To help you, we compiled some useful student resources from around the internet, for students of all levels who need to learn a thing or two they never learnt (or were not interested in learning) before now. In addition, we added a couple of free e-learning sites and some of our own published student tips.
Below is a categorized list of useful student websites that will help make your life as a student a bit easier from day one.
A). General websites for students
LifeHacker aims to help its users out with life in the modern world. Popular tags include ‘Productivity’, ‘Money’ and ‘DIY’.
Although essentially one of many time-wasting student websites, MentalFloss is good for learning interesting facts from around the world, covering topics such as food, culture and science. Admittedly, its main function may be as a procrastination aid, but you should still learn something!
This student resource offers an alternative to TV (and, unfortunately, studying), hosting randomized videos on interesting scientific topics.
This site tells you the best times to go to bed if you have to be up at a certain hour – a very useful tool within student life. Taking into account regular sleep cycles, Sleepyti.me can help if you suffer from grogginess in the mornings.
If you struggle to stay away from social media when you’re meant to be studying, use KeepMeOut to block certain distracting websites.
This site is great for college students who're planning their class schedule. It features ratings for more than one million professors around the world. Those professors are ranked by more than 6.8 million students.
Text Swap is a free textbook exchange service for students who want to be able to trade their used textbooks online.
Backpack is the ultimate organizational Web app for college students. It allows users to take notes online, create to-do lists, keep schedules and much more.
- Student Loan Calculator
This student loan calculator from the College Board makes it easy for college students to stay on top of their student loan payments.
- Study Hacks
Study Hacks is dedicated to 'demystifying student success.' This college blog has become one of the best places on the Web to get study advice and academic strategies that actually work.
B). Free educational e-learning sites for studentsMassive open online courses (MOOCs) are offered for free to anyone wishing to learn. Below are both major MOOC providers and other free online learning portals.
Edx is one of the world’s leading MOOC platforms. It offers interactive online classes and MOOCs from the world’s best universities, colleges and organizations. Online courses from MITx, HarvardX, BerkeleyX, UTx and many other universities can be taken here. EdX is a non-profit online initiative created by founding partners Harvard and MIT.
Also a major MOOC provider, Coursera provides universal access to the world’s best education, partnering with top universities and organizations to offer courses for anyone to take, for free.
Udacity is a MOOC platform which offers accessible, affordable, interactive online courses that seek to empower students to advance not just their education but their careers in technology. It develops courses together with leaders in the tech industry to provide the most relevant and cutting-edge tech education that bridges the gap between academia and the needs of the 21st century workforce.
Academic Earth was launched on the premise that everyone deserves access to a world-class education. In 2009, it built the first collection of free online college courses from the world’s top universities. There is something for everyone: whether you want to explore a new topic or advance in your current field, Academic Earth brings the amazing world of academia to you for free.
ALISON offers free online courses, training, education and learning. It is a global online learning community, filled with free, high-quality resources to help you develop essential, certified workplace skills. Whether you are seeking a new job, a promotion, a college place or starting a new business, ALISON empowers you to improve your economic and personal circumstances, and through you, that of the community you live in.
The primary mission of International Institute of Global Leadership (IIGL) is to provide a tuition-free education to individuals who wish to become high-integrity, heart-centered and conscious leaders.
The Carnegie Mellon University's Open Learning Initiative offers online courses to anyone who wants to learn or teach. It aims to combine open, high-quality courses, continuous feedback, and research to improve learning and transform higher education.
Open Culture brings together high-quality cultural and educational media from all over the internet where it is scattered and not easy to find for the worldwide lifelong learning community. Its whole mission is to centralize this content, curate it, and give you access to this high quality content whenever and wherever you want it.
The GCFLearnFree.org program helps millions around the world learn the essential skills they need to live and work in the 21st century. From Microsoft Office and email to reading, math, and more, GCFLearnFree.org offers hundreds of tutorials, including more than thousands of lessons, videos, and interactives, completely free.
You’ve probably heard of Reddit, but have you heard of UReddit? UReddit hosts courses and lessons created by the public and can help users to learn languages, scientific principles or even PHP programming.
C). Research websites for students
Although your tutors will tell you never to reference Wikipedia in assignments, the collaboratively edited encyclopedia project can be a very useful tool for early-stage research into your assignment or project.
Bartleby publishes classic literature, poetry, non-fiction and reference texts free of charge.
Similarly, Project Gutenberg provides free online access to texts whose copyright has expired; so far it’s digitized more than 45,000 texts.
This award-winning site is a great place to find and check facts. RefDesk has an enormous collection of reference materials, searchable databases and other great resources that can't be found anywhere else.
- IPL.org (Internet Public Library)
The Internet Public Library is an online reference service that offers everything from free dictionaries and encyclopedias to books, magazines and newspapers.
If you need an online encyclopedia that allows you to cite reputable sources, this is a great place to look. Encyclopedia.com pulls search results from more than 100 reputable encyclopedias and dictionaries, including sources like the Oxford University Press.
ChaCha isn't exactly a citable source, but it's a fantastic starting point for research. This human-powered search engine has more than 15,000 guides who are dedicated to answering any question you might have.
The Open Book Project is designed specifically for the academic community. Students can find free textbooks and other open-source education materials.
Students can read more than 5,000 free books online when they visit Questia's online library. The site offers rare and classic books.
When you need to catch up on reading that you missed or want to gain a better understanding of specific books, SparkNotes is the place to be. The site offers literary summaries, essay help, timelines and much more.
