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Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)

Amanda in BrazilService dogs and emotional support animals play an important role in the life of individuals with disabilities. It is important for international travelers with service animals or ESAs to remember bringing animals to a foreign country can be a lengthy, multistep process. Relevant laws, health factors, appropriate facilities and cultural expectations will varybetween countries and even between education abroad programs. Some countries and programs may be incompatible with bringing a service animal or ESA abroad. While the university will make an effort to meet animal-related accommodation requests, we encourage you to consider your need for a service animal or ESA abroad and discuss with your coordinator which programs may be compatible:

  • Transportation: Is there a quarantine period, proof of vaccination records or other requirements for animals entering the country of travel? What forms of local transportation are used abroad (e.g. public transportation, private coach, taxis); will they permit transport of a service animal?
  • Accommodation: Will you stay in a hotel, dorm, field station, home stay with local family? Will service animals or ESAs be permitted?
  • Activities: Does the program include excursions to museums, historical sites, field locations or adventure activities that may not have accessible arrangements?
  • Animal Care: Would your service animal or ESA have access to appropriate veterinary care and nutrition while abroad? Would they be exposed to feral animal populations, rabies or other environmental factors that might endanger their health?

Action items for students disclosing and seeking accommodations to travel with service animals and ESAs

  1. All Travelers:
    1. Research the country specific customs requirements. Completion of required paperwork and pre-travel veterinary requirements are the traveler’s responsibility.
    2. Speak with the animal’s veterinarian about specific animal health concerns related to air travel and location of travel.
    3. Speak with your medical provider about the travel itinerary. U.S. airlines require specific documentation from a licensed mental health professional or a medical doctor dated within one year of your scheduled flight.
  2. Ohio State faculty-led program
    1. Communicate your request to your program coordinator as soon as possible.
    2. If you are currently registered with the SLDS, inform your program coordinator of the name and contact information of your SLDS access specialist. If not registered, you may be requested to do so.
  3. Third party provider, direct enrollment or international exchange programs – Requests will need to be made directly to the program provider or overseas program. Your program coordinator and access specialist can assist in communicating accommodation requests.

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