Students with Disabilities

Will my disability keep me from studying abroad?   NO WAY!

Students with disabilities can certainly experience immersion in another culture by studying abroad.  That said, planning ahead and researching to find a location and program that meets needs does take time.  We suggest you start the process at least 9-12 months prior to your intended term abroad. No matter what type of disability there is a program for you!

First steps:
  1. Check out W&M’s Student Accessibility Services website and register with Student Accessibility Services.
  2. Learn about the steps to studying abroad and program options on the Global Education website.
  3. Attend a Study Abroad 101 workshop.
  4. Email [[ljhenderson, Leslie Henderson, Director of Student Accessibility Services]] to make an appointment with Student Accessibility Services to discuss any accommodations that might be needed while abroad.
  5. Make an appointment with [[smmitt, Sylvia Mitterndorfer, Director of Global Education]] to explore study abroad programs that can provide the accommodation you will need while abroad.

Please note: For accommodation to be considered in the host country, students MUST be registered with Student Accessibility Services at W&M. It is important that students disclose this information up to 9-12 months prior to going abroad to ensure enough time to coordinate accommodation.  Disclosure will NOT impact acceptance into a program. 

Student Accessibility Services, the Global Education Office and the program provider/host university will work closely with you to identify opportunities for an enriching, engaging and safe study abroad experience.

Countries and regions of the world have varying standards of accessibility and capacities to accommodate disability. 

Scholarship Resource for students with disabilities:

Study Abroad Organizations (Providers) have staff which assist students individually to find programs that can accommodate specific needs and will work closely with the host university regarding the appropriate support and services.  Some locations do have limitations on the type of support available for certain disabilities.  

The following providers have shared their procedure or contact information. Check back for information from other providers and exchange partner universities.  

Advanced Studies in England (ASE)
Contact Jonathan Hope at  as early in the application process as possible to discuss individual needs.

AIFS Study Abroad
AIFS Admissions staff are available to discuss program options with prospective students.  Call 800-727-2437 or visit the AIFS website.

Contact: Carolyn Lutes: or Christie Johnson: Both can be reached toll free  at: 1-800-844-4124.

Contact the Arcadia Program Manager for the interested program or country to discuss specific needs.

Contact Gretchen Cook-Anderson for information.
IES offers grants to students whose disabilities may add significant cost to their study abroad experience.

Contact IFSA-Butler staff – either a Program Advisor  with interest in specific programs or Emily Koehler for guidance on best fit programs.

The ISA website has comprehensive information for students with disabilities interested in studying abroad.

Given the field-based nature of SIT programs, students with mobility disabilities should contact their Disability Services office as early as possible.

Study Abroad Italy (SAI)
Italian institutions are less likely to be able to accommodate students with mobility issues. Most housing arrangements are walk-up apartments and building are older with few elevators.  Also movement around older Italian cities, with their cobblestone streets and dearth of wheelchair accessible sidewalks, can present obstacles. Contact: Annie King, Director of Admissions, SAI, toll free at 1.800.655.896.