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Off-Campus Study: Pre-Research

Tips and tricks for finding books and articles, cultural information, news, and library materials while off-campus or studying abroad.

Can You Answer These Questions?

Use Colby's library to check out books, articles, and encyclopedias about your host country. Do you know...

  • Who are the sports heros? Artists? Famous historic figures? 
  • Which languages are encouraged? Which are discouraged?
  • What's the main religion? How do people view other religions?
  • What are the attitudes on gender, marriage, or sexuality? 
  • Do many people drink, smoke, or gamble? Do customs differ between regions?
  • What holidays will you participate in? What gifts do people give?
  • What traditional foods are popular? What international foods (KFC, Turkish doner, Coca-Cola) do people enjoy?
  • Who runs the country? Who's in charge? Who can vote? How are laws enforced? 
  • Is education free? What about university? If students go abroad, where do they go?
  • How does the country make its money (tourism, technology, exports, services)?
  • What economic structures are in place? Who pays taxes? How high is inflation?

Do a bit of research in newspapers, anthropology journals, or guidebooks. What else should you know before you go?

Before You Go...

Language Practice

Library resources aren't just for research papers... they can help you learn a new language and culture as well! Here are some useful  types of resources the library has on cross-cultural topics: 

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