Queering Study Abroad: Web-Based Outreach to LGBTQ+ University Students by Study Abroad Programs


  • Erin Hipple West Chester University of Pennsylvania
  • Dani Soltis West Chester University of Pennsylvania
  • Lauri Hyers West Chester University of Pennsylvania https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0541-8978




Study abroad, LGBTQ, Queer theory, Diversity outreach, Higher education, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, International studies


Effective outreach to queer/LGBTQ+ students is an important part of higher educational efforts to encourage their participation in study abroad opportunities. To explore the prevalence and nature of online outreach to queer students, we quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed the study abroad program webpages of 38 higher educational institutions with distinguished reputations in international studies. Outreach to queer status was one of the most common types, along with outreach to ethnicity and disability status. Queer outreach varied as a function of institution type, occurring twice as often by public than by private universities, and seven times as often by secular than by religiously-affiliated universities. Using thematic analysis, we found that a majority of queer outreach content was generated by organizations external to the study abroad office, and in-house generated content was a combination of cautionary and inviting. We discuss ways to improve study abroad outreach to queer students in higher education.*

*Note: The originally published version of this article was missing Tables 1 and 2 and author biographies. A corrected version was uploaded on May 6, 2020. If you read the article prior to that date, we encourage you to revisit it.


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Author Biographies

Erin Hipple, West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Erin Hipple, M.S.W., M.A.. LCSW is an educator, activist, and therapist specializing in the treatment of trauma and working with youth and LGBTQ+ client populations. Erin’s research, teaching, and activism focus on deconstructing structural systems of power to foster social change and promote socioeconomic, racial, and gender equity and are informed by critical theory, intersectionality, and liberation-based frameworks.

Dani Soltis, West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Dani Soltis, MA. MEd. is a psychologist-in-training who specializes in structural and internalized stress alongside means of coping and resilience for those with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and relationship configurations. They work to dismantle systems of power through advocacy, research, and valued action.

Lauri Hyers, West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Lauri Hyers is a Social Psychologist in the Psychology Department of West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Her teaching expertise and published scholarship focus on diversity and social justice. She conducts primarily qualitative visual and narrative research.


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How to Cite

Hipple, E., Soltis, D., & Hyers, L. (2020). Queering Study Abroad: Web-Based Outreach to LGBTQ+ University Students by Study Abroad Programs. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 32(2), 175–186. https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v32i2.473