Study Abroad

Study Abroad Planning for Students With Disabilities

Thinking about studying abroad?  Students with disabilities can and do take part in study abroad experiences; however, it takes a little extra planning to make sure that everything goes smoothly.

Students with disabilities who require accommodation should work closely with the Study Abroad staff and the office of Disabilities Services in order to ensure that the program they choose can provide the accommodations they require.  Students with disabilities are encouraged to research the programs they are considering carefully in order to determine which ones can potentially meet their needs and interests; identifying several programs that may be a good fit is a good idea, since different programs will have different policies and perspectives about including students with disabilities and making accommodations for them.

In researching programs, consider the following questions:

1. What accommodations do I anticipate that I will need on a study abroad experience?
2. Do I have special housing or dietary needs?  How will these be met?
3. Do I need classroom accommodations, such as extended time on tests or note takers?  Is the program I am considering equipped to provide these for me?
4. Do I need specialized equipment in order to access the curriculum of the program?  Will my current equipment work abroad? 
5. Are there physical accessibility issues that need to be worked out?  How likely is it that I will be able to participate in the group activities of this program?
6. How physically demanding will this program be?  What if I can’t meet the demands of this program?
7. If you use a service animal, investigate the policies of the host country regarding the allowance of service animals into the country.  Will the host country make allowances for service animals?
8. Do I take medications that are illegal in my host country? 
9. How accessible will the transportation into and around my host country be?

Careful planning and the identification of programs that can meet both your needs and your interests will be the key to making your study abroad experience a successful one.   

More information on Study Abroad and Students With Disabilities can be found on the Elon Study Abroad Policies  and the Preparing Yourself pages.