AU Abroad and the Academic Support and Access Center (ASAC) make every effort to ensure that students with disabilities can participate successfully in study abroad programs. As a result of these efforts, AU students with disabilities study abroad as frequently as other students and find that, for the most part, they can access accommodations with advance planning.
What can I expect overseas?
Please be aware that American University cannot guarantee that facilities, technology, or support services will be available at each location abroad in the same range and quality as on the AU campus. Laws in other countries are in effect, and procedures followed by institutions abroad may be different from what you are accustomed to at AU.
The ASAC can work with students to individually assess disability needs as they relate to a student's interest, support systems, and the availability of accommodations in specific locations.
How do I prepare to study abroad?
The following checklist can be helpful for AU students with disabilities who wish to study abroad.
In advance of deciding where to study, make an appointment with your counselor in the Academic Support and Access Center (ASAC) to begin a conversation about study abroad options.
Identify a study abroad site based on your interests and your disability needs.
Apply online at the AU Abroad Web site.
Once admitted, complete the Disability Accommodations Request form which will be available on your AU Abroad portal.
If you think the services or accommodations you need may not be available at your location, clarify by e-mail with the appropriate person overseas in advance. Your ASAC counselor can help with the communication.
Request a study abroad letter of accommodations from your ASAC counselor. Take one copy to the AU Abroad office and keep one copy to carry with you to your program.
Soon after you arrive overseas, speak with the program director at enclave or contract programs about your accommodation needs. If you are directly enrolling in a foreign university as an international student, the appropriate administrator may be a disability coordinator or a dean. Follow their advice about arranging accommodations with your professors.
E-mail your ASAC counselor if we can be of help while you are overseas.
NASPA's International Education Knowledge Community awarded the Best Practice Award for Global Partnership Program in 2008 to the AU collaboration, "A Three-Year Effort to Increase Study Abroad Opportunities for Students with Disabilities." This award was the third for the DSS, ASC, and AU Abroad collaboration, following the Gold Excellence Award in the diversity category and the Bronze Medal among all Gold Excellence Awards winners.