Identity & Accommodations Abroad
The Italy Center supports international education for students of all backgrounds. Our program provides support to all participants regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or disability. All Spring Hill College services are provided collaboratively to empower students to advocate for themselves and assume responsibility for their academic and personal goals.
The key to a successful study abroad experience is flexibility. Students are encouraged to communicate their needs early and consider ways to meet them, in collaboration with Italy Center staff. Our support services include mental health counseling, tutoring, and an on-site Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer to guide students through their semester abroad.
The Italy Center is committed to fostering diversity in our program and program participants. Knowledge and experience enable students to acclimate to different work environments and better understand ethnic and cultural diversity.
Our program aims to provide guidance and assistance to students that may be members of different categories such as:
- First-Generation Students
- Students with Sexual & Gender Diversity
- Students of Color Abroad
- Students with Visible & Invisible Disabilities
- Students with Financial Needs
Before going abroad, we strongly encourage students to consider how they relate to their identity and how they may/may not find their identity represented in a culture that is new to them. It is wise to inform oneself about the culture, customs, and expectations of where one will be traveling to prevent finding oneself uncomfortable or even in a potentially dangerous situation. Before you go, find out as much as you can about Italy and how it views disability by reading, talking to other students, and attending pre-departure orientation sessions. An unfamiliar culture could provide a rich opportunity to immerse oneself in a different context and reflect on identity from a new perspective. We hope that our study abroad program will provide students with the opportunity to explore their identity further and find new angles to delve deeply into their identity and the elements that define it.
We will provide different checkpoints throughout our program for students to reflect during travel, retreat, and other activities to consider their growth while abroad. Students will be encouraged to find out as much as they can about their host culture, explore language nuances related to their identity, and create contacts with locals to conduct meaningful conversations about their identity as an asset for their self-growth. Think about how you will answer questions about your disability in Italian—look up key vocabulary words ahead of time and please feel free to ask for support from our staff.
Spring Hill College recognizes that as a community many use names other than their legal name to identify themselves. As long as the use of this different name is not for the purposes of misrepresentation, the College acknowledges that a “lived name” can and should be used wherever possible in the course of business and education.
Just as cultures differ, so do disability accommodations and approaches to providing disability access. Students are encouraged to disclose their disability needs to program staff early so that they can make appropriate arrangements and reasonable accommodations in advance.
To be eligible for accommodations (i.e., housing, extended time on exams and tests), you are required to present an official letter from your home institution indicating that you may receive support. The letter, which usually comes from one’s home campus Accessibility Services Office (students can consult their Global Engagement Office about any additional questions), must be submitted before departing for the semester in Bologna.
Please note that accommodations are not retroactive and only begin once students submit proper documentation from your Accessibility Services Office. Any information provided will be treated as private and confidential.