Gender & Sexual Orientation
The Study Abroad team encourages all students to consider building study abroad into their degree plan at Texas Tech University. We welcome students of all genders, gender expressions, and sexual orientations who meet TTU Study Abroad eligibility requirements to participate in our programs.
It is common for study abroad students to be viewed according to the gender expectations of the host culture, which can make students feel uncomfortable at times. This is true for men who may find themselves pressured to express their masculinity more or less assertively, and it is also true for women who may find themselves the targets of unwanted attention. Students who identify as transgender may find it particularly challenging to live in a host country where people are routinely classified within the gender binary model.
We recommend trying to learn about and understand gender norms within the context of the host culture. What may be considered appropriate and friendly behavior in the U.S. may be interpreted differently in another culture and create unwanted and preventable issues.
While we cannot guarantee that all of our program sites will be equally friendly toward different sexual orientation identities, we will do our best at informing you of your options. If you would like to discuss any aspect of the study abroad experience, whether it relates to your sexual orientation or otherwise, please contact TTU Study Abroad.
Consider applying for a Fund for Education Abroad Rainbow Scholarship for a deserving LGBTQ+ student who aims to participate in a high-quality, rigorous education abroad program.
To assist with what may be a challenging transition from your life in the U.S., our staff are committed to do the following:
- Share resources and information about LGBTQI+ issues abroad such as the U.S. Department of State’s LGBTI Travel Information, this article by a UC Berkeley alumna who identifies as an LGBT person, the International Lesbian and Gay Association website which offers a country-by-country world survey of the legal position of LGBTQ individuals, and this bibliography compiled by NAFSA’s Rainbow Special Interest Group which is a community of international education professionals who specialize in gender and sexual orientation issues.
- Include discussion in advising appointments and pre-departure orientation about gender, gender expression, and sexual orientation as they are understood in new cultural contexts.
- Encourage our program partners to keep information readily available about local LGBTQI+ support groups.
- Partner with institutions that are also committed to providing support, including CIEE (see their pamphlet, Identity: Sexual and Gender Expression Abroad, offering an overview of issues related to sexual orientation and gender expression) and IES Abroad (see their video in support of the It Gets Better campaign).
- Stay up-to-date with trainings offered by Texas Tech about Title IX compliance and trainings for LGBTQI+ allies.
More useful resources will be posted to this webpage soon. Until then, please feel welcome to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.