UVM strives to assist students in finding study abroad opportunities, regardless of academic or personal needs or disabilities. Make sure to plan ahead for study abroad with help from your doctor and other caregivers, UVM's Student Accessibility Services office, the OIE, and your host university's international office or program provider, as appropriate.
If you require accommodations or disability support services while abroad, it is important to be in contact with the appropriate offices at UVM and at your host university or program in addition to the Office of International Education, beginning early in the study abroad process. Your program provider or host university's international office will be able to provide you with some information about the services and accommodations available, and should be able to help you officially request them.
Consider these questions
While you are getting ready to study abroad, it is important to gather information about your host country's culture and resources you will have there. Some questions you may want to consider include:
- How accessible are places in my host country? How much do physical accessibility aspects like distance across campus, public transportation, weather, etc. matter to me?
- How are people with disabilities perceived and treated in my host country?
- Is it important to me to study abroad in a place with an active disability community that I can be a part of?
- What tradeoffs, if any, am I willing to make in order to have the experience I am looking for?
- Will my disability prevent me from participating in some activities or excursions at my host university/in my host country?
- What types of accommodations might I need while abroad in order to have a successful experience?
The OIE, Student Accessibility Services, and your host university or program provider all all available to help you as you seek to answer these and any other questions.
Research the laws in your host country
Each country has different laws regarding disabilities and required accommodations. It is important to research these so that you know what you can expect in your host country. While some countries may offer less support to those with disabilities, many countries provide accommodations and services that one might consider equal to or better than what are guaranteed in the US under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You should think about what services or accommodations you might need, and compare them with what is required in your host country. It is also important to learn about the process for receiving accommodations and disability services in your host country, as it might be different than in the US. Mobility International is an excellent resource that provides information on studying abroad with disabilities and on how to research the laws in your host country.
Student Accessibility Services: UVM's office in charge of providing accommodations to students with documented disabilities.
Mobility International: A disability-led non-profit organization dedicated to empowering people with disabilities to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development. Extensive information and advice about traveling and studying abroad with disabilities and health conditions is available on their website.