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Preparations at Home

Nov 8, 2011
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Tips For Preparing To Study Abroad

The key to a successful study abroad experience is to research and prepare in advance. There are a number of activities people with disabilities can take part in whilst still at home to expand their knowledge of the world and build intercultural and foreign language skills before going abroad.

The more you know about the culture, environment and language of the country that you intend to study in, the more rewarding the experience will be. We have compiled a list of things that you can do in preparation for your study abroad whilst you are still at home.

Interacting With People From Other Countries

  • Host an international student or visitor in your home
  • Attended international festivals in your town
  • Volunteered to teach your native language to children of immigrants or international visitors who are just learning the language
  • Participated in summer camps or sports competitions that bring together people from all around the world
  • Joined an online international network or pen pal program to write back and forth with those in other countries

Exploring International Educational Travel Programs

  • Attended an informational session or fair on study or intern abroad programs
  • Browsed websites to learn about volunteer abroad opportunities or international conferences overseas
  • Asked your teachers, coaches, music instructors, employers, religious centers and others about educational or volunteer trips overseas
  • Read online blogs and stories by people with disabilities who went abroad
  • Discuss with family your interest in going on a short-term or year long educational or volunteer program to another country

Practicing Foreign Languages

  • Participated in foreign language courses in school or the community 
  • Listen to tapes, watch TV or read books online in other languages
  • Attended summer camps that teach foreign languages or join a foreign language club
  • Apply for fellowships to learn a foreign language in another country

Learning International Topics

  • Join a Model United Nations program in your community
  • Read international web pages focusing on global topics
  • Explored international degree programs at colleges and universities
  • Requested a mentoring or job shadowing experience with someone who works in an international organization
  • Apply for an internship within an international office

This guide was developed in association with Mobility International USA.
Keystone Team


The Keystone Team is comprised of experienced educators and advisors dedicated to providing valuable resources and advice to students all over the world.