daunting. Every nation has a different level of acceptance, knowledge, and understanding of the LGBT community, so it's crucial for LGBT students to know what kind of environment they'll be entering. The sorts of laws, rules, and organisations in place in any nation have a big role in creating its social climate, therefore LGBT students should think about all of this before studying abroad.
Although global support of the LGBT community varies, there are many nations across the world that provide students with a secure, LGBT-friendly atmosphere in which to study abroad.
That being the case, we have tried to ease your research and listed out the best LGBTQIA+ friendly study abroad destinations.
The Netherlands was the world's first country to allow homosexual marriage in 2001. The Netherlands, often regarded as one of the world's most liberal and open-minded countries, is tied for the second position on the LGBTQ+ Travel Safety Index with Sweden.
Amsterdam, the country's capital, is also a center for LGBTQIA+ life and community. There are around 100 establishments and services geared for LGBT shopping and customers there. Other cities in The Netherlands, such as Utrecht, Hague, and Rotterdam, are fantastic places to establish community and belonging as a study abroad student.
LGBT students who wish to immerse themselves in the nation's LGBT community should not miss Gay Pride Week in Amsterdam, a genuine pioneer for LGBT rights.
Denmark began reforming to encourage gay and lesbian couples in 1989 when the country established legislation allowing same-sex couples to register officially as domestic partners. The Danish have a long history of understanding and acceptance of the LGBT population, as seen by the numerous LGBT institutions that dot the Danish capital city of Copenhagen. As a result, LGBT students are welcome to enroll in a range of study abroad programs in Denmark.
Canada continues to be one of the finest studies abroad options for gay students. Outside of Europe, Canada was the first country to allow same-sex marriage in 2005. Since then, the government has made significant progress in advancing LGBTQIA+ rights.
The British Commonwealth is now the safest location for LGBTQIA+ visitors, according to the LGBTQ+ Travel Safety Index. This is owing to Canada's excellent quality of life for LGBTQIA+ individuals, which is underpinned by legislative protections under the Canadian Human Rights Act, which was modified in 2017 to include gender identity rights alongside sexual orientation rights.
Throughout the year, Canada hosts a variety of LGBTQIA+ events. Towards the end of June, Toronto hosts a ten-day Pride Festival. The Fairy Tale Queer Film Festival takes place in Calgary throughout the month of May.
Canadian universities are also attempting to make college life more accessible for LGBTQIA+ students by providing LGBTQIA+ student resource centers, organizations, and peer support around the country. If you choose to study abroad in Canada, you are almost certain to feel a sense of connection and community.
The United Kingdom
On the LGBTQ+ Travel Safety Index, the United Kingdom, which is made up of four countries (England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland), is presently ranked #7. Since decriminalizing homosexuality in the 1960s, the United Kingdom has been building a more welcoming society for the LGBTQIA+ population.
The United Kingdom was just named one of Europe's top three LGBTQIA+-friendly countries. While Brighton, England is known as the LGBTQIA+ capital of the United Kingdom, LGBTQIA+-friendly cities can be found all around the country, from Glasgow to Bristol.
Universities in the United Kingdom are also seen as places of community and belonging. The University of Birmingham in England is widely considered one of the world's most LGBTQIA+-friendly institutions.
Cardiff University in Wales has a resource center for queer and genderqueer students and faculty. In Dublin, Ireland, the LGBTQIA+ student experience appears to be one of complete acceptance and tolerance. Furthermore, in 2021, Scotland became the first country in the world to incorporate LGBTQIA+ issues into the school curriculum.
Regardless of the country in the kingdom, you choose for your study abroad, you'll discover LGBTQIA+ student services and community.
Malta, a three-island Mediterranean archipelago, deserves greater attention as a top destination for LGBTQ+ students looking to study abroad since it is one of only five nations in the world with constitutional protections for LGBTQIA+ people. On the LGBTQ+ Travel Safety Index, Malta is presently ranked #4.
While older generations of Maltese may still harbor anti-LGBTQIA+ prejudices rooted in the country's history as one of Europe's most religious countries, it is widely reported that they would never act on those prejudices since the country outlawed insults and hostility toward LGBTQIA+ individuals and groups in 2004.
Spain is the ideal LGBTQ-friendly study location, with fantastic weather, amazing food, outstanding colleges, and diverse communities. In recent years, Spain has consistently ranked high on rankings of the world's most LGBTQ-friendly nations.
Spain has abandoned its conservative character and evolved toward a more liberal and tolerant society after the fall of the Fascist dictator, Francisco Franco. In 2005, same-sex marriage became legal, and the 2017 WorldPride event will take place in Madrid.
Spain is home to numerous world-renowned colleges that are progressive and passionate about offering a gender-inclusive and accepting atmosphere for queer students from all over the world and has established itself as one of the most popular LGBTQ-friendly study abroad destinations. In 2019, Spain ranked 11th in Europe for same-sex rights, with over 60% of people having full equality.
Where should you study abroad?
As a queer study abroad ally, we know how crucial it is to find the right program for you in a place that supports your identity. More significantly, as an LGBTQIA+ student, you must base your selection on your goals for your study abroad experience.
There are lots of possibilities for you whether you're seeking complete and absolute identity freedom in tiny and friendly areas like Malta, finally being accepted as the norm in Sweden, being a member of the LGBTQIA+ movement in Taiwan, or being a part of a dynamic Black LGBTQIA+ community in Brazil.
Whatever you choose, make sure you do your homework and find a location that allows your heart to sing and your personality to flourish.