At UCR, there are many opportunities to study, travel, and volunteer abroad. Study Abroad for the quarter or academic year is arranged through UCR’s Study Abroad Office , which also has information about different kinds of international experiences.
If you are a student with a disability and you wish to go abroad, planning ahead is essential. Before applying make sure to meet with staff member from the Study Abroad Office as well as a disability specialist from the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC). Doing so can help you determine what you need to consider in making your decision and identify suitable programs to pursue.
Will my disability accommodations be provided abroad?
The rights of people with disabilities differ greatly by country. Many do recognize disability rights but not all. Facilities and/or support services may be limited or not available at all. If you will require accommodations, it is important that you request information from the host institution about the process and funding for accommodations before applying to that institution. If your disability raises the likelihood that you will need fairly significant medical or mental health support services while abroad, be sure to inquire about availability, quality, cost, language, etc.
Should I disclose on the application?
The applications for UCR Study Abroad opportunities will not ask if you have a disability; however, if you will need accommodations, there are several things you may wish to consider looking it to:
- What do you know about the host country with regard to how they view individuals with disabilities?
- What did you learn from your inquiries with the host institution or program?
- Will the disability accommodations you require be difficult to arrange?
- What would be the consequences if you did not disclose and later find that the accommodations you require are not available?
How do I arrange for my accommodations?
Once admitted to a program, if you choose to request accommodations you will need to meet with a Disability Specialist to obtain a verification letter outlining your accommodations. If needed, you can sign of a Release of Information form allowing us to communicate provision of accommodations with the Study Abroad Office.
Some accommodations take time to arrange, such as sign language interpreters, real-time captioning or alternate format/Braille text. Be sure to make your request as soon as you know you have been admitted (up to a quarter in advance) to allow time to arrange accommodations.
There are several helpful websites that provide information that can help in selecting your study abroad experience as well as once you have gone abroad.
Before Going Abroad
- Mobility International
Known as the premier source of information for international travelers with disabilities. Their tipsheets provide information and resources on many different disabilities and other things to consider when traveling internationally.
- Council on International Educational Exchange (https://www.ciee.org/)
CIEE is a major provider of study abroad programs and a leader in the field of study abroad.
Guide for students with disabilities in study abroad programs
- Transitions Abroad
Information about traveling abroad with a disability
- Befrienders Worldwide
Search for a crisis helpline, some available in English