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Study Abroad

Advice for students with a disability studying abroad

Studying abroad is a great opportunity and if you are thinking about going abroad as part of your degree, we strongly advise you to plan in advance. It is important to be aware that not all countries have the same type or level of support available, therefore it is important to plan ahead and make the appropriate preparations so that your disability-related support needs can be met whilst you are abroad. Your main point of contact for study abroad related matters will be the Global Experiences team globalexperiences@lancaster.ac.uk however for specific disability related advice and guidance you can contact the Disability Service disability@lancaster.ac.uk.

Considerations for studying abroad

It is helpful to spend some time thinking about the different ways in which your disability or long-term condition may impact your day to day life as well as the support and strategies you use to help you. Please give particular regard to the following:


  • Medical care and medication

    It is important to discuss any specific health or disability-related needs in advance with your medical professional. You may need to think ahead about registering with a doctor, accessing medication or arranging any ongoing therapeutic support. You will need to check if your host university offers a counselling service and potentially have a look into local services and the costs included.  

    It is advised that you consider the following questions: 

    •    Can your GP provide you with sufficient quantities of your medication? 

    •    Is your medication available in your host county? Will you be able to get replacement medication if you run out or misplace it? 

    •    If you need ongoing treatment or regular health reviews how will this be provided/ funded? 

    •    Will you need any specific medical insurance due to your health/ medical needs? 

  • Accommodation

    Find out who organises the accommodation and the different types of accommodation available at your host university. You may have to consider any specific accommodation requirements such as adaptations, en-suite, location, access issues etc. The earlier that you communicate your needs with your host university the more likely it is that any specific requirements can be taken into consideration.  

  • Reasonable adjustments e.g. exam arrangements, assistive technology, equipment

    Please be aware that not all overseas universities offer the same range of adjustments or support as Lancaster. You may wish to contact the disability service at your host university to check whether they can put in place any support and exam arrangements that you may need. You may wish to share a copy of your Inclusive Learning and Support Plan with your host university. A copy of this can be found on your student portal; alternatively you can contact the Disability Service for a copy of this.  

  • Cultural differences

    When looking into studying abroad, find out as much as you can about the country's culture and how they view disability; this will help you make a more informed choice. It is important to be aware that your host country may view disability and accessibility quite differently from England. Cultural norms may be more or less accommodating for certain disabilities and long-term health conditions.  

  • Support networks

    When moving to a new country is it quite normal to experience feelings of stress, anxiety and isolation. Students with a disability or long-term condition may find these feelings can be intensified. It is important to have a think about who you can contact if you need to speak to someone. It is also a good idea to be aware of the different support services available at your host university such as the counselling and disability services.  It may also be worth considering connecting with social groups including societies and clubs. A lot of this information can be found on host university websites or by contacting their support services directly.  

Important contacts

Lancaster University Global Experiences

Welcome Centre, Bowland College, Lancaster University LA1 4YT

E: globalexperiences@lancaster.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)1524 592035

Facebook: /LUGlobalExperiences

Instagram: @lu_globalaster University Global Experiences


Lancaster University Disability Service: disability@lancaster.ac.uk   01524 592111


For advice about preparing for travelling abroad: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/foreign-travel-for-disabled-people#overview

Disability Service, Student Wellbeing Services, University House, Lancaster, LA1 4YW - 01524 592111