For college students, both undergraduate and graduate, the opportunity to study in a foreign country is one of the most exciting experiences they can pursue. From Brazil to France to China, the options available when picking a host country and university are plentiful, drawing nearly 300,000 American students overseas each year. Deciding on the destination is just the start for them. Once students arrive at their temporary new university, the real work begins!
Between learning the nuances of another country’s school system, hurdling language barriers and figuring out how many cups of Italian espresso in one day is just too many, study abroad students have a lot on their plate. So when it comes time to take a break from exploring and hit the books, having the right tools to get the work done is key.
With so many students opting to spend time abroad, the question needs to be asked, “Does your library provide the necessary resources for students to actually study abroad?” Here are a few ways your academic library can make sure resources are still reaching your students across the world:
Provide online access to databases
Keeping up with coursework, research and thesis papers is difficult enough for students when they’re in the comfort of their own university library, so imagine the challenges they face when doing research in a foreign country. A particular school’s resources may not be up-to-date, and if they are, there’s a chance the information isn’t in english.
Academic libraries can prevent their international and study abroad students from going into full panic mode when finals week rolls around by providing access to scholarly research databases from their library’s website. Databases like EBSCO and JSTOR host a multitude of academic journals covering all sorts of topics. If students are struggling to find english resources, this service just might save their grade!
Provide librarian assistance
Think about your years as a college student. Sometimes, you can research and research for that paper about Germany’s post- WWI economy and still hit dead ends. What’s a student to do at this point? Ask for help! For students overseas, this problem could be incredibly stressful, unless your academic library has an Ask A Librarian chat feature. Using this feature can give faraway students a link back to their university’s trusted librarians and help them get a jumpstart on that difficult research. These online librarians can point students in the right direction in terms of online database searches, the right print resources and other research strategy tips.
Provide language help
If students are studying abroad, there’s a good chance that their experience can be enhanced by learning the local language. While becoming proficient in just a short amount of time isn’t likely, having a resource to supplement their classroom teachings can help speed up the process, or at least teach them the proper way to order in a cafe. Providing a language learning program like Mango gives students who are studying abroad an extra resource to fall back on. Through real-life conversations and action-packed films, students will pick up on applicable, conversation-based language skills that can help them communicate better and have a more meaningful study abroad experience.
For many students, studying abroad is an opportunity to gain many new, wonderful experiences. Make sure your academic library is equipped to offer these students the resources necessary to achieve academic success.
Think your library is on the cutting-edge? Time to find out! Take Mango Language’s Quiz to see if you are up to snuff on academic innovation.