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5 of the most LGBTQ-friendly study abroad destinations

Since many countries have laws and regulations to protect all people (including the LGBTQ community), we want to encourage excellent education prospects where students can be open about how they identify without fear of hate and prejudice.

Several countries are taking enormous steps to ensure the formation of more LGBTQ-friendly work, study, and life-spaces. However, this is not the case globally. In many countries, there is still prevalent prejudice and misinformation. Too many LGBTQ students still face discrimination and bias at college and university. 

Thankfully, we have a list of LGBTQ-friendly study abroad destinations that welcome students of all orientations and backgrounds. Since many countries have laws and regulations to protect all people (including the LGBTQ community), we want to encourage excellent education prospects where students can be open about how they identify without fear of hate and prejudice. 

Many students start their university and college research while still studying for their under-graduation or finishing high school. While this is generally a good practice, many forget that they need to gather all their documents and paperwork simultaneously. This document list can be exhausting and requires more than just transcripts. To avoid having issues with paperwork, it is best to contact immigration lawyers in Croydon and get everything ready for the academic shift to another country. 

Here are five of the most LGBTQ-friendly study abroad destinations.

1. The Netherlands

The Netherlands has fabulously progressive laws in place for all communities, including LGBTQ+. The Netherlands was also one of the first countries (in 2001) to legalize same-sex marriages and is widely known as an excellent education hub for LGBTQ students. Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is filled with LGBTQ-friendly cafes, pubs, restaurants, and hotels. 

Amsterdam is also known for hosting the first Gay Youth Congress and Festival (in 1984), which eventually led to the start of the IGLYO (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Youth & Student Organisation). Amsterdam also hosts the Amsterdam Gay Pride festival, which celebrates the uniqueness of individuals of all orientations. The education system in the Netherlands is excellent, with several great globally recognized colleges and universities.

2. Canada

Canada is considered one of the most liberal and forward-thinking countries globally, with high levels of acceptance and tolerance. Canada is highly welcoming of LGBTQ communities and has been quite liberal with its policies and laws since the 18th century. Canada legalized same-sex marriages by passing national legislation in 2005 with a full complement of laws that protects the rights and interests of people belonging to the LGBTQ community. 

Canada has included their prominence and support of the LGBTQ community even in academia, with the University of Western Ontario hosting its first university-based queer resource centre. The Pride Library now hosts over 6000 resources – DVDs, videos, books, periodicals, magazines, posters, and paintings. Most Canadian universities also have LGBTQ community groups to foster pride and also offer special scholarships. 

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3. Spain

Spain is one of the best LGBTQ-forward study destinations abroad. Extremely welcoming of all communities, Spain has excellent weather, delicious food, diverse communities, and great universities to foster growth. Same-sex marriages were legalized in 2005, and Spain also hosted the World Pride event in 2017. 

Madrid and Barcelona, two of Spain’s largest cities, also have some of the country’s largest LGBTQ+ clubs, bars, stores, saunas, restaurants, and events. Many cities in Spain also have LGBTQ neighborhoods. The universities and colleges in Spain do not discriminate based on gender or orientation, and most believe in the equal quality of education. Some prominent universities supporting LGBTQ+ communities are the University of Valencia, the University of Barcelona, the University of Seville, and more. 

4. Denmark

Denmark is perhaps one of the forerunners in advocating and passing legislation for same-sex couples in 1989. The country established the National Association for Gays and Lesbians in 1948 and legalized same-sex marriages in 2012. There are many establishments in Denmark that safeguard the interests of the LGBTQ community, which makes this country a trendy international student destination. 

Copenhagen, the capital, has a city-wide variety of LGBTQ+ bars, cafes, restaurants, and nightclubs. Some of the LGBTQ-friendly universities in Denmark are Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen University, Roskilde University, Aarhus University, etc. These universities provide incredibly inclusive environments for students from all communities and make Denmark a preferred destination by many. 

5. Uruguay

Uruguay decriminalized homosexuality in 1934 and has since been making significant progress for LGBTQ acceptance. Uruguay legalized same-sex marriages in 2013 and is exceptionally welcoming of students wishing to study and settle down. It is a highly affordable option for many people, and with the progressive laws and acceptance, Uruguay is a great study abroad destination. 

Some LGBTQ-friendly universities are the University of the Republic, Catholic University of Uruguay, Autonomous University of the South, ORT Uruguay University, and more. 


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