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A Home Away From Home: Supporting International Students

Okinawa CollectionWith generous funding from the Okinawa Prefectural Government, the GW Libraries is building a collection of research materials to support the study of Okinawa.

GW plays host to a growing population of international students, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. For students adapting to the norms and customs of a culture that is not their own, pursuing difficult studies in a language that is most often not their first, the library can be a kind of home away from home, a familiar institution in the midst of unfamiliar spaces.

The GW Libraries take pride in offering services tailored to GW’s international student population. Research services librarians like Ann Brown work with these students both in class sessions and in one-on-one consultations. Ann and her colleagues hold workshops for international graduate students with a focus on resources in their disciplines. And librarians have partnered with the GW School of Business to provide training each semester on citation practices, since the norms of the American academy differ from what many international students are accustomed to.

Resources with a strong international focus, including a wealth of non-English-language print and electronic materials, are available in the Libraries’ Global Resources Center (GRC) as well as in the general collection. Here students from China, for instance, can find Chinese newspapers that they might not have access to at home, and Iranian students can browse a rich collection of legal scholarship in Persian. GRC staff have both the linguistic and subject-matter expertise to help students explore the world that lies open to the them through the GW Libraries.

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