Denise works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service. She has been blind from birth and has always loved languages. Her study of French and Spanish began in high school and continued through college, where she was a language major. As Denise enhanced her language skills, she sought out opportunities to get involved in international exchange, but encountered barriers related to her disability.
Eight years makes a world of difference. Dr. Mona Al-Sawwaf, head of the Department of Psychiatry at the King Fahd General Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, traveled as a U.S. Department of State-sponsored Humphrey Fellow to the United States to enhance professional networks and to meet colleagues in her field at top university hospitals – eight years after surviving a car accident and healing from multiple fractures in her legs.
Although I was born in a small, rural town in southwestern Japan, growing up I had an interest in foreign affairs. However, my family could not imagine that their son could travel outside of Japan.
After earning a college degree in Japanese and Chinese, taking seven trips to China to work and study, and twelve trips to Japan and Korea to teach English, one might consider me an expert, but I don’t feel like one.
The number of students with disabilities participating in study abroad is likely to increase in the coming years - be ready for them! These surveys look at overall satisfaction, disability supports, and participation levels of students with disabilities.
Seven percent of the international students to the U.S. said they use disability services, according to i-graduate's International Student Barometer.
The majority (89%) of these students reported they are satisfied with overall learning, living, and support services overseas. This is similar as other USA-destination international students in the survey who do not use disability services (90%).
Professional exchanges, such as internships and fellowships, provide opportunities for international visitors to gain career experience or to share their knowledge or skills while living in a particular country. These exchanges can last from a few weeks to a few years.