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Identity and Diversity

When considering travel to any country, travelers may want to consider aspects of their identity and how these may be perceived and treated in the local culture. We encourage travelers to do some research into social norms, cultural mores, and local practices before departure. Travelers will want to participate as much as possible in the host culture and should be prepared for the experience, which can be both personally challenging and rewarding.

Northwestern University’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center has partnered a variety of units on campus, including the Office of Global Safety and Security (OGSS), to raise awareness of, and improve the resources for, LGBTQ travelers.

The following links will direct travelers to information and resources on the Northwestern University Study Abroad Guide, intended for an audience of undergraduate study abroad travelers. However, this information can still be useful for all students, faculty, and staff traveling at any age and stage of identity development.

  • Disability abroad
    Those with disabilities can and should travel abroad. Learn more about accessibility considerations and travel outside the United States.
  • Gender abroad
    Travelers of all genders may encounter stereotypes and different standards for socially acceptable behaviors and gender roles. Find strategies for staying safe and comfortable abroad.
  • LGBTQ travelers abroad
    If you identify as LGBT or Q and plan to travel abroad, find ways to prepare yourself for a different culture and its ideas about gender and sexual identity.
  • Race and ethnicity abroad
    It’s important to reflect on how your racial or ethnic identity will be perceived abroad, as well as to gain an understanding of any ethnic or racial conflicts that exist in your destination’s culture. Find information about racial and ethnic considerations abroad.
  • Socioeconomic status abroad
    Travelers with varying levels of financial need can and do travel internationally. Find ways to balance your goals for traveling abroad with your financial situation.