The Canadian Guide to
Working and Living Overseas
The Canadian Guide to Working and Living Overseas
Intercultural Learning Systems/Systemes Interculturels (ISSI), Ottawa,
502 pages, Paper, $40.66 (incl. delivery and GST)
Reviewed by Kate Kaufman
"The issues facing humanity are increasingly global: To name
but a few, Third World poverty, inequality, environmental degradation,
the extinction of species and the disappearance of habitat. To ensure
the future of the planet, we must recognize the interdependence
of these issues and adopt a global perspective on the world. No
one part of the world, South or North, rich or poor, can solve these
problems alone. People with international experience can raise awareness
of this interdependence and help chart a safer route for humanity
and all the other species who inhabit the earth."
Jean-Marc Hachey's thoroughness in researching and compiling The
Canadian Guide to Working and Living Overseas demonstrates a
commitment to these principles, articulated in simple, easy-to-read
language with a humour that is refreshing.
Intended for Canadians, this work provides more than 900 resources
in four sections: Your International IQ, Long Term Strategies, Finding
that International Job and Directory of International Contacts.
As a reference tool, the book is well-designed. Information is
quickly accessible through a detailed table of contents, an extensive
bibliography, a job index and a breakdown of organizations by type.
At the end of each chapter you'll also find related resource material
which is cross-referenced in the appendices.
The term "International IQ" was coined by Hachey to express
the complex, intangible character traits and intercultural communication
skills required to compete in the international job market. He explores
these criteria repeatedly in each section of the book, making the
observation that in many developing countries Canadians are often
looked at culturally as North Americans. Our differences are so
subtle we are indistinguishable from our southern neighbours.
The Guide is geared to helping individuals develop "people
skills" as well as professional credentials, so they can be
effective agents of change. The diversity of global contacts included
For example, did you know about the Alberta/ Hokkaido Dairy Exchange
Programme? Or the Pacific Rim Study Tours of the Vancouver School
Board? How about the Atlantic Regional Orientation Centre? More
than 700 contacts from government, private sector, non-government
and international organizations are profiled.
Throughout western history, global exploration and empire building
have captured the imagination. The idea of a rounded earth, the
globe, opened the way for the "high adventurers", rugged
individuals usually operating outside any structural framework.
The difference today, writes Hachey, is that "[t]he drive by
industry to integrate the world economy will break down restrictons
imposed by governments on the free flow of world labour." Breakthroughs
in communications technology are allowing us to experience a shift
from the historical laissez-faire policies and empire-building postures
of nation-states to global interdependence - McLuhan's "global
This book presents a comprehensive study of possibly every aspect
of getting a job and living and working overseas while repeatedly
stressing the significance of cross-cultural understanding. Therein
lies its uniqueness. The approach might be called that of today's
thoughtful "citizen of the world" rather than the carefree
adventurer of the past.
Whether you're covering national or international beats, this reference
work provides a wealth of information, for the novice and the seasoned
This article originally appeared in Sources, 31st Edition.
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