When considering studying abroad with an Assistance Animal, a student should consult with Student Disability Services (SDS) and Study Abroad as soon as possible. In general, an accommodation for an Assistance Animal can be made only if 1) the student has received prior authorization from SDS through the Assistance Animal approval process, and 2) bringing the animal would not create an undue burden or a fundamental alternation of the Study Abroad program. Please note that the housing arrangements that are established for our programs abroad are considered to be a fundamental component of the program, and separate housing cannot be made to accommodate an Assistance Animal.
In addition to these primary requirements, we encourage students to carefully consider the following questions related to the complexities of international travel with an animal. Students are encouraged to discuss these questions with Study Abroad and SDS as early as possible.
Things to consider regarding studying abroad with an Assistance Animal
- How will you travel to your study abroad destination with your Assistance Animal? (Review airline policies on flying with Assistance Animals.)
- What are the specific requirements for entering the country with an animal? (Review U.S. Embassy information for destination country information and “pet passport” information.)
- Consult a veterinarian to make sure your animal is healthy enough to travel abroad and what you can do to monitor your animal’s health and safety while in transit.
- What are the specific requirements for re-entry to the U.S.? (Consult CDC website and U.S. Dept. of Agriculture website.)
- Does the established program housing allow your particular type of Assistance Animal? (Your Study Abroad program coordinator can investigate.)
- Will you have a roommate, and is your roommate open to living with your animal?
- Are other students on the program severely allergic to animals?
- Are there any local laws regarding Assistance Animals in the program country?
- How will you manage the care of your animal during long days (8+ hours) in class and on excursions?
- How will you manage their care in the case that your program includes a longer overnight or multi-day excursion or if you plan to do personal travel during the program?
- What is the cost and availability of food and basic supplies for your animal in the program country?
- What will you do if your animal experiences a medical emergency or needs routine medical care during the program?
- How does the local culture at the program site regard domestic animals? Are cats, dogs, or other animals treated very differently than they are in the U.S.? (Research cultural attitudes toward pets and specific animals.)
- It likely will not be possible for your accommodation to remain anonymous, as other students may be asked to provide consent to living in close proximity with your Assistance Animal.
- If the animal causes damage to the housing or receives noise complaints, it may be removed from the housing and you may be asked to pay for any damages.
- If you do not bring the animal with you, are there alternative support resources you could make use of? (Consult your Study Abroad program coordinator.)
- CDC site on international travel with pets
- U.S. Dept. of Agriculture site on travel with pets (APHIS)
- Mobility International (mainly deals with SERVICE animals)
- U.S. DOT information on travel with service/support animals