College students in the U.S. are increasingly participating in study abroad opportunities; for example, from the 2010-2011 academic year, 273,996 U.S. students studied abroad, an increase of 1.3% from the previous year (Institute of International Education, 2012). Participation in study abroad has more than tripled over the past two decades (Institute of International Education, 2012) and, over the past 15 years, there has been growth in the number of study abroad locations available to college students (Landau & Moore, 2001). Several authors have demonstrated the significant benefits college students glean from studying abroad; for example, students who study abroad can add the experience to their résumé, which allows them to become more competitive in an increasingly global job market (LaFranchi, 2003). No matter where students study abroad or how long they study abroad, students benefit from increased knowledge of their own cultural values and biases as well as a desire to further their education after college (McMillan & Opem, 2002). There is much research written about the benefits of study abroad as well as the gaps in study abroad participation with particular student populations; however, there is little research completed on LGBTQQ students and study abroad. The results of this analysis suggest that bisexual, gay or lesbian, questioning, self identified queer, transgender, and gender queer students were not significantly less likely to study or travel abroad in the four areas measured; instead, evidence from this sample suggests that these students may be more likely on average to participate in specific study or travel abroad experiences compared to their peers. Compared to their peers, bisexual and gay or lesbian students were significantly more likely to study abroad with their home campus or with another university; questioning, transgender, and self-identified queer students were more likely to travel abroad for service, volunteer, or work experiences; and bisexual, questioning, and self-identified queer students were more likely to travel abroad for cross-cultural or informal educational experiences. Amid these encouraging findings, the authors have recommendations for practitioners working to make the experiences of LGBTQQ students studying abroad better.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad|
|State||Published - Jan 2015|