Studying in Europe while living with a disability
The excitement of studying abroad and starting life can be accompanied by concerns about adapting to your new life, especially for people living with a disability.
Fortunately, for students with a disability who are taking advantage of the opportunity to study elsewhere in the EU, there are many resources to help get you started.
As a rule, European countries strive for inclusivity in education. International education is no exception. There are differences in the approach to inclusivity, of course, because like Europe itself, the rules and regulations are diverse.
In some Member States, it is a national requirement to make university campuses accessible to all. In others locales, it is the responsibility of local authorities or individual universities to improve accessibility for students with disabilities.
While they can differ between institutions and countries, improvements are ongoing across Europe to ensure equal access and opportunity for all.
Better accessibility improves everybody’s quality of life. For that reason, since 2010, the European Commission has awarded an annual prize that recognises a city’s efforts to improve accessibility. To see previous winners, which may help you decide on your study destination, follow the link to the Access City Award.
Support systems are structured differently in different countries. For example, there may be services available for students living with disabilities, such as note-takers, interpreters, braille transcriptions and special desk arrangements.
Unfortunately, information about these facilities may not always be readily available or translated into English. To get an overview of national and university procedures and available support, follow the link to InclusiveMobility.eu.
Access to a person such as a student counsellor to assist you with additional information and advice is invaluable.
Often universities have ambassadors or student groups dedicated to assisting students.
For people who are adapting to mobility challenges, a useful resource is the ExchangeAbility project. Here, fellow students share their experiences with others to help them become more mobile.
Although aimed at exchange students, it provides info and inspiration to full-time students as well.
To get an overview of this support organisation, follow the link to ExchangeAbility
There may be specific scholarships and/or funding available for individuals who are living with a disability.
Scholarships may have different requirements and conditions. For example, you may be required to have your health certificates translated by a legal translator.
For further information, follow the links below to