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LGBTQIA Students 

The Study Abroad Program is a safe space for LGBTQIA students. Please feel free to come talk to us, whether it’s just to chat, discuss an issue or concern, etc.  

Find information on the LBTQA Center through the Access and Diversity Center here. There is information on the LIFE (Love Is For Everyone) meetings, Brown Bag Support/Discussion Group meetings, LGBTQA Mentors, campus gender neutral restrooms, Allies on Campus, and more.  

Students with Disabilities and Health Concerns 

 “The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. The ADA is one of America's most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life -- to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in State and local government programs and services. Modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin – and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 -- the ADA is an "equal opportunity" law for people with disabilities. 

To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability, which is defined by the ADA as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered.” Source:  

Students with disabilities or health issues may have special considerations for study abroad, but it can be a incredible experience! Here are some tips that may make your experience go a little smoother. 
  1. Build a support network. There is great value in making friends who will stand by you and support you when you feel ill. Find a friend in each class. Become close with your roommate. Having supportive friends can make the experience abroad more manageable, accessible, and enjoyable.  
  2. Along those same lines, have an open line of communication with your professors and your advisors. Let them know how you are doing, what you need, and what would make the experience more feasible for you. It is very likely they will be more than willing to accommodate your needs.   
  3. Learn medical terminology in English. If you can express how you feel and what your body is going through, you can better receive the medical help you may need. 
  4. Similarly, find out the names of any prescriptions you may take in the United States. Some medications go by different names in different countries. If you will be receiving refills while abroad, be sure to know what to ask for from the pharmacist. It’s also a good idea to have a note from your doctor listing and describing all your medications (both in English and your home language). 
  5. Call venues ahead of time to see if they are accessible for your needs. If you are going out and are worried the destination may not be able to suit your needs, give them a call and find out. Call restaurants and ask if they can accommodate your food allergy. Ask if a building has an elevator. You can even ask what the venue is like so you can determine what support-gear or mobility device you may need. If the venue cannot meet your exact needs, they may be able to work out some other type of accommodation. 
  6. Rest and take care of your health. Being in a new place is exciting, and it is incredibly tempting to want to fill every minute. However, you will have a much better experience if you also take care of your body. You will miss out on more if you are only functioning at half-capacity. Take siestas, say no to late nights every now and again, get enough sleep, stay hydrated, eat well, exercise (if applicable). Your experience abroad will be so much better if your health is a priority. 
  7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You will not get the assistance you need if you don’t ask for it. Talk to your professors, your friends, people you meet. They can offer assistance and are often quite willing to do so. 
Studying abroad is a very attainable goal for people with disabilities! When you are applying for a program, you must disclose any disability so that we have ample time to put any necessary support measures in place. We want to make sure that you are well supported while at Utah State and have a successful study abroad experience!  

The Disability Resource Center can help you determine what kinds of support services you may be able to receive while studying at Utah State. If you need any further guidance, please be in touch with your Study Abroad Advisor. 

Considerations adapted from study abroad student McKinley Benson; McKinley’s blog

This article gives a great analogy for understanding what someone with a disability might be going through on a daily basis.

Mobility International  

For tips on accessibility in many large cities around the globe: Wheel Chair Travel  

Students who take Medication and Plan to take Medication while in the United States

We strongly encourage you to talk with your physician about how to manage treatment while abroad. You should discuss these items: 
  • The quality of medical care in the United States. 
  • Will travel affect your treatment plan? 
  • Will language be a barrier if you need treatment? 
  • Access to required medications in the United States.  
  • The effect of required program activities on your treatment plan.  
  • Potential physical and emotional stress as a result of being in a foreign environment. 
  • An emergency plan in case of a medical issue. 
The Disability Resource Center can help you determine what kinds of support services you may be able to receive while at Utah State. 

There are also mental health considerations when studying abroad due to the potential physical and emotional stress as a result of being in a foreign environment. Please let us know if you anticipate or are experiencing any issues with regard to mental health while you are studying at Utah State. If you feel that you would like to consult with a professional while you are at Utah State, please contact USU’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). 

To ensure you make appropriate preparations regarding your medication prior to departure, we recommend these steps: 
  • Confirm that your medication is allowed in the United States and find out how much you can bring with you. Some countries do not allow certain medications, and some may allow the medications but restrict the amount you can bring. Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country of residence to find out more information. 
  • Talk with your physician about your travel and your medication. These are items you should discuss: 
    • Do you need an extra supply of medication for the whole duration of your program, or can you get the medication while abroad? 
    • What is the generic version of your prescription in case the brand is not available in the United States? Are there other alternate or substitute prescriptions that you can take in case your medication is not available in the United States? 
  • Get a copy of your prescription(s) and a letter from your doctor regarding your medication needs to take abroad with you. You may need to present this when going through customs before entering the United States.  
  • Contact your insurance provider to inform them that you are going abroad and to ask what resources are available in the United States.  
  • Fill your prescription early to ensure you have it prior to departure. Once you have started your study abroad, always carry your medication in its original officially labeled container from the pharmacy. 

Be sure to plan ahead so that you have everything you need before you go! We recommend talking with your doctor at least two to three months before you depart.  

If you need any further guidance, please be in touch with the Study Abroad Advisor.