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Students with Disabilities

Education Abroad and the MSU Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities work together to help students with disabilities have successful experiences abroad.

Students with disabilities should learn about accessibility and accommodations typically provided in their prospective destination before making a final decision on a program. Register with the MSU Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD). Communicate with your RCPD disability specialist, your academic adviser, Education Abroad coordinator, and the directors of any programs you are interested in to get more information before applying.


5 tips for preparing to study abroad

1. Explore Your Options

Attend the Education Abroad Expo and search for programs of potential interest to you. Consider the connections to your educational and personal goals as well as the requirements for participation. Start identifying potential programs well before you plan to go. 

2. Plan Early

If you haven’t already done so, register with RCPD. Communicate with an Education Abroad Coordinator, your RCPD disability specialist, your academic adviser, and the leaders of any programs that interest you. Ask an array of questions that may play a role in your selection of a program, relative to both your academic interests and potential accommodation needs:

  • What is the environment like?
  • Where will you travel? 
  • What are the housing arrangements?
  • What types of medical care are available?
  • What public transportation is available?

It may be helpful to talk to students with similar disabilities who have studied abroad. Education Abroad and RCPD may be able to help you find an MSU student to help, or if there is no previous MSU participant who can talk to you about your concerns, Education Abroad may be able to connect you with non-MSU students who have studied at the location of your choice. 

3. Select Your Program Early & Apply

After engaging with your program leaders and your disability specialist to discover which program is the best fit for you, apply online.

4. Request Accommodations Specific to Your Program

Work with your disability specialist to complete the Study Abroad Disability Accommodation Request Form. This should be done as soon as possible when you apply for your program, ideally at least 12 weeks before your departure.  This allows ample time to make arrangements and ensures you are aware of which accommodations can be put into place, as well as any that are not possible. Please note that Education Abroad and RCPD staff will assist as much as possible but cannot guarantee that accommodations you request will be feasible or available in the program to which you have applied. Accommodation requests made after you arrive in country may not be fulfilled. 

5. Prepare and Go

Continue to work with your specialist and others to fully plan for your pre-departure, education abroad, and return. Venture out and have a great experience! 


Additional Resources

Mobility International USA

Global Disability Rights Now

Student with Disabilities Abroad information from the Diversity Abroad website.

The U.S. Department of State provides information on traveling with disabilties.

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