Students with disabilities increasingly participate in study abroad successfully. It is important to note that accessibility and cultural standards about body diversity vary by destination. The best way to ensure success on your program is to anticipate what accommodations and resources you might need while abroad.
Be sure to contact the Disabilities Resource office at your home university and the Education Abroad office to discuss your needs before traveling.
Some questions to ask before you travel
You might find it helpful to research the host culture's attitudes toward disabilities, both visible and invisible, to prepare yourself for your time abroad. Other aspects of the program you may need to consider include arrival, living accommodations, food, classes, transportation, etc.
Early planning improves the chances of securing the accommodations you need and more peace of mind before departure.
Some questions to consider:
- What kind of transportation and living arrangements might I need?
- How will I navigate the airport or other transportation networks?
- What resources are available to me in the host country if I need support?
- How difficult is it to meet my dietary or prescription needs in the host country?
- How are people with my disability or body type perceived in the host country?
- How can I prepare to meet these cultural challenges?
- How accessible will my housing/campus/environs be?
- Will program excursions and other extracurriculars require accommodations for me to participate?