The University of Wisconsin-Platteville is committed to supporting students with disabilities in all aspects and encourages you to explore the opportunities education abroad has to offer. This includes students with disabilities of all types.

Just as cultures differ, though, so does the degree of access and readily available disability services in the many countries and communities you may consider for your study abroad experience. There are many study abroad programs in which students with disabilities have successfully participated; however, not every study abroad experience is a good fit from an accessibility perspective.

Experience tells us the key to success is early notification and planning. To maximize the opportunity to travel abroad and study internationally, it is important that you start planning a minimum of six months, preferably up to one year, in advance of your travel to plan for accommodations, regardless of the type of disability.

The Services for Students with Disabilities office and the Education Abroad office are here to assist you before and during your time abroad.

Planning a successful and accessible study abroad experience is a collaborative process that includes you, the Education Abroad Office, Services for Students with Disabilities, the host institution, and faculty.

What You Should Do

  • Fully research study abroad programs offered through UW-Platteville. Consider both your educational goals and the specific accommodations you may need in order to participate and meet the study abroad program standards.
  • Recognize that accommodation planning requires extra preparation time, often well in advance of application deadlines and notification of acceptance to a program. This is particularly true if accommodations include any of the following: sign language interpreting, captioning, conversion of print to audio or Braille, or mobility considerations including but not limited to transportation and housing.
  • Contact the EA office and Services for Students with Disabilities prior to identifying prospective study abroad programs of interest.
  • Create a realistic budget for study abroad expenses including personal expenses associated with disability-related needs (e.g., personal attendant services, specialized equipment, adaptive technology, medication or other health care costs, etc.)
  • Meet all application and fee deadlines.

What Education Abroad and Disability Advisors Will Do

  • Assist you in evaluating the accessibility of any education abroad program.
  • Determine appropriate accommodations for education abroad programs in consultation with you, faculty, and the host institution.
  • Coordinate reasonable accommodations needed to create an accessible education abroad experience, including sign language interpreters, captioning, conversion of print to audio or Braille, and class notetakers.
  • Provide resources about accessibility on programs the student is considering.
  • Consult with one another to obtain answers or feedback for any disability-related questions.
  • Serve as the liaison between UW-Platteville faculty and the host institution regarding student accessibility needs and identifying reasonable accommodations.

What UW-Platteville Faculty and Host Institutions Will Do

  • Identify essential program standards for the education abroad program.
  • Assist in identifying reasonable accommodations and resolving access concerns that allow full access to the extent possible without fundamentally altering the essential requirements of the program.
  • Determine whether you will be able to meet the program standards with or without the accommodations that can be provided in that country or experience.
  • Assist with in-country problem solving for unanticipated concerns.

Timeline and Success Strategies for Studying Abroad

Start Early

Discuss your accommodation needs with your education abroad advisor. Students using accommodations start planning six months to a year before the program start date. The more extensive your needs (for example, sign language interpreters or accessible transportation and housing), the more advanced planning time is critical.

Research Study Abroad Programs

Attend information sessions and speak with the Education Abroad office about program options. Consider the connections to your educational and personal goals as well as the requirements for acceptance into a study abroad program.

Attend the Education Abroad Fair in September to speak with faculty and previous student participants about their programs.

Identify Accommodations

Minimize barriers and enhance your participation and enjoyment while abroad by identifying accommodations. Keep in mind that due to differing environments, you may need assistance abroad that you may not typically need in the United States.

Gather information on each program relating to your individual needs, such as arranged and public transportation, housing, alternative test taking, course requirements, etc. The EA office can work with you to find sites compatible with your interests and accommodations. They can also find support systems in the host country that best coincide with your educational and disability needs.

Decide

  • Narrow your options to one or two programs of interest.
  • Speak to an education abroad advisor responsible for your selected program(s).
  • Consider your accommodation needs as well as financial assistance, personal assistants, or assistive technology.
  • Develop a budget and a financial plan for accomplishing your goal.
  • Select a study abroad program and apply!

Study Abroad Program Considerations

The following series of questions prompt you to consider aspects of the different programs you are contemplating. Different situations that may arise before and during your study abroad experience is identified. This is not a comprehensive list and there may be additional factors that should be discussed with the Education Abroad office or Services for Students with Disabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Information

Education Abroad


0328 Warner Hall

Walk-in Hours via Zoom

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
2–3:30 p.m.

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