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Under-Represented Education Abroad Students

Resources for Under-Represented Students in Education Abroad

LGBTQ+ students will find some countries more accepting than others, but all countries will have some internal variation. LGBTQ+ students should research attitudes toward LGBTQ+ persons in the host culture, as well as laws regarding LGBTQ+ identification in the host country.

Countries may have LGBTQ+ support groups in cities and on university campuses in addition to local LGBTQ+ communities. In some countries, LGBTQ+ communities may be largely underground while other countries may have vibrant and visual LGBTQ+ communities.

Attitudes of a host culture can also vary between gay men and lesbian women and between bisexual and transgender individuals. Again, advanced research is important to fully understand LGBTQ+ community and attitude dynamics of a country, region and culture. It will ultimately be a personal decision whether or not to disclose your identity in a host culture, country and/or university.

If you are taking hormone therapies, these may not be readily available or accessible in a host country and may need to be brought from the U.S. Research the regulations for bringing medications into a country as well as mailing medications well in advance of traveling.

Here are a few resources for your research:

Are you a member of ROTC or a veteran planning to study abroad? We encourage you to discuss your plans with Military and Veteran Services as soon as possible. They can help answer questions you may have about utilizing your GI Bill® benefits for study abroad. Benefits may vary depending on your VA Chapter. Utilizing your benefits for study abroad may have restrictions and special processes, so start the process early.

Visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website for more information.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by the VA is available at the official U.S. government website at:

Below are some resources for students from various racial and ethnic backgrounds who are interested in learning how diversity is perceived in other countries and how they can better prepare themselves for their time abroad:

First-generation students who are in their first year at U of I are encouraged to apply for the Idaho First-Generation Global Fellowship. Successful applicants will be guaranteed $1,000-3,000 for a future study abroad program with ISA or TEAN (both study abroad programs that are affiliated to U of I). Sign up for an info session (held twice per semester) to learn more.

Below are some additional resources for first-generation college students who are interested in studying abroad:

Education Abroad in the International Programs Office (IPO) strives to provide equal opportunity to all students who wish to study abroad. All study abroad experiences require a degree of flexibility on the part of the student and students with disabilities may need to redefine or alter some aspects of their independence when studying abroad. For example, in some countries disability management may be culturally based (e.g. relying on personal or familial connections) rather than the U.S.-based procedural model for accommodations. Accessibility and levels of accommodation will vary by country, university and program. Researching accessibility and planning for accommodations are key to a successful study abroad experience.

Laws regarding disability and disability services vary by country; accessibility with regards to public facilities also vary by country. A university abroad may or may not be adequately equipped to serve students with disabilities. Education Abroad will assist any student in negotiating accommodations with universities, residences and transportation. Whether you require wheelchair access, sign-language translation or extra time on examinations, developing a plan is key to a smooth transition abroad. Please note that unlike in the U.S., you may need to pay for part of the costs of accommodations while abroad. Since this is a complex issue, we highly recommend including the cost of any arranged accommodations early on in the discussion.

Steps for Planning Your Education Abroad Experience:

  1. Make a short list of the places you would like to study, regardless of accessibility or disability concerns.
  2. Meet with an Education Abroad Advisor to discuss programs of interest and the likelihood of accommodations in programs on your list.
  3. Meet with the Center for Disability Access & Resources (CDAR) to discuss your study abroad plans.
  4. Select a program and apply.
  5. Prepare yourself to alter the means of managing your disability and define a support network.


It will be up to the individual student whether to disclose a non-apparent disability and to decide if doing so is appropriate or necessary before, during or after studying abroad. It will be necessary to release any disability if a student wants or needs assistance in planning for accommodations. All programs will need time to plan for adequate accommodations.


  • U.S. airlines are required to accommodate persons with disabilities. Check with the Department of Transportation for specifics regarding disability accommodations.
  • Foreign airlines may not accommodate all disabilities. Before you book a foreign air itinerary, check with the carrier to ensure that they provide disability accommodations.
  • For long-haul flights on both U.S. and foreign carriers, check to ensure that accessible airplane bathrooms are available before booking a flight.
  • Local transportation may be difficult to plan in advance. Some programs offer a shuttle service from the airport to your temporary accommodations and may be able to help plan local transport for persons with disabilities.


  • Before committing to a program, students should research accessible housing options.
  • Make accessible housing a key part of the discussion you have with your Education Abroad Advisor before you make your final decision on your program of choice. Education Abroad staff will coordinate with universities and programs abroad to assist students with disabilities in obtaining appropriate housing abroad.

Supplies, Medication and Assistance

  • If you need a person to assist you while traveling, or during the duration of your stay abroad, plan well in advance.
  • Some disability-related supplies may not be readily available abroad. Research what supplies are available, and bring those that cannot be procured abroad with you from the U.S.
    • Some items may need to be shipped.
    • Research the regulations for bringing medications into a country well in advance of traveling and speak with your physicians about how you will manage medications while abroad.
  • If your host university has a disability service office, be sure to research the types of support they can provide.

Classroom-Related Accommodations

  • Many universities abroad are able to provide classroom accommodations to persons with disabilities, such as extra time on tests, note-taking assistance, etc.
  • If you require classroom assistance technologies/assistive devices, check well in advance if these can be provided by the university abroad. Such devices may need to be brought from home or the U.S.


Country-Specific Resources

Phone: 208-885-7870

Fax: 208-885-2859