After completing their high school studies, many students dream of continuing their education in another country. However those students that experience some level of physical impairment are unable to find material that references studying in a foreign country. Immersing and living in a new culture, means parting ways from your home and family, this might make them feel extremely excited but full with different other emotions.
Here we assemble some information on some points we think might be helpful before continuing higher education overseas.
Talking with the University’s Administration
If you want to make your physical condition 100% public to the university administration, or if you only want to reveal whatever you feel is imperative for your education is completely your choice. However, it is optimal to share as much as you want prior arriving to the university. This will serve not only to make your condition known, but also to assess the degree at which your necessities can be satisfied.
Try to inform the university administration about your limitations while taking a plane and going through the airport. This is so they are aware of potential issues you might face and overall so you can both be in sync.
It might be helpful to talk with your educators since they could have a better understanding of your necessities if it comes from you personally, instead of them being told by the administration.
You should note that being honest about what you are going through to your college can bring about different advantages, not only to you but also prospective students who suffer from limited mobility. This is so the administration can anticipate issues that might arise and wouldn’t be possible to do so without a precedent.
Researching the Country and Culture
This is an important aspect you should take on prior traveling. If you plan to visit some tourist attractions or other locations it might be helpful to check their overall accessibility for people with your capabilities. It is very likely that the places you’ll visit will have characteristics suited to those with limited mobility. This is due to the fact that there are people suffering from hindering physical conditions in all countries. Nevertheless, the level to which each community accepts and involves people with special needs on their daily lives and routines varies. Being aware of how you will probably be treated and regarded in the community due to your condition might help your prepare for certain aspects.
Socially, in certain places of the world people with special needs are regarded negatively and unfairly. This might result in a lack of proper physical adjustments suited for the physically impaired. What you were familiar with in your home-country might be different to what is available in a foreign country, to the extent in which some medicine you are accustomed to might be prohibited by law in this new place.
You should be aware that even though something is labeled as friendly for people with physical impairment it does not mean that it is completely accessible. Sometimes a venue or location might only be easy to access if you are accompanied by someone or if a stranger is willing to give you the push you need.
Counting with the emotional assistance of someone else while you are away from home might be a critical element. Depending on the country, there are certain agencies in charge of promoting equal opportunities to the disabled. These agencies can assist you both, prior and after entering the country. You can also rely on them for emotional assistance, since they can pair you up with someone who has already gone through a similar situation.
Traveling with Mobility Aids
Traveling with large mobility aids might be a challenge, this is why it is recommendable to only carry the devices that are absolutely necessary considering the period you are going to be outside the country.
The most optimal devices are those which fulfill 2 characteristics:
- They are not incredibly heavy
- They are not difficult to put together
You should try to have a plan B in case one of your mobility devices damages while abroad. To amend or prevent this incident you should:
- Take with you an electrical adaptor for the devices that need it
- Travel with a set of service items
- Try to have the state of your device assessed by a professional prior to traveling
- Check for places near you that can do these sorts of repairs while in a foreign country
By taking on these guidelines you can prevent many incidents, however no situation can be completely controlled. You will probably discover new things that you didn’t prepare to while you are already there, but you can develop plans for a number of aspects.