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Inclusivity & Diversity



The Cal Poly International Center is highly supportive of access to study abroad opportunities for all students.  As you explore your options for study abroad, it is important to exercise self-awareness and knowledge about various study abroad programs in order to make an informed decision about which program is a good fit for you.  

You may wish to disclose your disability-related accommodation needs to relevant staff soon after you have been accepted into a program so that appropriate arrangements and accommodation needs can be addressed in advance. 

Remember that other cultures may provide disability access in different ways. Learn about what types of accommodations are provided in your host country, and be open to different ways of accommodating your disability. 

Be flexible with your country or program selections due to the potential lack of accommodation services. Have some backup programs in mind. 

Find out as much as you can in advance about your host culture and how they view disability by reading, talking to other students, and attending pre-departure orientation sessions. The more you know, the better prepared you will be to interact in the new environment. 

Think about how you will answer questions about your disability in the language of your host country. Look up key vocabulary words ahead of time. 

Resources for Study Abroad Students with Disabilities 

  • Mobility International USA (MIUSA) aspires to empower people with disabilities through international exchange, information, technical assistance and training to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in international exchange and development programs. 
  • Access Abroad, a federally funded project, seeks to enhance existing study abroad opportunities for students with disabilities. This is currently the most comprehensive resource for students with disabilities and study abroad. 
  • Disability Resource Center (DRC) provides advising on disabilities and accommodations both at Cal Poly and while on study abroad 
  • Diversity Abroad offers resources for diversity and inclusion of students with disabilities on study abroad 

Disability Statement for Study Abroad 

Cal Poly will attempt to arrange reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities, although it is important to note that countries and educational institutions differ in their infrastructure and ability to accommodate individuals with disabilities. Certain sites are better equipped to assist students with disabilities, and we recommend speaking to a Study Abroad Advisor and the Disability Resource Center early on in the application process about any and all needs for accommodation. 


As a part of our commitment to improving the accessibility and inclusivity of study abroad programs, the Cal Poly International Center has partnered with the Pride Center to better provide support and resources for LGBTQIA+ students.  Studying abroad can be an amazing opportunity for any student to learn and travel in unique settings, as well as to gain deeper insight into other cultures and customs.  Study abroad can also represent opportunities to make global connections and see the ways in which different identities are treated around the world.

We encourage LGBTQIA+ students who may be interested in studying abroad to avail of the resources listed below, as well as the International Center and Pride Center, in making informed decisions about study abroad.  Because cultural attitudes and laws regarding LGBTQIA+ identities vary country to country, it is important to research how individuals with these identities may be treated.  While there is increasing tolerance towards LGBTQIA+ identities around the world, intolerance can still be found embedded in various cultures, laws, policies, and people.

Before deciding on a country, be sure to review any local laws, customs, or even norms that may impact your experiences while abroad, in addition to researching what kinds of support may be available.  Here are some questions you may wish to consider when preparing to study abroad: 

  • Do you plan to be 'out' while abroad? And to whom? (Friends, homestay family, professors, etc.)
  • If you plan to be out, how do you plan on approaching or navigating conversations with others?
  • Are there cultural/language/conversational norms of which you should be aware?
  • Are there any laws, policies, or regulations that may impact your experiences in the country as an LGBTQIA+ individual?
  • Are there any kinds of local customs or resources related to the LGBTQIA+ community?
  • What kinds of resources and protections are available for the LGBTQIA+ community?
  • What kinds of housing accommodations are available for the program, and do they suit your individual needs?
  • What are healthcare policies like in your destination country? Will it be possible to use and/or access any necessary medications?

Resources for LGBTQIA+ Students


The Cal Poly San Luis Obispo International Center seeks to guide all students wishing to pursue an international experience during college. With the current status of DACA, USCIS is not currently accepting or approving advance parole requests from DACA recipients. Students who are recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA students) in the past may have been able to study abroad with Advanced Parole.

"DACAmented" Defined 

“DACAmented” refers to someone who has successfully applied for DACA and is in possession of a federally-issued employment authorization card. Additionally, DACAmented individuals can apply for driver’s licenses in their respective states, a social security number for employment purposes, and for specific permission to leave and re-enter the United States for many employment, humanitarian and educational reasons, including potentially studying abroad on approved university programs, using a travel document known as Advance Parole.

Please contact Erica Jorgenson, Study Abroad Coordinator at for recommendations on domestic opportunities to study away.