If you are looking into study abroad, there are resources in your University Library that can help, providing information about travel, customs and etiquette, social conditions, etc., in other countries.
For example, search the Library Catalog for books.
A “keyword” search for (guidebooks or travel) and ___ (fill in the name of a country). Using this search for France would find titles including Frommer’s Paris 2005 (online book), Let’s go: Paris, 2004, Let’s go: France 2001, and Global etiquette guide to Europe: everything you need to know for business and travel success.
A “keyword” search for (etiquette or “national characteristics” or customs) and ___ (fill in the name of a country) would find titles including France: A quick guide to customs & etiquette and Au contraire! : figuring out the French.
The Library has a Guide to Locating Intercultural Communication Information that gives additional tips and examples of available titles for finding more information, and a guide to other sources of information on countries.
The U.S. Dept. of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs maintains a Study Abroad Resources web page with links to resources for those who may want to study abroad, including a searchable database of programs offered by institutions all over the country.
The University Library is a federal depository with many federal, state, local, and international documents on a variety of current and relevant issues available to you in print, microfiche, CD-ROM, and electronically. Come check out your government at the University Library!
I agree! I’d definitely recommend putting the location research. One other thing I’d recommend, from personal experience, is choosing your study abroad location based on the type of place you enjoy living in. If at home, you’re happiest in a big city then you might want to choose a big city to study abroad in like Rome or Paris. If you’re more of a small town kind of person, choose somewhere like Siena or Vejer. I had a great time in my study abroad city of Granada, but if you’re going to be living in a place for several months you don’t want to start feeling too hemmed in, or conversely, overwhelmed by the busy pace – even when you’re studying abroad city people remain city people and those that prefer smaller and familiar don’t change!