Emma Verrill '10 to Share Experiences on Istanbul Disability Panel
Story posted October 02, 2009
Emma Verrill '10 has been invited to sit on a Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) panel at the organization's annual conference to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, November 11-14, 2009.
Verrill, who studied in France last semester, will speak on a panel titled "Local Strategies for Including Students with Disabilities on Study Abroad Programs."
"I am preparing a presentation about my personal perspective on studying abroad in Rennes, with CIEE and as a student with a disability," says Verrill.
"This is particularly important to me because I always knew I wanted to study abroad. I made it happen and had an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience. I was extremely motivated and determined, but I did not do it alone. I had a lot of help from advisers here at Bowdoin, within the greater CIEE community and in France."
Verrill has used a wheelchair since her sophomore year of high school, when unsuccessful surgery to treat kyphosis, a curvature of the upper spine, left her paralyzed from the waist down.
Her goal is to help administrators and counselors at other schools send more students with disabilities abroad.
"It is hard and scary to travel where you don't speak the language, and aren't familiar with the culture, not to mention the fear of not knowing the physical landscape where you are traveling," Verrill says.
"I'm hoping to learn about where the hesitancy is in sending students with disabilities abroad, if it exists, and empower college administrators and students to make their hopes of study abroad possible."
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