Accessibility & Disability Abroad

Off-campus study opportunities exist for all Colorado College students, no matter your major, age, gender, orientation, financial ability, or disability. The key to a successful experience for students with disabilities lies in careful planning with CC's Center for Global Education & Field Study, your partner program or host university abroad (if applicable), and the Office of Accessibility Resources. We work together to assist students in obtaining reasonable accommodations, where possible, but it is important to be aware of cultural differences that can affect the provision of accommodations.

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 is to support students with disabilities and faculty in managing access for off-campus study. Please let us know how we can help!


Tips and Guidance for Making Off-Campus Study Possible

Mobility International (MIUSA) offers an extensive resource library containing supports for many specific questions and considerations related to disability and accessibility abroad, including Tip Sheets, personal stories, best practices, journals and books, podcasts, and videos and webinars. You can filter resources by specific disability on the Americans Going Abroad page.

International SOS is a medical and travel assistance program available to all CC students and CC employees studying or traveling outside the U.S. on a College-sponsored or approved trip.

Before you depart/planning process: International SOS offers personalized pre-departure phone consultations with a nurse to address any medical/care provider needs, medication questions, and assistance requests that you have. Please call International SOS at 215-942-8478 to ask any questions you have. Identify yourself as a CC student and give the membership number 11BSGC000027 if they ask.

While you are overseas: 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.

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 Center for Global Education & Field Study. Please consult the Center for Global Education & Field Study if you intend to receive credit for any off-campus study plans.

The following websites also provide supplemental information that may benefit students:

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 Personal Stories section of 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"
    -Elise Reed, Boren Scholarship recipient, studied in China

Our goal is to support students with disabilities and faculty in managing access for off-campus study. Please let us know how we can help!

show all / hide all

Report an issue - Last updated: 10/27/2023