Study Abroad Support

Disabiity Support Services ( DSS) can provide additional support to GW students who are studying abroad with the institution and  GW's Office of Study Abroad (OSA). Levels of support that the office is able to provide vary, depending on the program you are seeking out. Below is some information to consider in your plans for studying abroad with a disability identity.

Regardless of the study abroad program or opportunity you are enrolled in or seeking out, DSS can provide support in the form of a verification letter for your existing accommodations or discussing additional accommodations that may be possible, depending on the program you have in mind. Students should set up an accommodations meeting with the DSS Representative for their GW college/school  at least two months prior to their departure to discuss this type of request further. If you are not a student at GW and will require accommodations to  participate in a GW sponsored Short-Term Study Abroad experience contact [email protected].

If you are studying in an independent program or in a program not affiliated with GW, we encourage you to seeking out their requirements for documentation and verification of your disability/need for accommodations before requesting support from DSS. Some programs may vary in their requirements for accommodations, which may affect what information DSS will need to provide to substantiate how your disability will impact your study abroad experience. Program requirements for documentation or disability-related needs should be directed to your study abroad program's advisor or director.

DSS works collaboratively with GW’s (OSA) to improve the participation of students with disabilities in the university’s many educational exchange programs. Follow our three-step process when preparing your Office of Study Abroad application.

Step One: Research Study Abroad Programs

Use the OSA Approved Program list to research the program you'd like to apply for. Schedule an individual appointment with OSA Advising Services for additional assistance with choosing a program.

Step Two: Disclose Need for Accommodations

As always, disclosure of disability status is a personal choice.

If you are planning to study abroad, you are encouraged to disclose your disability status to your study abroad advisor and to your specific program so that you can get a sense of what disability accommodations will be available to you and how those accommodations will be implemented. We can be a part of this conversation if you'd like our help.

Study abroad programs are not obligated to meet requests for accommodations without advance notification of need. Countries outside of the United States have their own rules and regulations concerning academic accommodations and do not necessarily comply with Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments (ADAA) regulations.

Step Three: Request Accommodations for Study Abroad

After being accepted into a study abroad program, DSS will, at your request, prepare an individualized letter for the study abroad office that notes your eligibility for accommodations.

To request this letter, email [email protected] with the semester and year that you will be studying abroad, as well as the program name, city name, and the contact name and email address for program coordinator (please check with your GW Study Abroad advisor if you have questions about who your program coordinator is).

Once the letter has been prepared, you will receive a scanned copy of it. In addition, the DSS-OSA liaison will also receive a copy of your letter. Please share this letter with your personal OSA advisor, and keep a copy for your records.

Please verify your specific program’s disability documentation requirements because additional information beyond a DSS letter may be required.

Additional Resources