- American Fact Finder
The American Fact Finder, from the U.S. Census Bureau, is a great place for student researchers to find economic, geographic, population and housing data.
- The Online Books Page
This University of Pennsylvania website has more than 30,000 books that anyone can read for free online. Users can search by title or author.
D). Writing websites for students
- Essay Punch
Essay Punch is an interactive online essay-writing tutorial. It helps students organize thoughts and improve their essay skills.
- The Owl
Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a great resource for student writers who want to learn more about writing mechanics, formatting, outline development and avoiding plagiarism.
Wridea is a free online idea management service that is designed to help writers brainstorm, organize and improve their ideas.
Big writing projects sometimes require the creation of a database to keep ideas organized. Grubba is perfect for student writers who want to quickly create a database that can be shared with other people.
- Bib Me
Student writers will love Bib Me. This bibliography generator automatically fills in a works cited page in MLA, APA, Chicago or Turbian formats.
E). Cooking websites for students
Cooklet is a place to go for foodies who want to show off their recipes or for those who want to be inspired by other foodies. Like Instagram but solely for food.
RecipePuppy allows you to search for recipes based on the ingredients you already have at home. Lazy students, rejoice.
This is one of the most useful online student resources if you like making and fixing things yourself. You can learn anything from how to make spaghetti ice-cream to how fix a broken shelf.
F). Health websites for students
- The Ultimate Health Food Guide
This guide will be a lifesaver throughout student life for times when you’re feeling wrung out, stressed or ill. Whatever your ailments, visit this resource to find out what foods to eat to build your immunity and vitality back up.
WebMD allows you to check your current health status using its ‘symptom checker’. Although this resource is great for hypochondriacs, however, it doesn’t replace the knowledge of a real doctor – go offline and visit your university’s health center if you’re really concerned.
The website of the UK’s National Health Service provides information on all kinds of illnesses, conditions, diseases and treatments. The site also gives comprehensive information on sexual health.
DontPassItOn provides free chlamydia and gonorrhea testing kits by post to UK citizens aged 16-24.
Sexual health advice and resources for those based in the US.
G). Shopping & selling websites for students
Well-established consumer-to-consumer site Ebay allows you to buy, sell or auction off almost anything, including clothing, electronic devices and antiques. Could come in handy if your student budget needs a boost, or if you want to find some bargains.
The Book Pond allows you to sell your old academic textbooks or buy the ones you need from other students who are ready to pass them on.
Amazon is another online retailer where you can find good prices on books, e-books and textbooks. However, its critics say it’s damaging to independent bookstores, so you may want to consider using your local store instead of always shopping online.
Gumtree advertises jobs, second-hand goods, properties and services for people around the UK. If you’re a student in the UK, it can be a good place to search for part-time job opportunities, look for accommodation, sell things you don’t need any more, or even swap goods or skills.
The global version of Gumtree, Craigslist is big in the US and has many city/area divisions so you can find listings close to you.
This online platform allows you to give away your unwanted things or get your hands on what other people are giving away. Handy for furniture and general bric-a-brac.
H). Money-saving websites for students
Groupon offers daily deals on things such as spa days, fancy restaurants and city breaks. Not exactly the essentials of student life, but a good way to treat yourself at the end of a stressful exam period, perhaps.
MoneySavingExpert has advice on everything from cheap flights to the best bank interest rates, helping your student budget stretch further.
Free to use, Mint can help you organize your finances and track your spending.
MyVoucherCodes offers vouchers and discounts for a huge number of retail stores and restaurants within the UK. In you are in the US, RetailMeNot is the place to go.
Just one of many student websites offering discounts, UniDays lists thousands of student discounts and offers around the globe. It’s free to join and also available as an app.
WiseBread is dedicated to living well on a tight budget – whether you’re a student or just trying to get more for your money. It offers advice on everything from debt management to growing your own fruit and vegetables.
I). Social sites and other useful resources
More than half of all college students have a Facebook account. You can stay connected by signing up for one of your own.
This site is similar to Facebook, but it has an academic aspect: Campusbug is dedicated to providing social networking tools and education to students around the world.
This instant messaging service is great for students who want to network with people from other countries. SpeakLike translates communications across different languages with just a few easy clicks.
People who use this site can collaborate and share notes with students around the world. NoteMesh uses wiki code, so it's easy to work with.
- Student Life Network
If Facebook is a little too impersonal for you, consider setting up a Student Life Network on your campus. Using Student Life Network, you can build a community-based network that targets your fellow students.
An offshoot of Rap Genius, Lit Genius is a place where scholars have formed a community to annotate poetry and literature, both classic and recent. Extremely helpful for English literature students.
TED hosts thought-provoking talks given at events all over the world on the core topics of technology, entertainment and design – but in fact covering pretty much every aspect of human experience. The TED site is where you can find all the videos of these talks. Another good procrastination device, but you may also find some inspiration for your next essay.
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that promotes volunteerism to support peace and development worldwide. Are you interested and/or available to volunteer your time and skills on a short-term assignment of three months or less?
SuperSummary has in-depth study guides on a variety of contemporary novels (including many newer books that are not covered by older study guide sites) providing enough information to enable you get the most out of the books you’re reading.
J). Resources from Study & ScholarshipsFinally, do not forget to check out our own tips (see our most recent tips here).
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- 7 Things International Students Must Do Before Picking a University or College of Choice
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