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Students who receive accommodations at UM can often receive the same or similar accommodations abroad, with some preparation.
Selecting a Program
CGIS recommends that students start the process early, discussing options with CGIS advisors, who can help students find a program that works best for their needs. Once students know which program they plan to travel on, they should contact the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office to work through accommodations needs for their time studying abroad.
Please note that accommodations may not transfer abroad, as different countries have different laws regarding access and accommodations. Making arrangements for accommodations is the personal responsibility of the student, and should be done with the assistance of SSD.
If students are curious if their accommodations will transfer abroad, they should consult with CGIS advisors, who can contact the host institution abroad to assess accommodation possibilities. It is best for students to identify several programs that meet their academic interests since CGIS partners will have different accessibility standards.
Important Note: Need for accommodations is never a criterion for selection or admission to a program.
If a student hopes to use their accommodations abroad, they must obtain an advocacy letter—known as a Verified Individualized Services and Accommodations (VISA) form—from SSD. Students then submit a copy of this to their on-site program coordinator. Program coordinators vary by location, so students should consult their CGIS advisor if unsure whom to share the information with. To learn more about this process, read our Disability Accommodations Handout and check out the process chart below.
Students should be aware that federal and state laws do not require the university to provide funding for accommodations and facilities beyond US borders.
It is the student’s responsibility to assure that any funding required for special services abroad is arranged well in advance. If funding is not available, students are responsible for all costs associated with special services abroad.
Students who disclose needs at the last minute, or who require accommodations that cannot be made available in the host country, may be advised to postpone participation.