- ADMISSIONS & AID
- HEALTH, SAFETY & WELL-BEING
- MEDIA CENTER
This information is provided to assist you in identifying possible accessibility barriers and preparing for an accessible educational experience with SIT Study Abroad. You should be aware that while in-country conditions and resources vary by site, every effort is made to work collaboratively with qualified individuals to facilitate disability-related accommodation. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact SIT Disability Services at email@example.com for additional information related to access abroad and to discuss possible accommodations.
During the coursework phase of the program, you will generally be in class three to four days per week for six to eight hours per day. For a three-hour class, you will typically have a 20-minute break. Learning is typically assessed through take-home assignments, in-class assignments, written assignments/exams, oral presentations/exams, individual assignments, and in-class quizzes/exams. Course readings and in-class materials are typically available in a digital format.
If you have questions about alternate format materials, testing accommodations, or other academic accommodations, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as early as possible.
The SIT program office is accessed by two exterior steps. The building’s entrance, classrooms, and study/library space have doors that are at least 32 in. (82 cm.) wide. Interior pathways/hallways are not this wide. There is a threshold bump leading into the classroom. All program spaces (including the restroom) are located on the ground floor.
The program typically spends extensive time outside Cochabamba, traveling to the tropical lowlands, the Andean altiplano, and El Alto. You should expect to stand, walk, and hike for long periods of time. A pair of comfortable, rubber-soled, waterproof trekking shoes is recommended. Program excursions may occasionally vary to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities.
The program’s homestay coordinator will be responsible for placing you in your homestays. These placements are made based, first, on health concerns, including any allergies or dietary needs, to the extent possible. Urban homestays offer regular access to electricity to charge devices, Wi-Fi, cellular service, and a refrigerator for storing medication. Electricity is not available during rural villages stays. Homestays with some accessibility features (first-floor rooms, no exterior steps, and raised toilets) are currently available but limited. Most homestays have at least two exterior steps. If you have questions about homestay accessibility, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as early as possible.
The local diet in Bolivia is centered on meat and potatoes. However, many seasonal vegetables and fruits are available year-round. Although vegetarianism is not common in Bolivia, previous students have been accommodated. Classes on how to cook for vegetarian students have been provided to homestay families in the past. Advanced notice of special diets is required. Kosher food is generally not available in Bolivia.
SIT Study Abroad works with students, program staff, homestay families, home colleges and universities, and others to accommodate dietary needs whenever possible. For more information on dietary needs and dietary preferences, please review the Student Support section of the Student Health, Safety, and Support web page.
The general routes of travel in Cochabamba have limited accessibility. Cobblestone paths, streets, and sidewalks are uneven and not well maintained. Few curb cuts exist, and there are no auditory signals. You will typically travel between your homestay, classes, and/or placement sites by walking, bus (20 minutes), and/or taxi. Buses are generally not equipped with wheelchair lifts or ramps and do not have room to stand or stretch. Buses, taxis, and airplanes are used for program excursions.
Most students will have internet available at their homestays. For students who do not have internet available at their homestay, arrangements will be made to have internet at the program office. In Cochabamba there are also internet cafés. The program does not have a computer space or technology for student use, and it is not possible to rent a laptop locally. You are advised to bring your own academic technology, including laptops, recording devices, adapters, and assistive technology. It is also recommended that you fully insure your electronic property against loss or theft.
If you are planning to do your Independent Study Project in video format, you are strongly encouraged to bring a Mac laptop computer with a video editing program (the program uses Final Cut Pro). Video students are required to bring a digital video camera and an external hard drive with proper connections/cables that are compatible.
If you have questions about assistive technology, note-taking accommodations, or other academic accommodations, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as early as possible.
Good medical services are available in La Paz, Cochabamba, and other major Bolivian cities. The program has standing relationships with medical doctors and bilingual mental health professionals. Payment for medical services is covered by your health insurance if the provider is notified prior to or during the medical service.
Some students experience soroche (altitude sickness), as much of Bolivia is higher in elevation than many parts of the US. To reduce symptoms, drink lots of water, avoid rapid movements and unnecessary exertion, eat easily digested foods, avoid alcohol, and give your body several days to adapt. You may want to consider talking to your primary care provider about altitude sickness medication.
Admitted students are encouraged to discuss any questions or concerns about accessing health services or medication while abroad during the health review process. Read more about the health review process and the summary of benefits for student health insurance.
Requesting Disability-Related Accommodations
To request disability-related accommodations, admitted students should contact the Office of Disability Services. For more information about the accommodation process, documentation guidelines and a link to the accommodation request form, please visit the Office of Disability Services website.
Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact Disability Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802 258-3390 as early as possible for information and support.
Additional Support Resources
MIUSA (Mobility International USA) is a cross-disability organization serving those with cognitive, hearing, learning, mental health, physical, systemic, vision, and other disabilities. It offers numerous resources for persons with disabilities who wish to study abroad and/or engage in international development opportunities.
Abroad with Disabilities (AWD) is a Michigan nonprofit organization founded in 2015 with the goal of promoting the belief that persons with disabilities can and should go abroad. AWD works diligently to empower clients to pursue study, work, volunteer, and/or internship opportunities outside of the United States by creating dialogue, sharing resources, and spreading awareness.