Study Abroad for Students With Physical Limitations or Disabilities
Students with disabilities are underrepresented in study abroad programs throughout the U.S. Traveling can be difficult for those with living with a disability, but there are resources available to aid students who wish to explore the world regardless of physical, cognitive, or mental health challenges. With the proper research, preparation and care, every student can have the opportunity to expand their education on an international level.
If you're seeking accommodations for your study abroad experience, please contact the Office of Accessibility Services.
The Student Experience
In order to prepare best for your experience while taking into account your identity, it is recommended reading and learning from other student’s experience studying abroad. It is important to do further research on your country and search for resources that can be beneficial for you. You can look for facebook groups that help you develop a network and ask questions or websites that are dedicated to educating individuals about your experience. Below are a couple more examples of other student’s experiences and other resources.
Blogs & Articles
- Studying business and politics in Norway and France, Kathryn Carroll shares in an interview her experiences from using a scanner to access her studies to working with her professors on her needs to her long lasting friendships.
- Preparing to go abroad is stressful. Adding constant trips to the doctor and online shopping trips for things needed, Allie had a journey before she even began her program. Read her post as she seeks to share her experience with you!
- Ron has traveled to many countries and continues to learn more about himself. In this one on one interview, you get to know more about Ron and what he enjoyed. He provides recommendations such as watching videos of where you will go to get a feel of what you will need to do when you arrive! Hopefully after this video you will feel more encouraged to travel like he hopes!
- This podcast, a transcript included on the page, dives into a story about a student studying language in Germany. Stacy Mayfield has cerebral palsy which she never saw as a big deal until she signed up for an overseas exchange. Listen or read her story to learn about how she dedicated the next 20 years of her life connecting with others through language to helping others express themselves.
- Mobility International USA (MIUSA) provides resources, tips and advice, information on laws in international contexts, and support to students of various ability impairments seeking to study abroad.
- To research disability laws by country, visit the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund's page about international laws.
- The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) also has a page listing national and regional strategic plans on disability.
- The CDC has a webpage devoted to travelling with disabilities, where they address accommodations, preparation and service animals.
- The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) page for travelers with disabilities is designed to make their support options clear and accessible. Becoming familiar with the expectations of airport security personnel can streamline and simplify the boarding process.
Scholarships are a great way to help finance an experience abroad. To explore information about scholarships specifically offered to students with disabilities, and for general scholarship information, you can visit our Scholarship Page.