Preparing to Study Abroad
The choice of a study abroad program is an important one. Students with disabilities should be informed about accessibility & accommodations before making a final decision of where to go. Remember that other cultures may provide disability access in a different way. Students should learn about what types of accommodation are typically provided in the host country, and should be flexible and open to different ways of accommodating potential needs. It is best to discuss plans early on with advisors at the Disability Center so assistance with program selection can be provided.
While Living & Studying Abroad
Students should remember that the most important quality for any study abroad participant is flexibility. Students are going abroad to experience a different way of life, which may include a different way of dealing with special needs and a different degree of independence than a student may be used to. It will be important to communicate needs with program staff, but it is equally important to consider alternative ways to meet those needs. In preparation, students should think about how they will answer questions about their disability in the language of your host country--look up key vocabulary words ahead of time. How does this culture define disability access and how are people with disabilities integrated within the society?
Bringing the Experience Home
Preparing for the return home is as important as preparing for departure. Students should think about what they have gained from this experience. What have you learned while abroad and how will you use the experience later on? Did study abroad allow you to pursue new research or have an internship? Compare these to the pre-departure goals. Are you interested in sharing your experience with others? Before returning to the US it is helpful to consider how changes in self-identity may affect relationships with family and friends back home.
UK Disability Resource Center
725 Rose Street, Suite 407
Mobility International USA
Offers extensive financial aid information specifiÂcally available for people with disabilities to study abroad.
Rotary International strongly encourages students with disabilities to apply for their