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.
Doe you know where you're going? 50 Essential Questions
50 Essential Questions
Review this document to see what you know, and what you need to learn, about the country you will be visiting.
Learn about the country & culture
CIA World FactBook
Contains information on the geography, population, government, economy, communication systems, transportation, military, and transnational issues of countries around the world.
Countries and cities are listed under Destinations, and each area has a section about the country "In Detail" (near the bottom of the page) that contains a significant amount of information.
NationMaster is a vast compilation of data from hundreds of sources, allowing you to create maps and graphs on all kinds of statistics with ease. Compare countries on topics ranging from agricultural exports to the amount of precipitation received, from the amount of alcohol consumed to religious adherence.
Learn the Language
There are numerous apps that can help you learn a language or improve your existing language skills. Here are a few options to try--find one that works well for you!
Learn a language in 10-15 minute lessons. Available for Apple or Android devices. Paid options only.
Learn one (or more!) of 30 available languages through this fun app. Available for Apple, Android, and Windows devices. Free.
Learn one of 12 languages using "real world" videos. Available for Apple phones. Monthly fee after a 15-day trial.
Ask questions of native language speakers around the world. App available for Apple and Android smartphones. Free.
Learn one of 20 languages on Apple or Android devices. Offers both free and paid versions.
Learn one of 24 languages on Apple or Android devices. Offers limited free options, fuller paid options.
Find News Sources
Major news outlets such as BBC World, New York Times, and Access World News are helpful for gaining an understanding of current events in the country you will be traveling to. Local news sites often have English translations available as well. View these as just the beginning, and don't hesitate to ask OIE or Library staff for more suggestions!
Access World News This link opens in a new window
Full-text newspapers from around the U.S. and the world, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch and many other local and regional newspapers in Virginia. Incorporates America's News database with addition of international sources.
International news covering various geographic/cultural regions of the planet.
United Kingdom news site provides current news from around the world.
The "voice of China on the global stage," the China Daily is a national English-language newspaper founded in 1981.
"Deutsche Welle is Germany’s international broadcaster. We convey a comprehensive image of Germany, report events and developments, incorporate German and other perspectives in a journalistically independent manner."
Reporting news from around the world in UK, Australia, US, and International editions.
New York Times This link opens in a new window ***You must first create a personal user account at this link NYTimes User Account Setup and login with this account for full access to the database. ***
Faculty and staff must renew their accounts annually; student accounts expire in September of their graduation year.
Although this includes full text searchable access to the New York Times newspaper from 1851-present with original page images, a better choice for historic articles is our database New York Times with Index (Historical; 1851- 4 years ago)
. Includes access to international edition, multimedia channels and more.
Today's Front Pages - Newseum
"Through a special agreement with nearly 1,000 newspapers worldwide, the Newseum displays these front pages each day on its website. The front pages are in their original, unedited form, and some may contain material that is deemed objectionable to some visitors. Discretion is advised."