Students with Accessibility Needs or Health Concerns
UNC Study Abroad is committed to facilitating access to study abroad programs for students with academic accommodations, mobility concerns, and serious medical conditions, including mental and physical health concerns. Whether you are currently registered with Accessibility Resources and Services or not, please don’t hesitate to email or schedule an appointment with the Advisor for Access, to talk about accessible programs or about preparing for your time abroad. Additional information about study abroad for students registered with ARS is available on the ARS website.
Considerations to keep in mind:
Your health is ultimately your responsibility!
Be aware of your own health condition and concerns, and make sure to disclose any necessary information to the Advisor for Access as well as to local program staff and professors so they can effectively support you while abroad.
Disclose any academic or health concerns to the Advisor for Access early in the study abroad process so that we can set up reasonable accommodations and locate health resources abroad well in advance of your arrival.
Reasonable academic accommodations:
While we will do our best to arrange comparable academic accommodations for you abroad, standards for reasonable accommodations vary by country and in some cases, we may not be able to arrange abroad the exact accommodations that you receive here at UNC. However, we will do our best to find solutions that work for you academically to allow you to have a successful experience abroad.
Differing perceptions of and services for disability:
Depending on your needs, accessibility and support services for persons with disabilities may not be available in certain destinations, or they may be provided differently abroad.
Do your research!
Research your host culture and how disability is treated within your host culture before you go so that you know what to expect. See the Resources section below for more information.
Studying abroad is both a challenging and rewarding experience
Environment and lifestyle changes when living abroad can have an impact on your physical and mental wellbeing. Practice self-care strategies, regularize your schedule, and be patient with yourself! Being adaptable and open to differences is critical to successfully navigating culture shock and challenges abroad.
Check out these websites for detailed information about accessibility abroad:
- Mobility International
- U.S. State Department: Country Information pages, “Local Laws & Special Circumstances” section
- U.S. State Department: Traveling with Disabilities
- Diversity Abroad: Students with Disabilities Abroad
- CDC Travelers with Disabilities
- The University of Minnesota has helpful country- and university-specific accessibility information
- StudentsAbroad.com general health & safety information
- Student stories
- Country-specific resources: Studying in Germany as a Disabled Student, Studying in UK as a Student with Disabilities, Studying in Australia as a Disabled Student