Lgbtq and study abroad
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LGBTQ and Study Abroad. Your Journey Begins Here. Presented by: The LGBT Resource Center and The Study Abroad Office. Outline. Reasons to Study Abroad General Information Common Concerns Reasons for LGBTQ Students to Study Abroad Issues to Consider as an LGBTQ Student Studying Abroad

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Lgbtq and study abroad

LGBTQ and Study Abroad

Your Journey Begins Here

Presented by:

The LGBT Resource Center and The Study Abroad Office


Outline

Outline

Reasons to Study Abroad

General Information

Common Concerns

Reasons for LGBTQ Students to Study Abroad

Issues to Consider as an LGBTQ Student Studying Abroad

Tips for Studying Abroad

Next Steps

Questions/ Wrap-Up!


Reasons to study abroad

Reasons to Study Abroad

  • It enhances your degree

  • Learn about a new culture first-hand

  • Make international friends and contacts

  • Learn marketable and desirable job skills

  • Expand your world view

  • Earn NIU credit

  • Gives you the opportunity to travel

  • It’s FUN!


How does study abroad enhance your degree

How Does Study Abroad Enhance Your Degree?

  • Develop skills and give you experiences a classroom setting could never provide.

  • Gives you the opportunity to take classes that you may not have the option of taking on your home campus.

  • Helps you develop language skills.

  • Gives you access to new information, new technology, and diverse perspectives.

  • Study abroad enhances your academic experience because you live what you are learning.


General information when where can i go who can go

General Information: When/Where Can I Go? Who Can Go?

When/Where

Who

  • Anytime! We have programs ranging from 2 weeks- a full academic year.

    • Winter, Spring, and Summer Break

    • Fall or Spring Semester

    • Depends on if you go on a NIU Faculty-Led Program or a Cosponsored Program.

  • We have programs in 80 different countries!

    • If for some reason we don’t have a program in a country that you would like to go, you are always welcome to petition for it!

  • You must have at least Sophomore standing

  • Transfer students must have two semesters at NIU

  • GPA Requirements

    • Still apply even if you are a little bit under


General information how do i choose a program

General Information: How Do I Choose a Program?

  • You can choose by:

    • Country

    • Duration

    • Major

    • “Just for Fun” Classes

    • Price


Common concerns

Common Concerns

There are many concerns that students have about studying abroad. We are here to ease your mind about anything you may be worried about.

  • How will I afford it?

    • There are many financial resources available, including scholarships, grants, loans, etc.

    • Pam Rosenberg: 753-9530 or [email protected]

    • Pam sends your budget to Financial Aid

  • Won’t it put off my graduation?

    • Not if you plan well in advance! In fact, it can put you ahead!

  • Do I have to learn a foreign language?

    • Not necessarily, there are many programs that do not have a language requirement.

  • What if the credit doesn’t transfer and I end up wasting my time and money?

    • We won’t let you leave until you have found a course equivalency that WILL transfer.


Reasons for lgbtq students to study abroad

Reasons for LGBTQ Students to Study Abroad

  • Understand sexuality in different cultural contexts

  • Gain perspective on your identities

  • Learn to be more conscious of your sexuality

  • Connect with different social movements fighting for sexual rights

  • Challenge the language of LGBTQ

  • Dispel stereotypes (both others’ and your own) about sexual minorities

  • View sexuality in the United States from different perspectives

  • Bring together different identities and interests for future activities

http://apps.carleton.edu/curricular/ocs/diversity/LGBT/10_reasons/


Issues to consider as an lgbtq student studying abroad

Issues to Consider as an LGBTQ Student Studying Abroad

There are some additional issues that LGBTQ students have to consider before traveling abroad.

  • Safety

  • Health

  • Cultural Norms Regarding Dating & Friendship

  • Isolation

  • Special Accommodations

  • Coming Out While Abroad


Safety

Safety

In order to remain safe overseas, many issues need to be considered, including laws of the host country regarding homosexuality.

Homosexuality is illegal in many countries, and is punishable by death in some. Consider if you are willing to hide your sexual identity if necessary.

http://www.indiana.edu/~overseas/lesbigay/nafsa_2001_presen.htm


Safety laws and attitudes regarding homosexuality overseas

Safety: Laws and Attitudes Regarding Homosexuality Overseas

Laws

  • “Public Decency” or “Public Indecency” Laws

  • Age of Consent Laws

  • Documentation Laws

(http://www.ithaca.edu/sacl/lgbt/docs/abr.pdf)


Safety contd

Safety Contd.

Attitudes

  • What is the local police attitude towards American tourists or the LGBTQ community?

  • What are the locals’ attitudes towards American tourists or homosexuality?

  • What is the cultural norm for what is considered typical male or female behavior?

  • What are the cultural norms and behavioral expectations for the LGBTQ community?

