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Students with Disabilities

Visit the UC-systemwide collaboration among the UC Study Abroad offices and UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP): Exploring Your Identity Abroad Series (Resources: presentation recording, slides and transcript).

Students with disabilities can and do participate in global learning, including studying and interning abroad! If you need to request accommodations during a study abroad program, please inform the Global Learning Hub as early as possible so that arrangements can be made. 

We recommend that you contact your campus office for Students with Disabilities regarding your plans for studying abroad and then explore accommodation options with a Program Coordinator at the Global Learning Hub. Our staff can confidentially assist you in identifying the availability of academic accommodations and accessible facilities at various study sites. Although we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all study sites, specific services may be arranged at a given site, depending on when you notify us of your specific needs. The earlier you begin this process, the more likely our office will be able to make suitable accommodations.

Please keep in mind that accommodations for students with disabilities vary from program to program in terms of services offered and the costs associated with providing services. The Global Learning Hub and the Student Disability Center can assist you to determine what is available, how accommodation services are arranged, and how payment for services is handled.

Steps to Request Disability Accommodations

  1. Meet with your campus office for Students with Disabilities to discuss what types of accommodations you may need while studying abroad. UC Davis Student Disability Center54 Cowell Building, (530) 752-3184, sdc@ucdavis.edu.
  2. Schedule a meeting with a program coordinator in the Global Learning Hub to find out more information about a program and explore your accommodations options. A program coordinator can provide more specific details about the program’s itinerary, modes of transportation, excursion/field trip sites, lodging accommodations, etc.
  3. Have your campus office for Students with Disabilities document in a letter the accommodations you will need while studying abroad. This letter should include information about any potential campus funding available for these accommodations.
  4. Once you have enrolled in a program, have your campus office for Students with Disabilities submit your letter to the Global Learning Hub as soon as possible. Remember, the earlier the accommodation request is made, the more likely it is that we can research and arrange accommodations.

Students who anticipate specific accommodation requests should consider the following questions:

  • If you need to see a doctor or therapist for psychological concerns while on your program, will you need to establish this contact prior to departure?
  • Will you need note-taking support for class?
  • Will you need a mobility assistant?
  • What is the accessibility of the housing and city (elevators, bathrooms, classrooms, housing, transportation, etc.)?
  • Will you need a single room?
  • Who will fund any or all accommodations?
  • What kind of field trips might your program go on? Are they accessible?
  • If field trips are not accessible and are required for the course, will alternatives (video footage, online resources) be available?
  • Will you need extended time on assignments or exams?
  • Will you need preferential seating or separate testing space?
  • Will you need to plan for any medically-necessary absences?
  • Will you need refrigeration for medication?
  • If you require a service/guide animal, what needs to be considered for studying abroad? If your accommodation includes an emotional support animal, what needs to be considered for studying abroad? 
  • If you need to take medication while on your program, have you checked with the embassies of your destination countries as to prohibited items? A listing of foreign embassies and consulates in the U.S. is available on the U.S. Department of State’s website.

Another factor to keep in mind when preparing for your study abroad experience is how different cultures view individuals with disabilities. Researching and preparing for this beforehand may help you avoid difficulties on your program. You can also schedule an advising appointment with a program coordinator in the Global Learning Hub to explore accommodation options and how they might be reasonably met on a particular program.

In addition to the UC Davis Student Disability Center, the following resources may also be helpful: