Accessibility and levels of accommodations will depend on the program and country. Laws regarding disability and disability services vary by country. Each student’s case will be reviewed on an individual basis to ensure a successful study abroad experience.
Since many foreign countries do not have the same accessibility laws as the United States it is key that you inform the study abroad office of your needs and concerns. The study abroad office will need to be contacted as early as possible in order to ensure that all special accommodations can be put in place.
Things to Consider
- Students are encouraged to disclose their disability to Disability Services at (814) 332-2898 or (e-mail us) as well as to the International Education (814) 332-4891
- There is much value in learning about the cultural differences in the country in which you will be studying.
- Understand that other countries define and respond to needs of persons with disabilities according to their culture.
- Identify more than one program of interest since program sites will have different types of accessibility.
- Contact your sites of interests to further learn about possibilities of accessibility.
- When assessing accessibility, consider the physical structures (ramps, elevators, curb cuts), the support services available (such as a disability services office), and what flexibility exists to design creative solutions (such as moving a classroom to the ground floor or identifying someone to serve as a notetaker).
- Speak with students with disabilities who have participated in various study abroad programs to obtain information about their personal experience.