Sports and Outdoor Adventure International Exchanges
For many athletes or active people with disabilities, sports and adventure programs serve as entry points into international travel and allow participants to compete, network, and promote good citizenship.
Read about the variety of opportunities for individuals with disabilities interested in sports exchanges to participate as an athlete, a volunteer or an intern.
- International Exchange Sports Programs
- Websites & Videos
- International Adventure Recreation Programs
- International Exchange Stories from Athletes
134 East 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 213-8630
Fax: (212) 683-3475
The U.S.-Israel Citizenship Through Sports Alliance (CTSA) exchange offers young American and Israeli student-athletes a valuable means of applying their background in sports to the art of active citizenship. The CTSA has brought together the professional and amateur sports leagues to promote the values of good citizenship and education through sports.
535 N. McDonough Street
Decatur, GA 30030
Tel: (404) 270-2000
Fax: (404) 270-2039
BlazeSports America provides sport, recreation and physical activity opportunities for people with physical disabilities, nationally and internationally, with the mission to promote peace, human rights and equity through sports. BlazeSports leads international sports development projects in countries around the world to promote citizen exchange initiatives, and provides information for organizations to start a sports or recreation program.
International Committee of Sports for the Deaf
528 Trail Avenue
Frederick, Maryland 21701 USA
Fax: (301) 620-2990
Deaflympics promote and contribute to the development of sport opportunities and competitions, from grass-root to elite level, for Deaf athletes. The Summer and Winter Deaflympics offer competition at the highest level, but they are also about building skills, friendships, networks and pride in the worldwide deaf community.
53113 Bonn, GERMANY
Tel: (+49) 228-2097-200
Fax: (+49) 228-2097-209
The International Paralympics offers unpaid internships for career development at the International Paralympic Committee office in Germany. Internships are generally offered in the following areas: Media and Communication, Sport Administration, Finance and Legal Administration, Marketing & Fundraising, Development, Membership Relations, General Administration, Medical & Scientific. The IPC provides a quality work experience and prefers interns to stay for at least 3 months with regular attendance at the IPC Headquarters in Germany. Applicants must cover all expenses connected to the internship. The IPC does not offer financial compensation. Find internship opportunities on the IPC Jobs page.
Embassy of Japan, JET Program Office
2520 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 238-6772
Sports Exchange Advisors promote international exchange activities through certain designated sports. They are generally placed in sporting facilities or boards of education from which they assist in sports training. Sports Exchange Advisors have come from six different countries and are involved in coaching a variety of sports such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, and the ski-jump.
PADI offers various internships for the adventurous scuba diving career minded person. They train individuals to scuba dive (or build on existing skills) and then the skills and knowledge required to teach diving. They have placements in Thailand. Using the PADI system they train candidates with no scuba experience all the way up to instructor level (with many unique specialties and skills) allowing them to work in Asia or world wide. The internship program includes the IAHD (International Association of Handicapped Diving) specialty.
One Olympic Plaza
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909 USA
Tel: (719) 866-2038
The International Paralympic Academy offers educational trainings for sports professionals and programs such as a celebration of Paralympic sport for youth with physical disabilities.
65 Queen Street West,
Thomson Building, Suite 1900, Box 64
Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2M5, Canada
Tel: (+1) 416-498-1922
Fax: (+1) 416-498-1942
Right To Play is an athlete-driven international humanitarian organization. Volunteers use sport and play as a tool for the development of children and youth in the most disadvantaged areas of the world. International volunteers work for 12 months in Asia and Africa.
1133 19th St. NW
Washington, DC 20036-3604 USA
Tel: (202) 628-3630
Fax: 202-824 –0200
Special Olympics is an international organization dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition. Special Olympics offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round training and competition in 26 Olympic-type summer and winter sports. There is no charge to participate in Special Olympics. People with disabilities can volunteer or be involved in many ways at the international competitions.
Tel : (+ 33) 8705-91449
Fax : (+ 33)1473-49086
Sports Exchange is specialized in organizing soccer programs and tours all year long in Paris, France and Madrid, Spain at the sites of the French and Spanish National Soccer Teams. Over the past five years, Sports Exchange has welcomed players, teams, coaches and parents from the United States, Europe and Japan. Website is in French.
