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Special Accommodation

For Students with Health, Physical or Learning Difficulties

Students with disabilities that require accommodation are strongly encouraged to study abroad, though advance planning is essential.  If you are currently registered with the ASU Disability Resource Center (DRC) and plan to study abroad, the Study Abroad Office strongly encourages you to take the following steps:

  • PLAN early and communicate with advisors at the Disability Resource Center (DRC) and the Study Abroad Office. You should begin planning at least one year before the date you wish to study abroad.
  • GATHER information from your departmental academic advisor as soon as possible. Discuss how study abroad can fit with your academic program.
  • RESEARCH various study abroad program options. Consider the connections to your educational and personal goals as well as the requirements for acceptance to a study abroad program.
  • ATTEND the fall ASU Study Abroad Fair to speak with faculty and previous student participants about their programs.
  • IDENTIFY accommodations that would minimize barriers and enhance your participation and enjoyment while abroad. Keep in mind that due to differing environments, you may need accommodations or assistance abroad that you may not typically need in the United States, or you may find that the accommodation you need is not available overseas.
  • COMPILE information on each program relating to your individual needs (e.g. arranged and public transportation, housing, alternative test taking, course requirements, etc.). ASU can work with you to find compatible sites in the host country that best coincide with your educational and disability needs, though not all locations can accommodate all disabilities.
  • NARROW your options to one or two programs of interest.
  • SPEAK to the International Coordinator in the ASU Study Abroad Office responsible for your selected site(s). Be sure to give your Disability Access Consultant in the DRC permission to speak with the Study Abroad Office. 
  • DEVELOP a budget and a financial plan for accomplishing your goal.
  • SELECT a study abroad program and apply!


After you have been accepted to participate in your selected study abroad program, you will be asked to complete an ASU Student Health Questionnaire.  Please be honest when completing this online form – the information you provide will be used to ensure that the accommodation you require can be available to you on the program.  Although we don’t request this information until after you have been accepted to participate in the program, we strongly encourage you to communicate with your Study Abroad Office International Coordinator or Faculty Director early and often.*  The sooner you disclose your need for special accommodation, the better our ability to secure such accommodation.

*You must inform the Study Abroad Office at (480) 965-5965 or studyabroad@asu.edu at least 60 days before your program departure date about any health, physical or learning difficulties for which you may need accommodation. If special assistance requests are not received by the Study Abroad Office at least 60 days prior to the program departure date, the request may not be accommodated. Even if requests are received within 60 days of your program departure date, in all cases there is no guarantee that request can be accommodated.

Traveling With Disabilities

Individual countries have their own standards of accessibility for disabled travelers. Some countries have nondiscrimination laws that help to protect travelers with disabilities, while other countries do not. Preparation before you go can help ensure that your planned destination will be accessible, safe and enjoyable. Travelers with disabilities should review the U.S. State Department information page and the Department of Transportation publication New Horizons for the Air Traveler with a Disability. In addition, travelers with disabilities should consider the following tips:

  • Plan:  Consider the level of health care available and whether your health needs and any emergencies can be met. If you take prescription medicine, do your research to make sure your prescription medication is legal to bring into your host country.  Be sure you have enough to last the duration of the trip, or that you can fill your prescription in your host country. Make sure any equipment you use is in good working order before you leave.
  • Travel Smart: The additional physical activity undertaken during travel is strenuous, and sudden changes in diet and climate can have serious health consequences for the unprepared traveler. Allow ample personal time, whether to adjust to the current time zone or to enjoy another travel site.
  • Accommodations and Access: Learn about planned stops and ask questions about services available. Inquire about accessibility and available assistance at the airport, your hotel, on public transportation and at all travel sites. Be sure your needs are clearly understood by those who will assist you, but understand that your needs may not be accommodated in all locations.