I was very enthusiastic to take the challenge of completing my very first seminar online prior to my planned visits to Paris this spring. Between the very busy work schedule, business trips and having a social life, online courses are a perfect option for me.

Once registered for a course, every student gains access to online course materials uploaded by the professor as well as to course syllabus where one finds an overview of assignments, dates of their submission and recommended readings (both mandatory and optional). It is important to note that my course is a series of 4 assignments, 2 weeks apart with additional suggested readings. So far so good. I copied the titles of the books that I needed on my phone notebook and departed off to the bookstore. And this is where the problems started...

After visiting all the major bookstores in Dubai, including second hand bookstores, I was unable to find the books I needed. I then searched on Amazon, found the books that I needed, and headed to the checkout. Unfortunately, I live in an area where there are restrictions on the books that I can have shipped to me. Since this is a problem that others may face, I recommend some of the following solutions below.

If one is based in a place that has controlled access to online ordering and assortments in bookstores are limited, I would recommend starting to plan in advance. One should decide on the online courses for the entire year and register for them. From there, see if you are able to purchase the textbooks. If not, I recommend working with the professor and the ISM Staff to try and obtain the textbooks. Also, try to reach out to anyone in your professional and personal networks to see if they live in an area to have it shopped to them. If you are unable to obtain the textbook, you have up to two weeks to unregister without any penalty to your academic file.

Happy online studying!

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