Director of International Sports Initiatives
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
U.S. Department of State
2200 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20547 USA
The U.S. Department of State's Office of Citizen Exchanges sponsors individual and institutional grants designed to promote mutual understanding and long-lasting ties between the United States and other countries through sports initiatives. Sports Envoys engage youth to promote education, positive health practices and respect for diversity. Sports Visitors are nominated by U.S. Embassies to travel to the United States for technical sports training, sports management, conflict resolution training and exposure to valuable U.S. sports contacts and then are encouraged to return to conduct in-country clinics for youth with their newly learned skills. The Sports Grant Competition supports public and private non-profit institutions to conduct projects that enhance and improve the infrastructure of youth sports programs around the world. People with disabilities have participated in the past and are encouraged to apply.
This Internet platform is a worldwide hub dedicated entirely to Sport & Development. The site provides a common working framework that facilitates the promotion of Sport & Development as a new domain of international cooperation, and is visited frequently by representatives of the United Nations, governments, sports federations, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions. It also includes a section on Disability and Sports.
Video, photographic images and interviews with athletes with disabilities who have turned their love of sports into international opportunities. Produced by Mobility International USA.
Paralympic athlete Anjali Forber-Pratt shares about how athletics can be an avenue for international exchange, leadership, and citizen diplomacy.
420 S. Howes, Suite B300
Fort Collins, CO, 80521
Tel: (877) 627-1425
Fax: (719) 623-0442
Global Explorers coordinates teacher and student groups at the middle and high school level to travel on short-term workshops to learn about and volunteer in the Arctic regions of Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru and Tanzania. Through its Leading the Way program, groups of people with and without visual impairments travel and hike in Peru.
448 Jean St.
Madison, WI 53703
Tel: (608) 256-0590
MAD IDEA Team organizes groups of people with diabetes around the world for mountaineering trips and to raise awareness of diabetes worldwide. They communicate and share experiences through their Facebook page.
5276 Hollister Ave., Suite 207
Santa Barbara, CA 93111
Tel: (888) 967-2841 or (805) 967-2841
Fax: (805) 964-7344
New Directions coordinates international travel programs each year for people with developmental disabilities. The emphasis is on enriching educational travel opportunities to expand experiential learning and enhance the self-esteem of every traveler. Each program includes personal attention and service. Itineraries are structured but include opportunities for choice.
PO Box 388
Balsam, NC 28707
Tel: (828) 456-3435
Fax: (828) 456-3449
SOAR serves youth with learning disabilities or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder who want to build life skills through adventure opportunities in the United States and may welcome people from overseas.
808 14th Ave. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Tel: (800) 728-0719 or (612) 676-9400
TTY: (612) 676-9475
Fax: (612) 676-9401
Wilderness Inquiry organizes a wide variety of canoe, sea kayak, dogsled, rafting, horse pack and hiking trips in Africa, North America, Oceania and other regions of the world. All trips include people with and without disabilities working together to make the outdoor adventures open to everyone.
For many emerging and established leaders with disabilities, disabled sports programs serve as entry points into international travel and exposure to career possibilities in international fields. There are a variety of opportunities for individuals with disabilities interested in sports exchanges to participate as an athlete, a volunteer or an intern.
“I always felt like I wanted to travel and see new things and meet new people. Being in sports definitely allowed me to do it.”
Meghan Smith - High school and international competitive swimmer who is Blind
People with disabilities already engaged in disabled sports programs are uniquely positioned to expand their horizons to the international level, possessing the leadership, determination and networking to make their experience successful. International exchange programs in competitive and non-competitive sports for people with disabilities at all levels around the world are not the only option. Consider a wider experience beyond competition to include cultural, linguistic, and educational experiences abroad through volunteering, studying, interning, teaching and training.
All information provided by MIUSA and the National Clearinghouse on Disability & Exchange (NCDE) is subject to change without notice. Although efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, MIUSA/NCDE cannot be held liable for inaccuracy, misinterpretation or complaints arising from these listings. Mention of an organization, company, service or resource should not be construed as an endorsement by MIUSA/NCDE. Please advise NCDE of any inaccuracies you may find.