The University of Iowa

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Identity Abroad

In addition to the assistance that a study abroad advisor can provide, you can find several student reflections and staff perspectives from members of the University of Iowa community who have agreed to share their experiences in hopes that you might benefit from what they learned on their journeys abroad. 

Student and Staff Reflections

Student Reflection on Identity Abroad: Watch and Be Watched

Every time I go to downtown, getting in and out of underground metro stations, I know this is Paris. Paris was once a name of romance in my mind. I got that stereotype from movies, music, and fashion, like everybody else. However, the opportunity of studying abroad here gave me the chance to learn about Paris. In Marais, the downtown district consisted of Center Pompidou, numerous gay and lesbian bars and boutiques, I saw individuals, who wear their own hair, their own clothing, especially females. Young girls, a black woman with a huge hat and a colorful long tight dress, madams with gray hair but exquisite make-ups. I would follow them and I can’t move my eyes off from them. I feel touched.
Diversity Ambassador Nadia Loeppke

Diversity Ambassador: Nadia Loeppke

Congrats! If you’re reading this, it means you’ve been thinking about going abroad with the University of Iowa. I know the decision is sometimes a difficult one, especially when you fall into an under represented group in study abroad, such as identifying as LGBTQ+ . I urge you to explore your options, however. Taking your academic experience abroad can be a great way to learn more about yourself, another culture and country, and widen your perspective on the world.

University of Iowa Resources

The local resources links below are relevant for LGBTQ students on the UI campus. The national and international resources links include organizations, articles, success stories and tips for LGBTQ students preparing to go abroad.

Office of Student Life Cultural Centers

Includes information about the University of Iowa Cultural Centers: Afro-American Center, Asian Pacific American Center, Latino Native American Center and LGBTQ Center.

Center for Diversity and Enrichment

The University of Iowa's center for students who are underrepresented in higher education offers a variety of services and resources.

Pride Alliance Center

The Pride Alliance Center provides a welcoming home-away-from-home dedicated to social justice, cross-cultural education, safety, and inclusivity. 

Spectrum UI

Spectrum UI (formerly called the University of Iowa Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Allied Union) is more than 30 years old, making it one of the oldest campus LGBTQ organizations in the US. In fact,  it is the oldest state university LGBTQ organization that has been continuously funding and recognized in the U.S.

National and International Resources

U.S. Department of State

Advice, information, and additional resources that address international LGBTQ issues. Country-specific profile pages on this website include a "Local Laws and Special Considerations" section that frequently details safety considerations specific to LGBTQ travelers.

NAFSA Rainbow Special Interest Group

Includes general information about study abroad, country and region specific links, articles, study abroad programs, and scholarship opportunities

International Lesbian and Gay Association

A worldwide federation of 1,200 member organizations from 125 countries campaigning for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights.