LGBT Europe: Support and socialising for students

By international standards, many countries in Europe are welcoming, friendly places for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

Find out about support and socialising for LGBT students, on- and off-campus.

LGBT rights across Europe

Many European countries are welcoming places for LGBT people, compared to other regions of the world.

Same-sex sexual activity is legal in all of the 33 European countries represented by this website.

Many European countries are at the forefront of the fight for full equality, and come at the top of global rankings for LGBT human rights, policies and attitudes.

However, there are differences from one country to another. If you want to see how each country compares, have a look at the Rainbow website. This site, prepared by ILGA-Europe, ranks each country according to a wide range of indicators; from equality, family issues and hate speech to legal gender recognition, freedom of expression and asylum rights. As well as the Rainbow ranking table, you can also read detailed reports on each individual country.

Support on-campus

Most universities and colleges in Europe have LGBT student societies offering friendship and support. They may also hold social events - such as film nights, parties or trips to discover local towns and attractions. Joining is a great way to make new friends.

Need some advice? Most campuses have staff dedicated to the welfare of their students – ask if you need guidance or support.

Socialising off-campus

Off campus, you will find LGBT social groups in most European countries. In large towns and cities you are likely to gay and lesbian cafes and bars too. In smaller towns, ask students or campus staff if they know of any LGBT social groups in the area.

Fancy a party? Pride festivals are huge celebrations for the LGBT community –  a chance to celebrate equality rights, stand against discrimination. Each year, there are hundreds of Pride events across Europe. Check out the Pride event calendar here.

Get involved in LGBT organisations

IGLYO is the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Youth and Student Organisation and is a network across Europe working with over 95 LGBTQI youth and student organisations.

They work to:

  • Organise events and activities such as study sessions, training seminars, workshops and conferences
  • Develop the skills and knowledge of young people and students to empower them and provide leadership opportunities
  • Advocate for LGBTQ youth rights at European level and produce a range of resources, toolkits and research for its members

More details can be found on the IGLYO website and on the Facebook page.

The EMA LGBT Network is for students and alumni of Erasmus Mundus Master and Doctoral Programmes who are concerned about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues. The network is oriented towards promoting human rights and tackling discrimination, both within and outside the EMA community.

Amongst other things, the EMA LGBT Network works to:

  • Organise events to promote networking, social interactions and discussion on LGBT issue
  • Provide a discussion platform for LGBT Erasmus Mundus students and alumni and heterosexual supporter
  • Connect LGBT Erasmus Mundus alumni and current students for mentoring and professional developmen
  • Network with other LGBT groups around the globe and working together for a common cause


Find out more on the EMA LGBT website or join the Facebook group.