People with physical and/or mental disabilities have long
been disregarded as inefficient and for some reason, looked at with great
sympathy as though they are sick.
Most “normal” people seem to forget that disabilities are,
as I often have noticed, not only physical or mental abnormalities, but are
also abnormalities in attitude, motivation and well-being.
To begin with, I would like to emphasize on the fact that
all of us human beings have disabilities, some more conspicuous than others. So
for all you who’ve been told you are a person with a disability, remember you
are no different from the rest.
Funnily enough, I’ve also come across many people who view
their physical disabilities as a convenient (and sad) excuse to not achieve
For such people, it more their attitude towards life rather
than the actual physical abnormality they possess that is their disability.
For the rest of you who have the courage to go after their
dreams, here’s a basic overview on the possibilities, procedures, grants and
help you may need to study abroad.
First of all, to study abroad, you must have a basic
overview of the field or discipline you wish to continue your studies in. Start
searching for Universities and colleges alike which provide the
programs/courses you are looking for.
TIP: If you have any specific country in mind, limit your
search to Universities of that country only.
Most Universities abroad have a separate section for
applying as an international student. The admission cells of most universities
can be either contacted either through mail or by phone.
Call or mail the various Universities you have listed and
inform them about your disability. Ask them if they have any separate
procedure, provisions and/or grants for students with disabilities. You will be
surprised to know how helpful some Universities can be. For the ones that
aren’t, well they are not worth it in the first place.
Many Universities have special scholarships for students
with disabilities. Make use of them and apply for the same as soon as you can.
Make sure you are well aware of the eligibility, criteria and deadlines for
In addition to this, several organizations and NGOs also
offer financial aid such to students with disabilities.
One such organization is IES Abroad, which has a separate
section for students with disabilities:
Another is Mobility International USA, which is a U.S based
organization which provides aids and various opportunities for students with
Since you are looking to study abroad, you must remember
that different countries have different standards and perceptions and
disabilities. Prior research on the culture, helpful nature and tolerance of
the people will help to judge about a country and its attitude towards people
In general, the U.S and countries in Europe
are helpful, tolerant and have several facilities such as ramps, separate
washrooms, etc for people with disabilities. In my opinion, they are more user-friendly
countries than many others.
Most Universities abroad also have special cells dedicated
to helping and serving students, forming organizations and groups to help
students interact with others. Rest assured you will find many people as
different and as similar to you as you can imagine, who will help you learn
something new everyday and become part of your life.
Now that you do have some information on the important
aspects you must keep in mind while studying abroad, you can begin applying for
the Universities you wish to. We’re sure that with proper attention to all
details, you will surely get admissions to the university you wished to.
Good luck and keep dreaming!