Applying to university/college is a really exciting time but there are lots of decisions to be made! For someone with food allergies there is an added component of choosing what schools to apply to with your allergies in mind. Below are my top 3 tips for things to consider when applying to schools!
- Do your research!
This is an important tip not only when it comes to your allergies but also to learn about the program and the school. You can find lots of information on school websites – look for a section on their hospitality services or do a quick search on food allergies. There are also opportunities to speak to representatives from schools by taking a school tour or going to a university/college fair. Speaking to hospitality staff and management in person is probably your best bet to get a good idea of how your allergies can be managed.
- Make it clear on your application
Although it likely will not come up until you have decided on a school and are applying for residence or other housing, it is important to make it clear on your application that you have life threatening food allergies. Usually there are accommodations that can be made, such as getting a single room, getting a room with cooking facilities, etc. If there isn’t a specific section or area for listing your allergies contact somebody from the school and ask them how you can let the school know.
- Close to home or across the country?
For the majority of students going to school, this will be the first time they have lived away from home. Deciding how far away from your home you want to be is something to really think about – especially if you have allergies! Having your parents close by to bring you some safe meals now and then or being able to go home and go grocery shopping might be something that is important to you. Or you might feel really independent and confident in your abilities to manage your allergies on your own and think that going to school a bit farther away will help continue to foster your independence.
Best of luck with applications! If you have any other tips when applying to college or university, I’d love to hear about it in a comment below!
– Lindsay S.