Accessibility & Disability Abroad

Study abroad opportunities exist for all Colorado College students, no matter your major, age, gender, sexual 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.

Tips and Guidance for Making Study Abroad Possible

Mobility International (MIUSA) offers a variety of specific tip sheets to assist students as they consider studying abroad:

A full listing of tip sheets is available on the MIUSA website:

Managing Medications While Abroad

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

Before you depart/planning process: International SOS offers personalized predeparture 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.

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

Links to International Exchange Resources

Colorado College maintains a carefully reviewed list of approved and affiliated programs for study abroad that should meet the academic needs of most students. This list is available from the Center for Global Education & Field Study. Please consult with 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:

Student Stories

Many students with a variety of disabilities have had successful off-campus study experiences. Colorado College alum 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 Accessibility Resources.

Carolyn Belle, a Colorado College alum 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 aroundbeing 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

Our goal is to support students with disabilities in managing access for study abroad experiences. Please let us know how we can help!

Report an issue - Last updated: 08/01/2022