Study Abroad/Traveling Information for Students with Disabilities
Download the Study/Travel information for Students with Disabilities brochure
Students with disabilities can and do study abroad! If you have a disability (learning disability, a visual impairment, etc.) please inform the Office of Study Abroad as soon as possible. It is important to keep in mind that many foreign countries do not have the same accessibility laws as in the United States. Therefore it is imperative that you inform the study abroad office of your needs and/or concerns so that they can be of assistance, if necessary.
Plan ahead! Your active role in disclosing your disability-related needs far in advance will be key to your success. Disclose your disability-related request as far in advance as possible to the Office of Study Abroad and the Accessibility Coordinator. Some staff members at sites abroad indicate that they may be able to arrange for accommodations that are not already in place, but only with sufficient advance notice. Even if you don't think that you'll need accommodations, it is always best to discuss your study abroad plans with the Accessibility Coordinator, since conveniences in the U.S. may not be available or accessible in other countries. The Accessibility Coordinator and Office of Study Abroad Staff member may be able to help you prepare and plan accordingly.
Remember that other cultures may provide disability access in a different way--learn about what types of accommodation are typically provided in your host country, and be flexible and open to different ways of accommodating your disability. Before you go, find out as much as you can about your host culture and how they view disability by reading, talking to other students, and attending pre-departure orientation sessions. The more you know, the better prepared you will be for the interaction between your disability and the new environment.
If special accommodations for a physical disability or learning disability are needed, it is very important to inform the study abroad office in a timely manner as it may take a considerable amount of time to arrange.
For more information, including helpful links, articles, and resources for any travel abroad with a disability, please see:
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303 East Kearsley Street
Flint, MI 48502