Exchange studies with special needs

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January 28, 2020.

If you are a student at NTNU with special needs with regards to disabilities accomodation, you can find relevant information on studying abroad as an exchange student here.

General information #

If you are planning to study abroad as an exchange student from NTNU, you should start planning well ahead. Especially this applies to students requiring disability accomodation at your desired insitution of education. The office of international relations can together with NTNU Special Needs Accomodation give you individual advice. If you require help communicating your needs to the educational institution of your choice, one of the international office advisors or NTNU special needs accomodation can provide assistance. 

Describe your needs for accomodation early in the process. This enables the people helping you with the accomodation to best be able to find the most suitable solutions for your needs, in cooperation with your desired institution of education. We know it can be difficult to be completely open about a disability. The organisation Association for Higher Education Access and Disability has made a helpful guide on openness which can be of great use.

If you are a recipient of benefits from NAV you have to get in touch with NAV International in order to find out how studies abroad affect your benefits. You can find more information on NAVs website

The different municipalities in Norway make decisions regarding personal assistance and benefits. The support for personal assistance during studies abroad are not exactly the same in all municipalities, and as such you should get in touch with your respective municipality early in the planning process to find out what applies to your specific situation. 

Choosing a country and institution of education #

NTNU has cooperation agreements with institutions of education all over the world. In Europe we have Erasmus Agreements with many institutions as well. Early in the planning process you need to inform yourself on which agreements NTNU has with the different institutions. This makes the application process easier, gives you more scholarship and stipend possibilities and better advice and counsel from NTNU. 

Spend some time researching cultural differences, attitudes and accomodation possibilities for people with a disability and the language situation in your desired country. Please also read experience reports from other students having already been to the place you want to go. 

Financing accomodation #

The Norwegian State Education Loan Fund (Lånekassen) gives extra stipends to students who cannot work while studying because of a disability. This kind of extra stipend can usually be maintained during an exchange study abroad, regardless of place of study (also applies to dyslexia). Get in touch with Lånekassen for information on how you can keep your extra stipend while studying abroad. 

Accomodation stipend - Erasmus #

There is no need to specifically apply for an accomodation stipend through Erasmus.
Students who apply for an exchange stay with an institution that NTNU has Erasmus Agreements with will automatically be evaluated for an accomodation stipend if they provide a medical certificate of disability as a part of the application. 

Grants and foundations #

Several grants and foundations give stipends to students for different reasons. Often it is not specified that a disability is required to receive a grant or endowment. In an application for a grant you should still describe what kinds of expenses are to be expected in relation to your disability and subsequent needs for accomodation. 

The foundation Stiftelsen Sofies Minde, for instance,  gives a stipend to students with a disability that are studying a bachelor's or master's degree in Norway or abroad. 

Insurance #

It is important that you have an insurance policy that covers longers stays abroad. Check with your insurance company before you leave. 

ANSA (Association of Norwegian Students Abroad) offers travel insurance for students. 

NSO (Norsk Studentorganisasjon) offers travel- contents- and accident insurance for students. 

Support and contact information  #

When studying abroad it can be useful to be a member of ANSA. As a student abroad with a disability you can experience situations and challenges where it could be helpful to speak to someone. With ANSA's social advisors you can discuss practical, emotional, student related or health topics. They also arrange social activities to help students get to know each other quicker and become a part of the student network at the palce they are studying.

You can also get in touch with the office of international relations and NTNU special needs accomodation service if you require assistance while abroad.

Other resources #

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