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Studying Abroad with a Disability: Tips and Resources for Pakistani Students with Special Needs

22 Jun 2023

The hype of studying abroad for Pakistani students has heightened in recent years. No one can blame their decisions as inflation is on the rise, and they want a better future for their families. Studying abroad with an international degree in hand is a better way for them to achieve better jobs. Better jobs mean better pay, through which they can send money to Pakistan to support their family’s needs. But when we talk about students, it also includes students with disabilities.

If you are a Pakistani student with some disability aspiring to study abroad but fear either limited or no opportunities, this guide is for you. Keep reading to find out your future prospects in a foreign country to turn your dreams into reality.

The Foremost Thing - Disability is Not a Hurdle to Study Abroad

Do you know that nearly 1.3 billion people worldwide, making up almost 16% of the world’s population, experience some kind of disability? There are more than 6.3 million students studying abroad worldwide, out of which, if not thousands, at least hundreds of students with some disabilities must be pursuing their foreign degrees. 

Individuals with disabilities in Pakistan are a particularly vulnerable group who rely heavily on their families for assistance. They frequently face difficulties accessing education and employment due to inadequate accessibility, inadequate accommodations, insufficient inclusion, and inadequate legal protections for their rights. 

But this might just be a stigmatised statement that has been lurking around for a very long time. People with disability fear that they might not even be able to study abroad because there might not be many opportunities for them. You must be surprised and happy to learn that you have equal or somewhat more opportunities to move abroad to study or find reasonable jobs. Like other people, students with disabilities can find study-abroad options to make their careers and earn abroad to send money to Pakistan.

Guidelines for Students with Disabilities to Move Abroad to Study and Work

Here are some tips and resources for Pakistani students with special needs who are considering studying abroad:

Research Universities and Programs

It's important to research universities and programs that are known for accommodating students with disabilities. Here are some tips for researching universities and programs:

Look for Universities with a Disability Services Office

A disability services office can provide support and accommodations for students with disabilities. This can include academic accommodations, such as extended testing time or note-taking assistance, as well as accommodations for housing, transportation, and other needs.

Check for Dedicated Staff Members

Some universities have dedicated staff members who work with students with disabilities. These staff members can provide guidance and support throughout the study abroad process, from the application process to the end of the program.


Read Reviews and Testimonials

Look for reviews and testimonials from other students with disabilities who have studied abroad. This can provide insight into the accessibility and support provided by the university or program.


Research the Location

It's important to research the location where you'll be studying abroad to ensure that it's accessible and accommodating to your needs. Look into transportation options, healthcare facilities, and other resources that may be necessary for your well-being.

You can also find out ample information and tips to find out your desired study abroad programs in ACE Money Transfer’s Guidelines for Pakistani Students.

Plan Ahead

Make sure to plan for any necessary accommodations. This may include arranging for accessible housing, transportation, and course materials. It's important to communicate your needs early on so that the university or program can make the necessary arrangements. In addition to planning for accommodations, it's also important to consider how you will manage your finances while studying abroad in Pakistan. 


An effective option is to find part-time work opportunities to earn to support your finances as well as your family back home. Once you start earning, you don’t have to worry about transferring funds to your loved ones, as you can instantly make an online money transfer to Pakistan via ACE Money Transfer.


Obtain Necessary Documentation

Obtaining necessary documentation related to your disability is an important step to take before leaving for a study abroad program. This documentation can help ensure that you receive the appropriate accommodations and support while abroad, which can greatly enhance your experience and success in the program. Medical records and documentation from your doctor can help the study abroad program staff to understand your disability better and how to provide accommodations that are appropriate and effective. This documentation can include information about your diagnosis, treatment plan, medication needs, and any accommodations that have been helpful to you in the past.

In addition to medical documentation, it may also be helpful to obtain documentation related to your disability from your university or disability services office. This documentation can include information about the accommodations and support you have received in the past, as well as any recommended accommodations for your study abroad program.

Choose the Right Travel Insurance

When selecting a travel insurance policy as a student with a disability, there are a few things to consider:

  1. Medical coverage: Make sure that the policy provides adequate medical coverage for your specific disability, including coverage for any pre-existing conditions you may have.
  2. Emergency medical transportation: Some policies may offer coverage for emergency medical transportation, which can be important if you need to be transported to a medical facility during your trip.
  3. Accessibility: Consider the accessibility of the travel destination and accommodations, and make sure that the policy provides coverage for any accessibility-related expenses or accommodations that you may need.
  4. Travel companions: If you are travelling with a companion who is also a student with a disability, make sure that they are also covered under the policy.
  5. Claim process: Familiarize yourself with the claim process in case you need to file a claim. Make sure to keep all relevant documentation and receipts in case you need to submit a claim.

Main Purpose of Studying Abroad

With the inflation at hand and the need for every member to earn in a household in Pakistan, students leap towards studying abroad and sending money to Pakistan for the best needs of their families. Nonetheless, members with a disability realise their contribution would benefit their family and is a step towards their success and enhancement in life. 

In summary, studying abroad can be an exciting and rewarding experience for students with disabilities, but it's important to plan, obtain necessary documentation, connect with other students, and use available resources to ensure a successful experience.

The Way Forward

Studying abroad is no more a problem, even if you have some kind of disability. You can unlock your true potential by pursuing your desired degree abroad and getting settled there. The above tips and guidelines can help you fulfil your dreams of studying and getting employed abroad. Once you get settled in a foreign country and start earning, you can send money to Pakistan online and support your family.


Question 1: Is it possible for Pakistani students with disabilities to study abroad?

Absolutely, yes. Despite the unique challenges they may face, students with disabilities from Pakistan have the same opportunities to study abroad as their peers. Various international universities and institutions are committed to inclusivity and provide necessary accommodations to ensure the full participation of students with disabilities in their academic programs.

Question 2: What sort of accommodations can students with disabilities expect when studying abroad?

The specific accommodations offered can vary greatly based on the institution and the country. However, students with disabilities might typically expect support such as note-taking assistance, additional time for exams, accessibility enhancements like ramps or elevators, special housing arrangements, or assistive technology. Universities often have offices dedicated to disability services that work with students to understand their specific needs and provide appropriate accommodations.

Question 3: How can Pakistani students with disabilities prepare to study abroad?

Preparation is key for any student looking to study abroad, especially for those with disabilities. Here are some important steps:

Research: Understand the accessibility and disability services provided by the potential host universities. Also, research about the host country's attitudes towards disability and the general level of accessibility in the country.

Plan Ahead: Arrange accommodations and services in advance. This could involve contacting the host university's disability services office or arranging any necessary medical care in the host country.

Health Insurance: Ensure that you have health insurance that will cover any necessary treatments or services while abroad.

Documentation: Keep up-to-date documentation regarding your disability, as this may be required to access certain services or accommodations.

Support Networks: Try to establish a support network before you go, including making connections with other students who have similar experiences or challenges.

Question 4: Are there scholarships available for Pakistani students with disabilities who wish to study abroad?

Yes, there are scholarships specifically intended for students with disabilities who wish to study abroad. Organisations such as Mobility International USA provide resources and financial aid for such students. There may also be additional funding available from the Pakistani government or non-profit organisations. Research and early applications are essential for securing these opportunities.

Question 5: Where can Pakistani students with disabilities find more information and resources about studying abroad?

There are numerous online resources where students can find more information about studying abroad with a disability. The education or international departments at universities are also great resources. And, of course, speaking with students who have had similar experiences can offer firsthand insight into what to expect.


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