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Students with Disabilities Abroad

Studying abroad is an opportunity to challenge yourself in new and exciting ways! While you may be familiar with navigating your needs here on campus, doing so in another country and culture will be a new challenge for you. [draft] emphasize student responsibility 

Students who may need an accommodation to participate in studying abroad should contact the Student Access & Resource Center. You can reach them by phone at 817-272-3364, or by email at sarcenter@uta.edu

UTA is committed to ensuring equal access to education to all students. However, other countries and institutions might have different understandings of accommodations and some adjustments might need to be made to ensure access to a study abroad program. The sooner a conversation begins about accommodations, the easier it will be to coordinate efforts between Study Abroad, The Student Access & Resource Center, and any necessary third parties. Just as with all study abroad experiences, students should anticipate the need to be flexible when dealing with another country. 
 

Questions 

Use these questions as a guide as you consider studying abroad. If you need help answering these questions, please contact our office at studyabroad@uta.edu or reach out to the Student Access & Resource Center. 

  • What accommodations do I require to manage my disability? 
  • How can I access these accommodations (additional time to take tests, a wheelchair, a sign language interpreter, or counseling appointments) while overseas? 
  • If I am unable to get the accommodations I use on campus, how can I adapt or create alternative strategies to address my needs? 
  • What coping strategies do I use in the U.S. to manage my disability? How will I apply or modify these while I’m abroad? 
  • How does my preferred host country address and perceive physical mobility (ramps, elevators, Personal Care Assistants, etc.) and/or invisible or non-apparent disabilities (learning disabilities, ADHD, anxiety, asthma, etc.)? 
  • What laws and infrastructure are in place in my preferred host country to help support persons with disabilities? 
  • Is there a local community of people with similar disabilities that I could connect with? 
  • How will in-country infrastructure, such as unpaved roads, availability of ramps or elevators, and access to medications potentially impact my experience? 
  • Once I have chosen a program, how will I negotiate international and in-country transportation as it relates to my disability?
  • Will I need to prearrange accessible airport transportation upon departure and arrival to my host country? How will I manage my transportation needs once I am in-country? 
  • What type of housing is available in my destination country? Will this adequately address my accommodation needs? 


Resources 

The UTA Study Abroad office and the Student Access & Resource Center (SAR Center) are here to help make your study abroad opportunity a reality. However, students should be aware that additional research for your intended destination may be required, and that it is the student’s responsibility to inform themselves of additional challenges they may face while abroad. Here are some resources that you may find helpful as you begin your research: 


Quotes from Mavericks Who Went Abroad

“Don't think that you cannot do study abroad just because you have a disability.” 

Rachel Kroener 
UTA – Kinesiology in Brazil, Spring 2019 



“My learning disabilities didn’t hinder me from having the full experience abroad, Mrs. Harvey and Ms. Titus [program leaders] knew ahead of time of this and were ready to make any accommodations for me as well as other students who have similar disabilities.” 

Cole Brolick 
UTA – German in Berlin, Summer 2018 


Content developed with assistance from University of Michigan, UNT, Diversity Abroad, MIUSA, and Forum.