- 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’s Disability Services at [email protected] 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 five to six hours per day. Some field trips require you to be in the field for eight to nine hours per day for up to six days at a time. You will have 10-minute breaks between lectures and one hour for lunch. Learning is typically assessed through take-home assignments, in-class assignments, written assignments/exams, oral presentations/exams, individual assignments, group assignments, in-class quizzes/exams, and meeting facilitation. 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.
As the program travels so much, it does not have a program center and uses a wide range of classrooms in various locations and a large amount of teaching is done outdoors. Outside of class, staff travel to meet students at their apartments. Student apartments, and most classroom spaces and restrooms have accessible door handles and doors/pathways measuring 32 in. (82 cm.) in width. Student apartments are available on the ground floor. The program does not have a separate computer space, study/library, or lounge space.
Most of the program’s coursework takes place in the field with each excursion integrating readings, workshops, discussions, and lectures. A five-day orientation takes place at Seven Mile Beach at a campsite at Linnaeus Estate near the ocean and in Byron Bay. Other excursions include a ten-day field trip to Tasmania and a four-day aboriginal camping trip. You should expect to hike up to six hours per day, carrying a small daypack over moderately rough terrain with up to a 1,200 ft. altitude gain. A pair of comfortable, rubber-soled, waterproof shoes is recommended. Please note that to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
The program’s homestay coordinator will be responsible for placing you in your homestay. Homestay placements are made based, first, on health concerns, including any allergies or dietary needs, to the extent possible. You will primarily stay in apartments, usually sharing living spaces with one or two SIT students in the same course, but other accommodations include homestays, hostels, lodges, and campsites. Homestays and apartments offer regular access to Wi-Fi, cellular service, electricity to charge devices, and a refrigerator for storing medication. Physically accessible homestay options are currently available but may be limited.
If you have questions about homestay accessibility, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as early as possible.
The national diet is diverse since Australia is a country of immigrants from all over the world. Vegetarians and vegans can be accommodated when camping or when the group is cooking. Special diets can usually be accommodated in homestays. 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 Byron Bay are smooth with curb cuts but no traffic signals. Excursions take place in natural settings with terrain that is uneven and/or steep. You will typically travel the 300 meters between your accommodations and classes by walking. Buses are used for excursions; however, they are not equipped with wheelchair lifts or ramps. Accessible taxis are available. Flights are required between major cities for some extended field trips.
You are advised to bring your own academic technology, including laptops, adapters, recording devices, and assistive technology. The program will assist you with printing, copying, and scanning when necessary. You are reminded to bring charging adapters. It is recommended that you fully insure your electronic property against loss or theft. Mobile broadband internet sticks are available during travel.
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.
You will have access to a variety of medical services in urban areas in Australia. Although medical care can be arranged quickly in an emergency, routine medical care can be difficult in some remote locations. It is difficult to get non-acute mental health counseling in Australia as there is usually a long wait for appointments. Students are encouraged to make arrangements to access their existing counselors in the United States via phone or internet. Payment for medical services is covered by your health insurance if the provider is notified prior to or during the medical service.
Once admitted, you 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 once admitted, you 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 [email protected] 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.