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Study Abroad: Preparing to Study Abroad

Preparing to Study Abroad

Studying abroad for the first time can be exciting but also daunting. This page will help you find tools and resources to make the transition easier. Use the tabs below to do some preliminary research about where you will be studying abroad. Understanding the history, culture, language, population, religion, and architecture of a country before you arrive will enable you to get the most out of your study abroad experience. 

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General Information

Use the sources below to do a general search on the continent, country, or area you will be studying abroad in. These sources usually provide broad overviews on the history and culture of that area. Be sure to check the reference list of each book or entry for more in-depth sources.


Use this database to find historical news about the area you will be studying in. This resource can be especially helpful if you are considering writing your thesis or doing an extensive research project on something about the country you are studying in. It can also be a useful way to read more about social movements, economic issues, or protests that might have happened in the area. 


Data can give you useful information about the country you will be studying in. You can explore data on the country's economic growth, industries, production, education, population, crime, and development. Browsing this data beforehand will help you better understand some of your experiences while you're abroad.

Travel Guides

Travel guides often provide maps, navigation tips, and information about interesting historical or tourist sights. If Davidson's Library does not own a specific travel guide, you can submit an interlibrary loan request.

When researching the culture of your host country, keep in mind these questions:

  • Where does your current knowledge of your host country's culture come from?
  • How do people of other cultures learn about your own culture? 

This page lists some resources to help you find general information on your host country's culture. But remember, perceptions of culture can stem from a variety of sources, such as popular media, journalism, word-of-mouth, direct experience, etc. 

Helpful Starting Points

Reference Resources on Culture

Questions? Need help? Ask Us
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