Disabilities and Special Needs

If you have a disability or chronic medical condition, you should inform an OCS Adviser and/or your off-campus studies program about it when you are selecting your program. We will then discuss with you how your needs can be accommodated and what arrangements can be made. In some situations your options of countries to study abroad in may be limited as some countries do not have the resources available to sufficiently aid a student with a disability or special need. It is especially important for the program staff abroad to understand any special need that you have in case you encounter health or other problems abroad.

In the months leading up to your semester or year off-campus, the OCS staff recommends that you work closely with the Whitman Academic Resource Center (ARC) to develop a suitable plan to accommodate your needs. They can best help you to assess what accommodations you will need during your off-campus study experience. The ARC Office is located next door to the Off-Campus Studies Office in the Memorial Building, Room 205.

Mental Health

Students who have mental health conditions or see a counselor on a regular basis are urged to consult with the Whitman Counseling Center early about their intentions to study abroad because counseling services in English are much more limited in certain foreign destinations.

Prescription Medications

If you are currently taking any prescription medicines, ask your physician whether you can take along a supply adequate for your stay abroad, as it is not possible to fill U.S. prescriptions in other countries.  If it is possible, be sure to keep your medication in its original packaging and take a copy of the prescription with you for custom officials.    Also, it would be a good idea to carry a letter from your physician indicating the names, including the generic names and the ingredient lists, of the medications and the reason for each medication, not only will the letter help you if you get asked questions upon entering the country but also if you need to see a doctor while abroad.  The medications and any documentation from your physician should be packed in your carry on luggage.

If it is not possible to take such a supply (because of limitations of your insurance or because of the shelf life of the medications), you may need to have your medications express mailed (FedEx or DHL) to you while you are away.  Since some drugs now commonly prescribed in the U.S., such as Ritalin and Adderall, are banned in some countries, it is a good idea to check with your program to make sure that you can bring your prescription medications legally into your host county.  If you suffer from allergies, be especially sure to take an adequate supply of medication.  Big cities may even have more airborne pollutants than you are used to and may trigger severe reactions.