As an LGBTQIA+ student, you likely have a lot of questions about how your identity will be received and impact your experience abroad. Questions like “What is the social attitude towards the LGBTQIA+ community in my study abroad location?” “How pride-friendly is my host university?” and “What are the laws and cultural norms regarding homosexuality and gender identity in my host country?” are all important to have answered as you prepare to go abroad.
Here are some of the key resources available through AIFS for members of the LGBTQIA+ community that you may want to keep in mind as you plan your study abroad experience.
The Student Resources and FAQ page of the AIFS website provides a lot of general information that is helpful as you begin planning your study abroad experience. With a tab specifically dedicated to LGBTQIA+ students, you will be able to find information on scholarships, LGBTQIA+ friendly countries, and important strategies for LGBTQIA+ students going abroad.
AIFS has an Ask Alumni Program that allows students to connect with alumni of similar backgrounds, social identities, and who studied abroad in the same program locations. Alumni in this program are willing to talk about their time abroad and will answer your questions from their own personal experiences. As a result, this is probably the best way to get specific information about your host country and what it is like being a student there.
You can utilize this resource using the email email@example.com and the AIFS staff will be able to connect you with former AIFS program participants that will be able to answer all of your questions. You can also create or log into your AIFS account to contact an alum directly.
AIFS Staff and Resident Directors
The AIFS Staff and Resident Directors in your host country are also great resources if you have questions or concerns prior to departure as well as during your time abroad. Once you are in-country, your Resident Director will be the best resource for providing you with support and guidance. Resident Directors are very familiar with your study abroad location and will be able to offer you advice, answer questions about the local culture, direct you to key resources in your host country, and provide you with any type of support or assistance that you may need while abroad.
It is also worth noting that there are many scholarships available specifically for LGBTQIA+ students. The AIFS Student Resources page has lots of information on a number of scholarships that are available to LGBTQIA+ students and how to apply for them. Additionally, over 50% of AIFS program participants receive financial support from AIFS in the form of scholarships or grants. Therefore, it is definitely worth checking out the Scholarships and Grants page of the AIFS website to find even more scholarships to apply to.