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I am a member of a marginalized group.


We are so happy you’re considering Samford Abroad! These recommendations are for students who fall into groups (Faith-based, LGBTQI+, Women, Travelers with Disabilities) that may be considered marginalized in the countries to which they travel. Information below is taken from the U.S. Department of State's Travelers with Special Considerations page. Please consult that link for more resources.

LGBTQI+ travelers, here are some pointers for staying safe while abroad:
  • Remember you are subject to the laws of the country where you travel. In many countries, consensual same-sex sexual activity, public gathering, or dissemination of pro-LGBTQI+ material—among other things relating to sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, and sex characteristics—may be illegal. Read the country information for your destination for more details.
  • Be cautious of potentially risky situations.
  • Watch out for entrapment campaigns. Police in some countries monitor websites, mobile apps, or meeting places, so be cautious connecting with the local community.
  • Be wary of new-found “friends.” Criminals may target or attempt to extort LGBTQI+ foreigners.
  • Some resorts or LGBTQI+ neighborhoods can be quite segregated. Be aware attitudes in surrounding areas can be much less accepting.
If You Need Help, Contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Faith-based travelers, here are some pointers for staying safe while abroad:
Remember, you are subject to the laws and the justice system of the countries you are visiting.
Many countries have laws that restrict religious expression. These may include restrictions on:
  • public or private prayer or other religious practices
  • wearing religious attire or symbols
  • preaching in a private or public setting
  • speaking to others about your beliefs
  • possessing religious images
  • criticizing or questioning the religious beliefs of others
  • visiting certain religious sites if you are female
  • possessing printed religious materials
  • distributing religious literature; and
  • participating in religious services or activities. 
These laws may be applied more or less severely to foreign visitors, so be sure to research the local laws and customs of your destination country.
When possible, coordinate with members of the faith community in your destination country, to make sure planned activities are culturally and legally appropriate.
If you run into problems while overseas, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Women travelers, here are some pointers for staying safe while abroad:
  • Research your destination. When it comes to health and security, women travelers are more likely to be affected by religious and cultural beliefs of the foreign countries they visit. Consult the U.S. Department of State’s official website, Travel.State.Gov, where you will find Country Information for every country of the world and contact information for the closest U.S. embassy and/or consulate. You will also find information about visa requirements, safety and security conditions, crime, health and medical considerations, local laws, areas to avoid, and more. Most foreign countries require a valid passport to enter and leave. Some countries may require a woman to have a male escort to leave a country.
  • Pack Accordingly. Each country that you visit will have different local laws and customs about women’s clothing and appearance. For example, what you wear in a mall in Mexico might not be acceptable in a mall in the United Arab Emirates.
  • Be Aware of Your Surroundings. Women travelers should understand the cultural norms of the country they will be visiting. Pay attention to local laws and customs because they can be quite different from the United States, especially if you intend to travel alone. Avoid dark, isolated areas at night. 
  • The safety of public transportation varies from country to country. In many places, informal taxis or mini-buses pose particular threats to people unfamiliar with the local conditions, especially to women traveling alone. Find out from reliable sources, such as local authorities or tourism officials, what is and is not safe.
  • Create Boundaries. Be cautious when sharing information about your plans and itinerary with strangers. Don’t feel the need to be overly polite if you are bothered by someone. While it may seem rude to be unfriendly to a stranger, creating boundaries to protect yourself is important. Use facial expressions, body language, and a firm voice to fend off any unwanted attention.
Travelers with Disabilities
  • Each country has its own laws regarding accessibility for, or discrimination against, persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disabilities. Before you travel, visit travel.state.gov/destination and enter the name of a country or area to find information for travelers with disabilities in the Local Laws & Special Circumstances section. Unlike the United States, enforcement of accessibility and other laws relating to persons with disabilities is inconsistent.