Things to Consider
Research the program country.
Ask questions to understand the program, cultural norms, and resources available in your host country (e.g., classroom accessibility, academic services, group meals, transportation, required and alternate excursions, housing options, and health care services).
Verify quarantine regulations.
If you are planning to travel with a service animal or emotional support animal, verify quarantine regulations. To verify related requirements, consult the United States Department of Agriculture Travel with a Pet (policies for entering a foreign country and returning to the U.S.), consult the U.S. Department of State Pet and International Travel, and verify specific airline regulations based on your flight itinerary.
Disclose your disability and medical condition.
Disclose your disability and medical condition to Education Abroad and Disability Services to initiate the process of securing reasonable accommodations. Early disclosure is strongly encouraged, as it may take 4 to 6 months to finalize arrangements.
Shipment of special supplies, quarantine of service animals, immunizations, travel documents, and other necessary preparations will take time to complete. Verify with your doctor if your prescription medication is legal in the host country and how to obtain enough supplies for the duration of your stay.
Some countries do not have an equivalent of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Therefore, the availability of disability accommodations and program adjustments are determined based on the following information: an assessment of the participant’s needs by an Access Coordinator in the Department of Disability Resources, examination of the program itinerary with the education abroad advisor/trip leader and on-site staff, and exploration of available resources in the participant’s host countries. You can find more information about the request for accommodation process here.
- Texas A&M Department of Disability Resources – campus office for academic accommodation coordination, evaluation referral, and disability-related information
- Diversity Abroad – education abroad tips and resources for students with disabilities – including articles and a comprehensive guide with country specific information.
- Mobility International USA – global non-profit committed to advancing disability rights and leadership. Its website and staff provide guidance related to international exchanges, travel preparations, and program development. The website provides helpful tip sheets:
- U.S. Department of State Traveling with Disabilities – provides recommendations for travelers with disabilities.
- Transportation Security Administration – provides details on available airport assistance and guidelines on traveling for those with disabilities, service dogs and animals, or medical conditions.
- Abroad with Disabilities – is a nonprofit committed to promoting individuals with disabilities to travel abroad. Its website provides scholarship opportunities and preparation resources.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – provides guidance on traveling abroad with medicine.
- International Narcotics Control Board – provides country-specific guidelines on medications and drug regulations.
- Curb Free with Cory Lee – provides travelling experiences from the perspective of a wheelchair user, as well as tips/tricks for successfully travelling to various places with a wheelchair.
- The Global Access Files – provides guides for advising students with disabilities and ways to make international education more inclusive.