You are probably not the only one. Studying abroad for the first time can be overwhelming for anyone. You have to decide on a program, make sure that you will receive credit towards any degree programs you might be completing, obtain a passport and successfully solicit a visa from the host country. After that, there is the actual international experience which can be intimidating if you have only recently been living on your own.
So why AESI?
People with disabilities must work through all of these challenges, and then some. You may need to figure out how to get around in a new city which has limited physical accessibility, or you may need to find personal care attendant services and negotiate a way of paying for it. You might be taking a medication, which is not permitted or difficult to obtain in the host country. In addition, local attitudes around your disability may seem less supportive than you've experienced in the United States.
Often, it can be hard to get guidance related to disability-concerns and international exchange from the places where other people would look. Study abroad advisors, program coordinators and even access specialists don't always have the answers that students need.
Enter NCDE's Access to Exchange Summer Institute (AESI), a course designed to prepare you for whatever challenges you might find in your international journey! Be a part of this first cohort! The first session starts August 10, 2021.
The three-week institute starts on August 10. Sessions will be Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 PM to 3 PM EDT. Individuals who successfully complete AESI will receive a certificate of completion from Mobility International USA (MIUSA).
Who is it for?
This is the course for you if:
- you have a disability,
- you are between the ages of 14 and 30,
- you have never been abroad before,
- you are not sure if international exchange is for you and would like to learn more,
- you don't know where to start, and
- you are available for at least four out of six sessions in August at the times mentioned above.
The course will cover a variety of topics including:
- Disability culture around the world,
- Discovering different types of international exchange programs,
- Creating your own international education plan,
- Conducting research into a program,
- Researching disability-related concerns, and
- Negotiating reasonable accommodations.
Interested? Submit an application here. If you/your student have any questions about the AESI, send a message to clearinghouse [at] miusa.org. Reasonable accommodations including captions and sign language interpretation are available.
Applications will be available in June
The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange is a project of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, designed to increase the participation of people with disabilities in international exchange between the United States and other countries, and is supported in its implementation by Mobility International USA.