Foreign University and Study Abroad Center Facilities

In envisioning their surroundings abroad, students should keep in mind that, just as with the culture, facilities may be strikingly different from what they are accustomed to at home.

World-Class Resources.  Students studying at a large university or in a major city may have access to rare library collections, world-class museums and first-rate scientific labs.  Students on field-based programs may have a completely new ecosystem to learn in and from.  We hope students will take advantage of these excellent opportunities while away!

Computers and Internet.  Most programs have some computers available for student use, but students may need to wait in line to use them because of the high student to computer ratio. Students may also be charged fees for computer time, or find that the bandwidth is limited or internet connection not as reliable as what they have on campus.  In most cases it is recommended for students to take their own laptop with them abroad, unless the study abroad program says otherwise.

Libraries.  University and study abroad center libraries overseas are often not as "user friendly" as libraries in the U.S.  Many are open only part of the day (such as 9 am to 5 pm) and may be closed on weekends.   Moreover backpacks may not be permitted in the library, so it may not be a suitable spot for studying.  For students attending a study abroad center program, such as IES, CIEE or SIT, the library collection at the program facility may be very small.   We recommend that students should plan to take advantage of national, municipal, or university libraries in the city for research projects if attending a program that has only a small library collection.

Furnishings.  Large state universities and some study abroad centers in other countries may have classroom facilities and residence hall rooms that seem spartan or drab compared to what students are used to on the Whitman campus.

Building Temperatures. Because energy is much more expensive in many other countries than it is in the U.S., classroom buildings, residence halls, and homes are generally kept much colder than students from the U.S. may  be accustomed to.