(http://www.ithaca.edu/sacl/lgbt/docs/abr.pdf)


Safety what to do if you have a problem

Safety: What to do if You Have a Problem

  • If you are threatened or attacked for being an LGBTQ individual, immediately contact:

    • U.S. Embassy

    • Director of Your Study Abroad Program

    • Local Police

  • If you face prosecution due to the criminalization of a homosexual act, immediately contact the U.S. Embassy in that country.

http://internationalspectrum.umich.edu/abroad/sa


Health

Health

Health care awareness of LGBTQ needs varies by country. If you are studying in a country that discriminates against or is less aware of LGBTQ needs, be prepared to advocate for yourself.

http://internationalspectrum.umich.edu/abroad/health


Health contd

Health Contd.

Sexual Health

Mental Health

  • Learn about what resources are available in your host country to practice safer sex.

  • Do not neglect your sexual health while abroad! Continue safe sex practices!

  • If you are travelling to a country in which you feel the need to hide your sexual identity due to safety issues, you may experience some distress. Be mindful of your stress level and research any mental health resources available to you.

http://internationalspectrum.umich.edu/abroad/health


Cultural norms regarding dating and friendship

Cultural Norms Regarding Dating and Friendship

Remember that cultures vary in terms of what is deemed appropriate public behavior and what actions are considered homosexual.

Expressions of friendship, such as smiling, or eye contact, can mean very different things in different parts of the world. This can create confusion or uncertainty in relationships.

http://www.indiana.edu/~overseas/lesbigay/nafsa_2001_presen.htm


Cultural norms contd

Cultural Norms Contd.

  • For example, in some Middle Eastern countries, hand-holding among males is considered a sign of friendship and respect, not homosexuality.

http://www.indiana.edu/~overseas/lesbigay/nafsa_2001_presen.htm


Isolation overseas

Isolation Overseas

  • Be aware that once you are abroad, you may be faced with feelings of isolation as an LGBTQ individual. You may have to adjust to a different set of cultural norms regarding sexual identity, including those that are not accepting of homosexuality.


Isolation overseas things to consider

Isolation Overseas: Things to Consider

  • Will there be LGBTQ friendly establishments, media, or support resources in your host country?

  • In some countries there may be a very limited amount of LGBTQ culture, which may make you feel isolated.

  • Keeping in touch with your support network at home or reaching out to other LGBTQ students can help.


Special accommodations

Special Accommodations

Find out if your program is willing to make special accommodations for students who request private rooms, private bathrooms, or certain roommates.


Coming out while abroad

Coming Out While Abroad

Coming out while overseas is a personal choice. If you feel comfortable and safe enough to do so, that’s great. If not, that is ok too! Do not feel like you have to “out” yourself.


Coming out while abroad1

Coming Out While Abroad

Studying abroad can be an incredibly freeing experience. It can lead some people to open up for the first time in their lives. If you decide to come out for the first time while abroad, there are a few things you should consider about your return home.

  • How will your friends and family react?

  • Will you be able to find a support community at home?

  • Be aware of how you may have changed from studying abroad and/or coming out.

  • Friends and family may dismiss your coming out as an outcome of studying abroad and not as a lifelong sexual identity.

http://studyabroad.isp.msu.edu/forms/glbt.html#_top


Tips for studying abroad

Tips for Studying Abroad

So you have decided to study abroad! Here are some useful tips to help get you through the process!


Tips contd

Tips Contd.

  • Safety First

    • Familiarize yourself with local laws, customs, and attitudes concerning homosexuality.

    • Be prepared to conceal your sexuality if necessary for your safety. 

  • Get to Know Your Destination

    • Research if there are any local LGBTQ support resources, organizations, meeting places, or LGBT friendly restaurants, bars, etc.

  • Research the Local Language

    • Find out if talking about sexuality is taboo in your host country.

    • To avoid confusion, learn the local terms and definitions used to discuss LGBT issues in your host country.

  • Don’t be Lulled into a False Sense of Security

    • Understand that some criminals target the generally open and relaxed “gay” neighborhoods. Do not carry large amounts of cash and never leave your belongings unattended.

http://www.ithaca.edu/sacl/lgbt/docs/abr.pdf


Next steps

Next Steps!

Schedule a Next Steps to Study Abroad meeting with Jill (Cosponsored) or Katie (NIU Administered)

Choose a program

Get application materials

Meet with the International Programs Business Manager (Pam) for information on loans and financial aid


On campus resources

On Campus Resources

  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center

    • Holmes Student Center, 7th Floor

      Northern Illinois University

      DeKalb, IL 60115

    • 815-753-LGBT (5428)

    • [email protected]

  • Study Abroad Office

    • Williston Hall 417

      Northern Illinois University

      DeKalb, IL 60115

    • 815-753-0700

    • [email protected]

  • Counseling & Student Development Center

    • Campus Life Building 200

      Northern Illinois University

      DeKalb, IL 60115

    • 815-753-1206


Questions wrap up

Questions/ Wrap Up!


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