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.
Things to Consider
Meet with your Academic Advisor to discuss the best time for you to study abroad.
Include your family in the planning process so they understand how study abroad can benefit your goals and interests. Encourage your family to review the Parents, Guardians & Mentors section of the TTU Study Abroad website for more information.
Talk to your TTU Study Abroad Counselor about which program(s) would best meet your needs.
Consider ways to make your international experience even more impactful. Think about incorporating an international internship, research project or service-learning into your international program. These unique opportunities will help you develop important contacts and skills for your future career.
Take ownership of the process! We understand the study abroad planning process will include many steps. Set yourself up for success by planning ahead. Be sure to keep track of application deadlines, funding opportunities, and program requirements.
TTU Campus Resources
TTU Office of LBTQIA: Student Union Building Room 201
How TTU Study Abroad Can Assist
In addition to advising first generation students of their study abroad and funding opportunities, the TTU Study Abroad staff members 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.
- Speak with students during advising appointments about how they can include family and loved ones in the study abroad planning process by sharing information about the myths and benefits of study abroad.
- 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.
Speak with a Study Abroad Counselor
Do you or your family have any concerns related to study abroad? Your Study Abroad Counselor can assist with your questions, like:
- Will my host family be accepting of my identity?
- Can I be connected with students and alumni with similar identities as me?
- What on-campus support and resources will I have access to overseas?
- How will study abroad help me reach my academic, personal and professional goals?
- Will my TTU financial aid and scholarships count towards my study abroad program?
- Are there specific safety issues for LGBTQ individuals in my host country?
- What impact can going abroad have on my future career path?
- What is the legality of same-sex sexual behavior?
- Is the program able to make special accommodations for students who request single rooms, private baths, or certain roommates?
- What are the norms and behavioral expectations of the LGBTQ community in my host country?