Deaf International Exchange Opportunities

Two young women are signing to each other while smiling.
Looking to focus on Deaf issues? Check out the organizations and programs below!

As a Deaf/Hard of Hearing individual, you have the right to apply to and participate in any type of international exchange program that fits your interests and goals! Exchange program providers and universities have worked with many participants to arrange sign language interpreters abroad, real-time captioning, CART and other technologies. If you are specifically interested in focusing on Deaf/Hard of Hearing issues or learning alongside other members of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing community, read on to learn about opportunities that might interest you.

And, if you don't find a Deaf/Hard of Hearing opportunity here that fits your interests, pave a new path and reach out to other international organizations, schools and programs that are involved in the Deaf/Hard of Hearing communities.

Organizations

Discovering Deaf Worlds
Discovering Deaf Worlds is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the self-determination of signing Deaf communities through local capacity building in developing countries.

Gallaudet University International Exchange Program Office
Gallaudet University fosters cooperative research, education and training to advance educational, cultural, social and vocational opportunities for persons who are Deaf, their families and professionals who work with them around the world.

Global Reach Out Initiative
The Global Reach Out Initiative (GRO) encourages deaf youth from nations spanning the globe to address social issues that limit deaf populations' opportunities to grow. Global Reach Out delegates achieve this goal through team-building activities, workshop development, and leadership enrichment.

Siena School for Liberal Arts, Deaf Studies Department
The Siena School for Liberal Arts Deaf Studies Department has worked with Italian and American Deaf and signing communities to allow ASL users access to transnational Deaf and signing communities through learning Italian Sign Language (LIS), and Italian Deaf Culture & History.

Global Deaf Connection
Global Deaf Connection is an international Deaf education, non-governmental organization that is increasing social, economic and educational opportunities for Deaf people in the world's poorest nations.

Programs

Ashanti School for the Deaf (Ghana)
The Ashanti School for the Deaf periodically looks for volunteers to be teachers' assistants in their classrooms. Volunteers may help coordinate extra-curricular programs, or teach academic subjects. Positions last eight or more weeks.

Deaf Culture, History, and Sign Language in France
This three-week program, led by the University of Rochester's ASL program, gives ASL users an opportunity to learn French Sign Language and French Deaf Culture in a formal setting and further their understanding of the international Deaf World.

Fulbright Grant in Deafness (Italy)
This scholarship allows a graduate student to conduct research, to teach, and/or collaborate on new projects in deafness-related fields in Italy. Fluency in American Sign Language (ASL) is required.

Fulbright Deaf Program (Ireland)
Though this particular program is not currently active, it was focused on fostering international partnerships between Gallaudet University and the deaf community in Ireland. A new sponsor for the Fulbright Deaf Studies Programme is currently being sought.

Gallaudet University Exchange Visitor Program
The purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges. Gallaudet University is working with the U.S. Department of State to support international Research Scholars, Short-Term Scholars, Specialists, and Students.

Gallaudet University China Study Abroad
Gallaudet students can enroll in the Deaf Chinese: Visual Expressions and Daily Life course, which includes a semester-long on-campus class, followed by a two week educational trip to China. Students will investigate the Deaf Chinese way of life, study and practice Chinese sign language and learn about visual expression in Chinese painting, photography, dance, theatre and architectural design. Travel grants are available to 10 Gallaudet students.

Gallaudet University India Study Tour
The India Study Tour, a two week “Amplified Academic Adventure,” allows students to study major historical cities in India and increase their knowledge of the educational, social and economic conditions of Deaf people in the Indian subcontinent. Students who participate must also be enrolled in a specific Gallaudet course.

Global Explorers Leading the Way Program
The Global Explorers Leading the Way program unites students of mixed abilities, including Deaf and Hard of Hearing students, on incredible adventures around the world. Participants gain skills as leaders who focus on building a shared vision, encouraging independence and teamwork, learning from mistakes, questioning assumptions, promoting trust and embracing adversity.

Siena School for Liberal Arts – Summer Deaf Studies Program
Two- to three-week summer programs for signers, adult professionals and graduate students to gain exposure to a Deaf-World that expands beyond America, including Italian Sign Language and Italian Deaf Culture.

Taglit-Birthright Israel: Hillel
Coordinated in June each year, the Taglit-Birthright: Hillel trip is open to Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Children of Deaf Adults (CODA), ASL Students, and Interpreters-In-Training. Conducted in ASL and English with ASL interpreter support, meet other students as you explore Israel and spend time with Israelis from all backgrounds.

World Endeavors – Deaf Education in Jamaica Program
In partnership with the Jamaica Association for the Deaf, World Endeavors recruits experienced Deaf educators who are fluent in sign language as well as volunteers without signing abilities. The Summer Program is an intensive literacy program with the goal of teaching Jamaican Sign Language and English reading and writing skills to Deaf educators in Jamaica.

Mention of a resource should not be construed as an endorsement by MIUSA/NCDE nor is the list exhaustive.