June 20, 2011
By Yelena Ablaeva, NCDE Intern and International Graduate Student at the University of Oregon from Uzbekistan
Sharing your international exchange experience is not only a great way to reflect on your time abroad, stay connected with your family and friends, and even receive recognition for your story, but also, through your words, presentations, videos, and images, provide encouragement for other people with disabilities to go abroad. You can help prove that international exchange is for everyone!
Before you go…
- Set up a blog and share the link with family, friends, classmates, coworkers, the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange, and any organizations and clubs you belong to. Get more tips on creating a blog and find examples of other blogs.
- Make sure that your camera has professional features so you can take or ask others to take high quality pictures and videos of you abroad.
- Apply to be a 2011 Glimpse Correspondent before you go abroad and get a stipend and one-on-one editorial training and support.
- Now that you’ve set up your blog, use a digital/video camera or voice recorder to insert pictures, audio recordings, or videos in your posts. (Include captions with your pictures so anyone with a vision disability can access your experiences.) Your blog will come alive with variety!
- You’ve snapped several photos of that museum in Florence and recorded fantastic footage of the Tuscan scenery, but where are you? If you’re traveling with others, join in on the group shots, and ask a friend to take a few photos in which you are the subject. If you’re traveling solo, bring along a small tripod and set the self-timer on your camera.
- One photo a day? A week? Be creative about documenting your international experience! Some study abroad participants have been taking one picture at a certain time every day to document where they were at that exact moment. Show how accessible or inaccessible the world is where you are!
When you come back…
- Submit an article to your school, local newspaper, or the NCDE website.
- Enter photo and video contests for exchange alumni through your institution or program provider. Example: Travel with Purpose Verge Magazine hosts an annual photo contest
- Submit an article on your travel, work, study, and living abroad for the Travel Writing Contests offered by Transitions Abroad.
- If you made a film while on your international exchange program, consider submitting it for an international film festival. Example: Watch a short documentary created by a group of UT Chattanoooga students with disabilities who went abroad.
People with disabilities can and should be represented in international exchange and related media, which is why it’s important to share your unique perspective if you are an international exchange alumni with a disability. Who knows? Next time someone flips through a study abroad catalogue or visits an international volunteer website, they might just find you!
Find stories and blogs of exchange alumni with disabilities or learn how to submit yours.