Study Abroad Program ConsiderationsThe following series of questions prompt you to consider aspects of the different programs you are contemplating. This is not a comprehensive list and there may be additional factors that should be discussed with staff in the Office for Students with Disabilities (SSD) and the CIE.
Attitudes about Disability
- How important is it for you to study in a place where disability accommodations are well-developed and cultural attitudes are progressive?
- How will your independence or use of adaptive equipment be affected based on the program you are considering?
- How does the chosen host culture define disability?
- What questions about your disability might you need to be prepared to answer?
- Consider carefully how your communication needs may change while you study abroad. How may this impact your daily activities and/or accommodations?
- How are the courses designed and what type of coursework will be required?
- Does a program fit your learning style? For example:
- Is the program based on interactive classes and experiential field trips or a more traditional lecture/discussion format?
- Are there structured schedules and assignments to help you manage your time?
- Are late morning classes to accommodate fatigue available in the program?
- Can you arrange for test accommodations?
- Will there be multiple choice or essay exams?
- How much reading is involved?
- Is document conversion available for on-site reading materials?
- For students using interpreting and real-time captioning, what is the duration of the program? How many classroom hours are required in your program?
- How will you approach traveling on an international airline and in an international airport?
- It is important to research accessible information prior to leaving the country and to be prepared in case things don’t go as planned. It is critical to have a back-up plan in place.
- What types of accessible public transportation are available in the host country?
- What types of transportation will be most often used in your study abroad program?
- What are the overall conditions of public sidewalks and pavement of streets?
- What are the housing options through your program and what accommodations do you need?
- Are the room dimensions physically accessible to individual needs?
- Are there elevators available in your housing facility?
- Are there accessible bathroom and shower facilities? How close are they to your room?
- Are there flashing fire alarms in your housing facility? In your room?
- What are the sleeping arrangements like in your program?
- How might technology in the host country impact your assistive technology housing needs?
Medical Care & Auxiliary Aids
- Are replacement parts for auxiliary aids readily available in the event of loss or damage?
- Can your current treating specialist refer you to possible agencies or professionals who may assist you in the event of an emergency?
- Can you bring your prescribed medications through customs and to your host country?
- Are there any laws in the host country which support/don't support service animals?
- Does the program allow service animals in the accommodations? Some programs may require you to find your own accommodations.
- Are there veterinary services conveniently available in your host country?
- What vaccines, documentation, and tests are required to bring your service animal into your host country (or other countries) and back into the US?
- Will your service animal be required to undergo a period of quarantine when traveling internationally?
- Will public transportation/airlines allow service animals in all the countries you may be visiting?
Many thanks to the International Academic Programs Office at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for this list of questions.