Off-campus study opportunities exist for all Colorado College students, including those with disabilities. The key to successful domestic or international off-campus experiences for students with disabilities lies in careful planning.
Thinking about participating in a CC course taught abroad? Or a CC off-campus course taught in the U.S. or one with a field study component?
It’s important to communicate early with faculty about arrangements for accommodations and to address other concerns you may have. Ask about essential course requirements and what you can expect in terms of travel, lodging, physical activity, etc.
How about an international exchange program?
It’s important to consult with program coordinators and to consider cultural differences that can affect access during an international experience.
Our goal, in collaboration with the offices of International Programs and Field Study, is to support students with disabilities and faculty in managing access for off-campus study. Please let us know how we can help!
More About International Study
Many students with a variety of disabilities have had successful off-campus study experiences. Colorado College alumna Laura Hershey wrote a book on the process, Survival Strategies for Going Abroad: A Guide for People with Disabilities, that can be checked out from the Office of Accessibility Resources.
Carolyn Belle, Colorado College alumna, who studied in the Netherlands shared the following about her experience:
“My biggest fear of going abroad was lacking travel friends because they would find my disability too much of a limiting factor in getting around—being creative and clear about what I could do helped me to find travel companions who remain good friends. Researching the transit system … helped alleviate uncertainty … Successful spending time abroad reinforced my confidence in how independent I can be, and was one of the best semesters of college.”
Check out the Mobility International USA (MIUSA) website to learn about a variety of student experiences:
- “If you had told me freshman year that I would be in Africa now, I wouldn’t have believed you. … See, I’m diagnosed with ‘anxiety,’ and a touch of obsessive-compulsive disorder thrown in for fun.”
—Stanford student, studied in Kenya
(listen to Her Story: Studying Abroad With a Mental Illness)
- “When I applied to study abroad, I wondered how I would fare in a non-English speaking country as a profoundly deaf person, but I also worried about my health and access to medication. [Yet] I would not trade these memories for anything.”
—Sarah Franz, University of Michigan, studied in Italy and Costa Rica
- “I was elated to receive a letter … notifying me that I had been granted funding for a full year of study in China … just one week later I was diagnosed with Type I, insulin dependent diabetes … With adequate preparation and support … studying abroad can indeed become a reality”
—Elsie Reed, National Security Education Program Boren Scholarship recipient, studied in China
International SOS is a medical and travel assistance program available to all students and CC employees outside the U.S. on a College sponsored trip. International SOS alarm centers are open to help you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Staffed by doctors and nurses, multilingual coordinators, security experts, and air and ground logistics personnel, they can respond rapidly to any type of emergency or call for assistance.
Please call International SOS at 215-942-8478 to ask any questions you have about managing medications while abroad. Identify yourself as a CC student and give the membership number 11BSGC000027.
If you need additional assistance, please get in touch with the Office of International Programs.
MIUSA offers a variety of tip sheets to assist students as they consider off-campus study:
- Disability Resources A - Z
- Medications: Tips for Traveling Internationally
- Guide Dogs and Service Animals While on International Exchange
A full listing of tip sheets is available on the MIUSA website: http://www.miusa.org/ncde/tipsheets.
Colorado College maintains a carefully reviewed list of approved and affiliated programs for off-campus study that should meet the academic needs of most students. This list is available from the Office of International Programs. Please consult the Office of International Programs if you intend to receive credit for any off-campus study plans.
The following websites also provide supplemental information that may benefit students:
- National Clearinghouse of Disability and Exchange
A comprehensive, one-stop web resource on tools for people with disabilities of all types who are interested in international study, volunteering, teaching, and other exchange programs.
Offers detailed information about the access to hotels, restaurants, colleges, tourist attractions, libraries, hospitals, leisure centers, etc.
- A World Awaits You: Journals of Success in International Exchange for People with Disabilities
A free online journal that includes interviews with people with disabilities who have participated in a wide range of international exchange programs.
- Finding Funding for Your Study Abroad
Provides information for students with and without disabilities who need financial assistance to study abroad.
- IIE Passport.org
A comprehensive database of university-level study, language learning, and internship opportunities overseas.
Offers a search for all types of international exchange opportunities for everyone from high school students to senior citizens.
- SAFETI (Safety Abroad First—Educational Travel Information) Clearinghouse
This clearinghouse compiles information on safety in study abroad.
- Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality (SATH)
SATH provides information on accessible travel worldwide, including a database and newsletter with travel contacts, stories, and other disability resources.
- Students Abroad
This U.S. Department of State website is a one-stop resource for U.S. citizens of college age who are planning to study abroad.
- Transitions Abroad
Provides practical tips and resource listings on alternative travel, such as volunteering, working, or socially responsible travel abroad.