About Us

The Rainbow Special Interest Group (SIG) is comprised of diverse members of NAFSA whose goals are to counsel international students and study abroad students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ+); to support LGBTQ+ professionals in international education; and to combat homophobia, heterosexism, and transphobia within NAFSA. Opinions stated on these pages are those of the authors. No assumptions about an individual’s sexual orientation should be made from their¬†participation in the Rainbow SIG.


The mission of the Rainbow SIG is to bring together NAFSAns who share the following goals:

  • Educating and advising LGBTQ+ international and study abroad students and those who might be questioning these aspects of themselves
  • Providing a supportive network for LGBTQ+ professionals in international education including mentoring new professionals
  • Challenging homophobia, heterosexism, and transphobia within NAFSA and the field of international education through educational outreach


The Rainbow SIG provides a variety of services and resources:

  • Website with past newsletter articles and LGBTQ+ resources
  • Email referrals and advising resources
  • Listserv
  • Bi-annual SIGnals Newsletter
  • Fundraising for Rainbow Scholarship
  • Sessions¬†at NAFSA regional and annual conferences
  • Network of professionals for advice on LGBTQ+ issues in the field
  • Annual Business Meeting held during the NAFSA Annual Conference
  • Annual Reception held during the NAFSA Annual Conference