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Waidner-Spahr Library

Resources for Students Studying Abroad: Before you Leave

Consider your Research Needs

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Before you leave Dickinson for your summer, semester or year abroad, take a moment to consider what your academic needs may be. If your program includes a final project or research, think about the materials you may need to complete that work. If you are planning to write a thesis during your senior year and are going abroad for your junior year, make sure you have reviewed your major’s requirements and expectations for senior theses. For example, in some departments you are not eligible for honors if you have not submitted a proposal or research plan during your junior year. If this is the case, you may need access to library resources while you are abroad.

We encourage any student studying abroad to meet with their library liaison before leaving campus. This may be especially helpful for students who will be studying in countries with fewer academic resources or poor internet access.

Libraries Reflect Culture

Libraries are as diverse as the cultures you are about to explore. The library in your host country may have different layouts, collections, policies, and resources than those with which you are familiar. Some of the countries that Dickinson students travel to have libraries with limited catalogs or censored material. It is also common in many parts of the world to have libraries with closed stacks, where you cannot browse through library collections yourself and must instead have a librarian retrieve them for you. 

Using the local library at your site and navigating any differences you may encounter is a valuable part of your global education experience, and you should always check for materials there first. If you have trouble locating or accessing research material abroad, you will still have access to Dickinson Library resources. If you have any questions or concerns about the library in your host country, we encourage you to browse their website or meet with a Dickinson librarian before you leave.