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Studying Abroad with a Disability: How to Find Support and Accessible Resources

Preparing yourself
Study Abroad
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Studying abroad is for everyone. Anyone who wants to seek out personal and academic growth and experience first-hand studying abroad can. While studying abroad may present unique challenges for students with disabilities, it’s absolutely achievable.


With proper planning and research, studying abroad with a disability can be a rewarding and enriching experience.  It’s not impossible to make the most of your study abroad experience and achieve your academic and personal goals. So let’s discuss some of the ways you can find support and accessible resources when studying abroad.


All you need to know about studying abroad with a disability:

Do Your Research

Before you begin planning your study abroad experience, it is important to do your research. Look for programs and universities that have experience accommodating students with disabilities. Many study abroad programs have a designated disability services office that can provide support and resources for students with disabilities. Make sure to contact the program or university directly to ask about their accessibility resources and accommodations.


Additionally, research the country you will be studying in. Different countries may have different laws and cultural attitudes toward disabilities, which can impact the accessibility of accommodations and resources. It is also important to research any laws or regulations that may impact your ability to bring medical equipment or medication into the country.


Plan Ahead

Once you have chosen a program or university, start planning ahead for your study abroad experience. Reach out to the disability services office at your home institution and to discuss any accommodations or support you may need. This can include things like accessible housing, transportation, and classroom accommodations such as note-taking or extended time on exams.


You should also plan ahead for any medical needs you may have while abroad. Make sure to bring enough medication for your entire trip and any necessary medical equipment, such as a wheelchair or hearing aid. If you require a personal assistant or service animal, make sure to research the laws and regulations for bringing them into the country.


Advocate for Yourself

Studying abroad with a disability can be challenging, but advocating for yourself and your needs is important. If you encounter any barriers or issues, speak up and let your program or university know. They may be able to provide additional support or accommodations to help you succeed.


It is also important to proactively seek accessible resources and accommodations. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need, whether it’s an accessible dorm room or a sign language interpreter. By advocating for yourself, you can ensure that your study abroad experience is as accessible and rewarding as possible.


Stay Connected

Finally, studying abroad can be a lonely experience, but staying connected with your support network is important. This can include family, friends, and any disability support groups you may be a part of. Make sure to discuss your study abroad plans with them and keep them updated throughout your trip.


If you encounter any issues or need additional support, they are there to help. It is also a good idea to connect with other students with disabilities who have studied abroad in the same country or program. They can provide valuable insight and advice on navigating the accessibility challenges of studying abroad.


Nothing should ever come in the way of your education. You are more than just a couple of senses and a body, so never give up on something that matters to you. There’s always a way.


By following these tips, you can be fully prepared to take your internationally accredited degree and start your journey of studying abroad.


Educatly can provide you with thousands of programs to choose from in some of the top universities around the world. By signing up and updating your profile, you take the very first steps to studying abroad. Speak with Educatly’s team of counselors, and they’ll help you with everything you need.

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