Disability Services for Study Abroad Students

The International Programs Office is committed to facilitating access to every student interested in studying abroad. To enable the full participation of students with disabilities, accommodations may be needed. International Programs, working closely with Disability Services, will assist students in identifying appropriate programs and locations and determining the necessary accommodations.

It is important to be aware of the cultural differences about disability and accommodations in order to have a successful and safe experience abroad. Please contact Prema Samuel or Christopher Olson in the International Programs Office early on in your study abroad search to discuss any accommodations you will require while abroad. The International Programs Office will then discuss your needs with Polly Waldman, Associate Dean of Disability Services, to determine what services (if any) will be required and provided. Polly can be reached at pwaldman@sarahlawrence.edu.

Additional Information

Below you will find additional information that you should research before studying abroad.

The Access Abroad Web site at the University of Minnesota is an excellent source of information for students with disabilities who are thinking about studying abroad. Here are some of their Quick Tips:

  • Disclose your disability needs to programs early, so appropriate arrangements can be made in advance.
  • Remember that other cultures may provide disability access in a different way—learn about what types of accommodations are typically provided in your host country, and be flexible and open to different ways of accommodating disability.
  • Before you go, find out as much as you can about your host culture and how they view disability by reading, talking to other students, and attending pre-departure orientation sessions. The more you know, the better prepared you will be for the interaction between your disability and the new environment.
  • Think about how you will answer questions about your disability in the language of your host country—look up key vocabulary words ahead of time.

Useful Resources

The sites below may also be of interest to you:

Council on International Educational Exchange
Mobility International USA
National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange

Here to Help

For questions or more information, please contact the International Programs Office:

Prema Samuel
Associate Dean for International Programs
(914) 395-2305

Christopher Olson           
Assistant Director for International Program Recruitment
(914) 395-2305