Just as cultures differ from country to country, so do perceptions of disability. Some countries may have a wide range of services for students with disabilities, while others may offer limited disability accommodations. We encourage students who utilize academic accommodations to research any country of interest and its perceptions of students with disabilities and possible accommodations prior to signing up for a program. Please review the resources below for information on specific countries and regions around the world.
Things to Consider Before Studying Abroad
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) abroad
The ADA does not apply in other countries, so planning ahead to determine the best country and program for each student is essential. While the ADA may not apply in your host country, it does apply to Faculty-Led programs offered by St. Edward's and may be considered by some study abroad providers and host universities.It is the student's responsibility to disclose any need for accommodations to the study abroad program as early as possible. The accommodations received at St. Edward’s will not necessarily be available or applicable while you study abroad due to the country, location, program expectations, physical layout and services available in the surrounding area.
Types of Disabilities
- Physical/mobility– Can you set up special transportation? Will you be expected to walk extensively? Will accommodations be met for possible excursions? Is the city/surrounding area accessible, i.e. ramps, automatic doors, elevators?
- Medical - Are there physicians who can treat your condition (i.e. specialist)? Do physicians treat students from the US? Do they speak English? Are all medications I receive in the US available abroad?
- NOTE: Not all medications may be transported through customs in other countries. Before selecting a study abroad site, make sure all your medications can be transported. Students should also arrange to have enough prescribed medication for the duration of the study abroad experience.
- Psychological - Will mental health services and counseling resources be available in my host country? How does the host country view and or treat mental health conditions?
- NOTE: Mental health resources vary throughout the world. It is is important to research your host culture's views on mental health conditions and services, and to consider that non-English speaking countries might not have resources available in English. Contact your study abroad provider or counselor to ask if licensed mental health professionals are available. Prior to leaving, students should discuss their study abroad plans and how to manage symptoms with their mental health care provider.
Student Checklist for Studying Abroad
Contact Study Abroad to discuss your need for accommodation with a Study Abroad Advisor. In addition, going to pre-departure orientation sessions, personal research, and talking to other students will help prepare you for your experience.
Contact the Study Abroad Organization you intend to study with, and then if needed, the host university you will attend to discuss availability of accommodations and procedure for implementation. Connecting with these key resources will help you research your host culture and how they view individuals with disabilities and accommodations.
Contact your SDS counselor to notify them of your study abroad plans and discuss options for accommodations and services SDS can provide while you're abroad.