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College Students’ Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Participation in Study Abroad

  • Bryant K
  • Soria K
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In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of students studying abroad; however, researchers have discovered that some student populations are not as likely to study abroad, including students with disabilities, multicultural students, and low-income students. Amid these growing bodies of literature that highlight disparities between students’ participation in study abroad, research fails to address whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning or queer students (LGBTQQ) study abroad at lower rates than their peers given that some cultures are not accepting of students’ sexual orientation or transgender identities. This lack of research is troubling because LGBTQQ students face challenges many of their peers do not normally have to confront in higher education.  The purpose of this study, then, is to fill this gap in research by answering the following question: are LGBTQQ students significantly less likely to study abroad compared to their peers?  Utilizing student data from the multi-institutional Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) survey, the results of this study suggest that LGBTQQ students are significantly more likely than heterosexual and cisgender students to participate in study abroad opportunities in several areas




Bryant, K. M., & Soria, K. M. (2015). College Students’ Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Participation in Study Abroad. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 25(1), 91–106.

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