Students with Disabilities

Students with Disabilities

The experience for students with disabilities abroad is diverse. Individuals with disabilities will have different experiences abroad depending on their intersecting identities, home and host country, and other factors. 

Before leaving, reflect on what you need to thrive in your host destination and discuss it with your Global Education Advisor and support system. 

  • Accommodations need to be addressed in advance, whether to support academics, housing, dietary, medical, or transportation needs. Talk to your GEO advisor early in the advising process, to explore opportunities that align with your needs.
  • Anticipate what your specific needs will be abroad. If you are registered with SASC at SDSU, let the SASC team know about your plans to go abroad and seek their advice.  Provide your GEO advisor with a letter from SASC outlining the support you receive at SDSU can assist GEO in reaching out to international partners that can accommodate your needs for a successful experience abroad. 
  • Research local laws and regulations around prescription medication and equipment you may need
  • Research examples of other students with the same disability or accommodation who have lived abroad 
  • Prepare any prescriptions or equipment you may need abroad 
  • Alert medical/mental health professionals you are working with that you plan on going abroad 

While the experience for students with disabilities abroad can vary greatly, there are a few most students should consider. 

These include:  

  • Differences in resources available in home country and host country 
  • General accessibility abroad 
  • Bans on medications 
  • Attitudes/perceptions//stereotypes about your disability abroad 
  • Additional costs 
  • Communication about your disability in foreign languages 

Being aware that these can occur can help you better prepare for your time abroad. While many may seem negative, it often opens up opportunities for conversation, learning, and growth. 

Planning early key to ensure your program can provide you with the proper resources and accommodations you need while abroad. 


Support system at home and abroad: 

  • SDSU Global Education Advisor
  • Program representatives (pre-departure) 
  • Therapists and doctors at home and abroad 
  • SDSU Student Ability Success Center (SASC)

    et the SASC team know about your plans to go abroad to receive advice from their team. Also be sure  to provide the Global Education Office with a letter that outlines your typical SASC support services here at SDSU. This will help GEO to reach out to our partners to see what they may be able to accommodate, and work with the SASC team to prepare you for a successful experience abroad. 

  • On-site support staff 

Mobility International USA Find information for Americans going abroad.
Travelers with Disabilities Information from the U.S. Department of State. 
Diversity Abroad Offers helpful tips for students with disabilities who are considering study abroad. 

Traveling with a service dog

Learn about traveling internationally with a guide dog or service animal.