UofM Students

DIS: Study Abroad in Denmark: Site Access Summary

Program website

Learn about Study Abroad in Denmark (DIS).

Attitudinal

People with apparent physical disabilities are typically regarded much the same as in the US. There is very infrastructure to help accommodate individuals with disabilities in the city, though some buildings may be inaccessible due to their age and lack of updates.

Classroom and Academics

DIS is a non-profit study abroad institute in the center of Copenhagen. DIS does not have the same disability resources as an American college or university; however, the program is very receptive to working with students with disabilities to the extent possible. Although there is not a designated disability-related office, DIS has an office of Teaching and Learning that can coordinate accommodations for students with learning disabilities, and we strive to offer comparable accommodations where possible. DIS also has an office of Housing and Student Affairs that can assist students with in-house counseling or support for current students or provide referrals to a psychologist/psychiatrist if necessary.

Our experience has been generally positive, although students with physical limitations have found the program and the design of Copenhagen to be very demanding at times. Study tours can be a challenge for students with physical difficulties and restrictions because of the amount of walking. Danish streets and buildings can be challenging to the physically disabled. That said, we have successfully hosted blind, deaf, and physically disabled students at DIS Copenhagen.

There are not any specific resources for deaf/hard-of-hearing students at DIS. Besides the Disabilities Centre at the Copenhagen Municipality, there is the Danish Association for the Deaf and Blind, FDDB.

DIS does not have any classrooms located on the ground floor, although most of our classroom buildings have a small service elevator available. The main building at DIS, which includes the Housing and Student Affairs office and student computer labs does not have an elevator. It is not possible to install one as the DIS buildings are listed as Danish National Heritage buildings. DIS does not provide its own food services but there are many nearby options, however, like most buildings in the center of Copenhagen there are usually a few stairs to climb.

All DIS classrooms and the DIS library are in a centralized location, with the main physical challenge being the number of stairs. The exception is if students are enrolled in a course held at an external university, or students in the Medical Practice & Policy program who take courses at various hospitals in the region, who would have to travel using public transportation.

There are accessible bathrooms in most classroom areas at DIS. A limited number of housing facilities will have accessible bathrooms, but not all. External food service providers are also variable in terms of bathroom accessibility. Our library has no bathroom, but there are bathrooms on that floor. There is an elevator to the library, and there is an accessible bathroom on the floor.

Many train stations in Denmark have elevators or are otherwise accessible. Buses are technically handicap accessible, though in our research for students with physical limitations who are considering studying here, there were reports of bus drivers not always providing this service.

DIS asks students to disclose any learning disabilities as part of the registration process and requests that students provide documentation from their home institution of the accommodations received there.

Students who are granted the use of a note-taker as part of their learning accommodations are able to have a fellow student take notes for them in their classes. An academic counselor can provide academic advice and limited support with students’ coursework. There is also an online tutor service where students can send their assignments in for general feedback. We cannot provide resources such as taped books, and electronic resources that are often offered at bigger institutions in the US.

Students who are eligible for extended testing time are able to have that accommodation at DIS.  While we strive to provide an alternative, distraction-free testing environment for students with this accommodation, the nature of the facilities at DIS make this impossible to always guarantee.

All students must be full-time, typically 5 classes per semester (estimated 5 hours/day in class plus 30-40 hours/week studying outside of class). Break periods in the middle of the day could be managed by choosing a schedule that allows this.

DIS has mental health counseling available on site, and many psychological/mental health counseling professional contacts to whom we can refer students as needed. These services are all available in English.

Excursions and Field Trips

There are curb cuts on most Copenhagen street corners for wheelchair access. There are traffic signals at cross walks in Copenhagen, many of which have auditory signal, but not all. There are no wheelchair ramps at DIS or in most places in Copenhagen. Furthermore, the paths and pedestrian areas are largely cobblestone in Copenhagen.  

Excursions involve taking a bus, plane, or train to various sites.

Housing and Food Services

Students are housed with host families or in apartment-style accommodations. The program could assist with arranging suitable housing that could accommodate service dogs, special dietary needs, possibly wheelchairs, etc.

Housing options are spread throughout the Copenhagen area, and there are a few kollegiums and Danish Residential Communities that have elevators. There are no housing options in the center of the city/near DIS that have this accessibility, so elevator access is tied in with a certain commute. We can direct interested parties on where to find independent housing that may have more access, although it is very likely that these would also be outside the center part of Copenhagen as well. Additionally, there is a base level of independence necessary to study at DIS.  All students need to be able to cook, clean, and shop for themselves.

Technology

Students have access to computer labs with Internet access. DIS has computer labs available for all students, and a tape recorder can be made available to students with learning accommodation as well. Reading technology including braille printers or captioning are not available.

Library Services

Students have access to the University’s library online.

Transportation

Students have to travel between 30-90 minutes (walking, biking, or by public transit) between housing and class. Most public transportation is wheelchair accessible.