Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Education Abroad: Library Tools for the Traveling Student: Getting Started

Library resources, instructions for access, and library contact information.

Where should I start?

This guide will help you prepare for, access, and conduct research with library resources during Pre-Departure, While Abroad, and Re-Entry in your Education Abroad program.

      Pre-Departure prepares you for accessing library resources by helping you to activate and create accounts before you leave.

      While Abroad gives you information on how to access UK library resources off campus and gives you more information on the type of information you will need to collect while in your host country. 

      Re-Entry provides information on how to finish your research at home and reflect on your Education Abroad experience.

Did you know?

Every library is unique and has different ways to access information. Two important comparisons that you should be familiar with are Primary vs. Secondary sources and Open vs. Closed stacks.

Primary sources are the uninterpreted original documents that contains the words of the witnesses or the first recorders of an event or creative work. Secondary sources are published materials where primary sources have been used or a source one step removed from the original.

While you are abroad, you have the opportunity to collect and create primary sources that you can use later in your research or reflection on your experience. See While Abroad for some examples of primary sources.


Open stacks are a library shelving system which allows users access to the books in the stacks. Users are free to browse the selection and select the books they wish to use without involving library personnel. Some libraries have closed stacks, a library shelving system which restricts access to the books in the library to library employees only. This system is found in many private collections but may also be found in open libraries for particular parts of the collection like Reserves or Special Collections.

While you are abroad, you may encounter both types of stacks if you visit a public library or university library. It is always best to ask someone at a service desk about library policies if you are unsure how to access the books.

The Library is here to help!

See the library contact information page to find library hours and contact information.


Library Contact Information connects you with all of the departments at UK Libraries that you might need to get in touch with during your Education Abroad experience.


The Resources page has a glossary for the library that will help you be more familiar with research and library vocabulary. You can also select one of the guides from the dropdown menu to find more information on EndNote, tourism resources, primary resources, and citation styles.

In partnership with Education Abroad

Education Abroad and UK Libraries have partnered to provide you with research information for your Education Abroad program. You can visit the Education Abroad homepage by clicking the link below.

1. Pre-Departure

  • Set up an alert to receive news from your destination
  • Activate your UK library "My Account"
  • Create other accounts to aid in your research
  • Keep track of log in and passwords

2. While Abroad

  • Collect primary sources
  • Gather information on sources
  • Keep contact information for those you meet

3. Re-Entry

  • Cite your primary sources
  • Complete secondary research if needed
  • Reflect on your experience

4. Library Exit Survey

Complete the Library Exit Survey to share your information needs with UK Libraries.