International Education Week Envisions "Access for All"

Collage of faces; text reads: International Education Week, US Department of State/US Department of Education
Put your best face forward for international education. (Image courtesy of U.S. Department of State.)
This November 16-20, 2015, people around the world will show their support for programs that promote understanding across cultures.

A joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education, International Education Week is an annual event to promote international understanding and build support for international education/exchange. Running from November 16-20th, the theme for IEW 2015 is "Access for All," challenging all of us to think critically and creatively about not only how we can remove barriers to international education, but also how international education itself can become a vehicle for social justice. See the lastest Statistics on U.S. College-Level Study Abroad Students with Disabilities.

Anyone can participate in IEW wherever they are by coordinating or attending activities in their local community. Learn more about International Education Week and find an event near you.

6 Ideas for Hosting an IEW Event that Engages People with Disabilities

IEW is the perfect occasion for disabled students' unions, disability staff, and international education staff to collaborate with one another. We will be part of some collaborative web chats during the week on Access for All, so join us! Also here are a few activities to get you started in engaging new allies in intercultural communication AND inclusion.

  1. Invite a returned international exchange participant with a disability to share stories about their overseas experiences.

  2. Don’t know of any student speakers? You can screen our captioned 5-minute movie “Passport to Possibilities” instead.

  3. Bring students with disabilities and international students together for an evening of cultural and language exchange.

  4. Have staff from the university’s study abroad office share information about international programs and study abroad funding opportunities with the disability groups on campus.

  5. Order and display our new "Access the World brochure" with information about how people with disabilities can go abroad for study, intern, teach, volunteer, and more. Alternative formats are available.

  6. Remember to think about access when planning an event! This includes finding a wheelchair-accessible venue, arranging for an ASL interpreter if needed, and ensuring that handouts and materials are available in alternative formats.

Explore our resources for creating access to international exchange for people with disabilities.