Student Identities Abroad: Students with Disabilities

All RMU students have options for study abroad programs. While Disability Rights Laws, such as ADA, do not exist in all countries, the CGE can work with you to identify programs that do offer the appropriate level of support. Whether you have a visible or invisible disability, we can offer resources to help guide you through this process, in collaboration with the RMU’s Services for Students with Disabilities. If you have not yet registered with RMU’s Services for Students with Disabilities, please do so. Remember that while you are your best advocate, we are also here to support you.

Questions to consider with an Advisor/by yourself:

  • How does my host country view disability?
  • Does my host institution have an office similar to the RMU SSD?
  • What support am I already receiving at RMU? What support does my host institution offer?
  • What special access will I need in my housing? On campus? In public transportation?
  • Am I bringing medication with me and if so, is it legal in my host country? If I don’t have enough for the duration of my program, am I able to get more medication locally?
  • For allergies, how might these foods show up in other forms while abroad?
  • Is it possible to get an allergy card written in my host country language?
  • Will I have access to mental health counselors? Is this covered by insurance?

Tips for having a positive study abroad experience:

  • Speak with your study abroad advisor about your need for accommodations early, so that the CGE can better assist you in selecting a program and preparing to study abroad. You can check off that you want to talk about disability services abroad when you fill out your pre-advising form, if you are interested in a semester or summer abroad, and your study abroad advisor will make sure to talk with you about your needs during your first advising session.
  • Work with the CGE and SSD to plan for your time abroad.
  • Research before you go abroad. Be familiar with your host country and their views on disability in general, as well as how they may accommodate your specific needs.
  • At the same time, understand that other places may not have the same level of accommodations nor the same Disability Rights Laws in place.


  • Mobility International USA (MIUSA): MIUSA was founded with the mission to empower people with disabilities to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development. They are actively working to advance disability rights and leadership globally.
  • RMU Services for Students with Disabilities: This office can provide you with resources to more effectively navigate the RMU campus and the world. Students that are registered with the SSD can continue to receive assistance and guidance during the study abroad process.
  • Diversity Abroad: Diversity Abroad provides resources and tools for diverse students to participate in a study abroad program, with information specific to students with disabilities.
  • Postcards from Paris: An Introduction: Follow along with University of South Carolina student Davis Hayman during his year in Paris. His sharp wit and insightful observations make for a fun and informative read!
  • Being a Legally Blind Student Abroad: Learn from Aly Hathaway, who studied abroad in France. She reflects on her experience pre-, during, and post-study abroad as a legally blind student.
  • Shalom Hernandez and Managing a Physical Disability Abroad: Hear how a freshman, first-generation woman with a physical disability from a lower socioeconomic status studied abroad. Studying abroad for her served as a confirmation that anything is possible.