Access Abroad is a collaborative effort at the University of Minnesota between the Learning Abroad Center and Disability Resource Center to facilitate equal access for students seeking to pursue an education abroad experience and to provide information on accessibility at overseas sites.
Study abroad can satisfy liberal education and language requirements, and students with disabilities often say that their time abroad was the most exciting time in college. While study abroad can be challenging, the experience can help you learn more about yourself and your capabilities. In the words of one Disability Specialist at the University of Minnesota: "Go for it!"
This online module gives an overview of the things students with disabilities should consider in relation to studying abroad.
Most financial aid can be applied to study abroad, and many students find that the cost of going abroad is actually comparable to the cost of studying on campus. In addition, the Learning Abroad Center annually awards scholarships which are applied to study abroad costs.
Students registered with Disability Resource Center who are eligible for on-campus accommodation are also eligible for overseas accommodation when it can be arranged. Any site has the potential to be accessible. Students are encouraged to speak with their disability specialist and together fill out the Accommodations Request Form to identify the reasonable accommodations they may need overseas.
Carefully consider the following:
Just as cultures differ, so do disability accommodations and perceptions. The key for any study abroad participant is flexibility. Most Learning Abroad Center programs have accessibility information available. For supplemental information, students are encouraged to contact Mobility International for assistance in finding programs and overseas support services.
It is important to communicate your needs and consider alternative ways to meet them. Disability Resource Center and the Learning Abroad Center are here to assist you before and during your trip abroad.