United States

Collage of photos showing Shea interacting with fellow students on the set of a movie

Quick Tips for Personal Assistant Services Abroad

Get funding

There are a variety of methods to cover the costs of a personal assistant. Disabled travelers may save up money through work-study. A community fundraiser using an online tool like GoFundMe can also be a good way to find funding.

Showing that the international exchange is part of an Individualized Employment Plan (IEP), an exchange participant might get funding from The Department of Vocational Rehabilitation for a personal assistant.

Collage of an ID badge showing Justin; a Hong Kong stamp; sticker of a pelican; photo of Justin in an orchard

Community Colleges Open Doors

View this article as it appears in the AWAY journal (PDF).

When Justin, a man with left hip dysplasia, did not make it into the University of Hong Kong, he was in good company. Since the government fixes the number of spots available for local students enrolling in the highly coveted public university system, space is limited. In a given year, only around 20% of applicants make it. That means 80% don't.

Collage of an ID badge showing Anna; a ribbon in Swedish flag colors; a paint palette; bulletin board with photos of Anna taped to it

The Road to Independence Runs Through A Community College

View this article as it appears in the AWAY journal (PDF).

For Anna, a woman with Down syndrome from Sweden, study abroad runs in the family. Her sister studied in Argentina, and her brother studied in the United States. It was only natural that she would also want to study abroad, and she strongly advocated with her family to support her in doing so.

A young man, viewed from behind, uses a purple marker to write "Eric C" on a colorful wall that has been airbrushed with green, black and pink patterns. He wears a knit cap and sweatshirt.

Embrace the Uncertainty: Studying Abroad in Scotland

The first time flying by myself was during my senior year at Clark University, when I embarked on a semester abroad at the University of Stirling. I remember talking to friends about feeling very nervous about the upcoming semester, and they said that it is normal to be nervous about something unknown. They advised me to embrace the uncertainty. This concept was new to me, but it helped to create a wonderful experience in Scotland.

When I got to Stirling, I moved into a dorm with most of the other exchange students.

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