Advice for students who have a physical disability, a long-term medical condition, a Specific Learning Difference (SpLD) e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, a sensory impairment or mental health issues.
To enjoy a successful period of study abroad, preparations for any disability-related support that you may need during this time will go a long way to ensuring this. Study Abroad is a wonderful opportunity, so it is important to plan well ahead of your departure date for what you may need while you are away. We hope that these guidance notes will help you with your planning and staff at Nottingham are here to assist you with this.
Think about the ways that your disability or medical condition impacts you in your day-to-day living and in the academic environment.
This might consist of friends, family, GP and medical team, mental health adviser, counsellor, PA for personal care, Academic Support Tutor, Disability Adviser or University Academic Support Workers. You should inform your Academic Support Tutor/Disability Adviser as soon as you are starting to consider a period of study abroad, to discuss any concerns you may have and to start planning for your support whilst you are abroad.
Most people moving to a new country for any length of time will feel homesick and isolated at some point.
If you have a long term medical condition or mental health problems, such feelings may be more pronounced. It is important to know where to turn to for support if you are struggling. It is also a good idea to establish what formal support services are provided through your host institution, such as Student Disability Services, Student Advice Centre, Counselling Service, Hall Warden, peer mentoring or buddying. There may also be university clubs and societies that you can join, or a Facebook Group for Study Abroad students.
How you are taught and how your teaching is timetabled may be different in other countries.
In addition, assessments may vary, and this may be dependent on how teaching is delivered. Finding out as much as you can about your likely timetable and assessment formats will help you make informed decisions when considering study abroad.
You should discuss any specific health or disability related needs with your medical or mental health teams, so that you can develop appropriate strategies to manage them successfully while you are abroad. This may include such things as registering with a doctor and accessing medication and psychological therapies. Some universities may offer a counselling service but many will not. You may therefore need to find out about local services and what costs may be involved.
You will need to establish in good time such things as what types of medical care will be available in your destination country.
If you currently have mental health issues or have experienced periods of poor mental health in the past, you should discuss well in advance of your departure date how you are going to manage and maintain your mental health while you are away from many of your familiar support networks.
Discuss any concerns well in advance with your whole support network, such as family and friends, medical team, Disability Adviser, University Mental Health Adviser. It is important that you have strategies in place as to where you can go to for support and what to do if you encounter any difficulties. The better prepared you feel, the more confident you will feel in your ability to cope with any problems if they occur.
Find out who is organising this and what type of accommodation is provided by your host institution.
Also think about its location and proximity to the university campus and any other services, such as transport.
You should also be aware that not all universities abroad offer the same range of adjustments and provision as British universities. You may therefore need to check whether your intended host institution can make the adjustments to exam arrangements or supply the equipment that you need and what their medical evidence policy is with regards to this provision.
Do not hesitate to discuss your support requirements abroad with your School. You will be allocated an academic in your School to act as your adviser for planning your study abroad, including checking the suitability of modules for your course of study.
If you have not already done so you should make contact with Academic or Disability Support, so that you can register with our service and meet with an Academic Support Tutor / Disability Support Adviser at as early a stage as possible to discuss your support whilst abroad and get any help with your application.
Erasmus funded students may be eligible for additional, disability-related funding; this should be discussed with your Academic Support Tutor / Disability Support Adviser.
If you have a Specific Learning Difference, such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, or ADHD, email:
If you have a physical disability, mental health condition or long-term medical condition, email:
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