CIS Abroad Allyship Training and Resources for LGBTQIA+ Students

CIS Abroad is committed to increasing knowledge about and access to education abroad for the LGBTQ+ student population. We are proud to offer LGBTQ+ Allyship Training for International Education Offices, a list of “Top LGBTQIA Friendly Programs,” as well as a Rainbow Scholarship. Learn more below!


LGBTQ+ Allyship Training

CIS Abroad has committed to ensuring all staff are LGBTQ+ allyship trained and to also offer the training to university partners at least once a year. In 2022, 263 higher education professionals completed the training. The training is offered in partnership with the UMass Amherst Stonewall Center, whose mission is to provide support, resources, programming, and advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, asexual (LGBTQIA) and allied students, staff, and faculty at UMass Amherst and for the larger Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts.

Studying abroad as an LGBTQIA+ or gender nonconforming student brings an additional set of challenges and options to consider. Students may have questions and want assistance in researching program locations before choosing a study abroad location. Being safe and comfortable is important to any study abroad student, and CIS Abroad wants to ensure students feel safe and are successful. We focus on the LGBTQIA+ student population in an effort to not only increase students’ knowledge about and access to education abroad, but to also better serve those students as Ally Advisors.

Register here to complete the training.

Note: After watching the recording, email Emily Negard at for your completion certificate

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Top LGBTQIA+ Friendly Programs

Studying abroad as an LGBTQIA+ or gender nonconforming student brings an additional set of challenges and options to consider. We sent an in-depth survey to our program partners, and combined with positive feedback from students, created the list of Top LGBTQIA+ Friendly Programs

Below are some sample survey questions:

  • Does the local community have resources for LGBTQIA+ students? 
  • Are there resources on campus for LGBTQIA+ students? 
  • Do you have staff or counselors with the ability to address and understand the needs of LGBTQIA+ students? 
  • Do you have any LGBTQIA+/ Women & Gender Studies course offerings?
  • Do you have a non-discrimination statement inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity?

Rainbow Scholarship

CIS Abroad offers a Rainbow Scholarship intended for students within the LGBTQIA+ community.  In 2022, 28 students applied for the Rainbow Scholarship. We awarded 3 for spring semester, 5 for summer, and 2 for fall. See what a recent scholarship recipient shared with us while applying:


Another recipient stated:


Students can apply for this (and our other scholarships) during the application process.


Learn how our programs offer students an experience they love - and learn from.