The man who wrote the book on living and working oversees

Jean-Marc Hachey is the bestselling author of The Big Guide to Living and Working Overseas and a sought-after expert on international career planning for university and college students. His dynamic presentations have been a highlight of past I-Week celebrations. This year, Hachey is delivering his highly informative, interactive presentation on February 4 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in D1052 and noon to 2 p.m. in B1070. The talk is open to all students. Simply arrive and prepare to be inspired.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Hachey about how to think about career planning from an international perspective, and what Fanshawe students can expect from his visit to our campus.

AR: You're speaking at Fanshawe during I-Week this year. What are you going to be talking about?

JMH: I'll be talking about the value of “international” as an increasingly key component of getting a good education. I especially want to encourage students to consider going abroad for a semester or more to study, intern, volunteer or travel. Going abroad is a lot easier than most students assume, and I hope to inspire students with practical ideas on how to go abroad and build international skills.

AR: Why should domestic students care about international work and travel? What's in it for them?

JMH: First of all, a four-month trip abroad will change your life forever. It is a life-changing experience to live in Paris, volunteer in Africa, or backpack in Thailand. Most people only have two chances in life to do exciting things, during your 20s when you most likely still do not have family obligations, and after you are 55 when your children have left home and you have finished making mortgage and car payments. I therefore encourage students to take four months off to travel, learn a language, or volunteer abroad.

Secondly, students who go abroad learn a lot of skills that they increasingly need to function in the new world economy. Almost every profession requires workers to have global career skills, and Fanshawe students should be at the forefront of embracing these skills by gaining international experience.

AR: How is your talk relevant to students in programs like electrical engineering, or other disciplines that aren't obviously geared towards international?

JMH: Students in all fields with international skills have better job prospects when they graduate. Period. The rise of Internet technologies is driving a new global economy. Every size of business is being transformed — from large international corporations to small local firms in your hometown. Employers of all sizes are purchasing goods and services from around the world, and they are asking employees to work online with people located in other countries. Whether you work abroad or at home, you will need international skills to succeed.

AR: If students attend your presentation, what will they come away with?

JMH: I hope to reach those students who are curious about going abroad and want to learn about the many options they have to travel the world. I want to inspire students to know, for example, that learning Spanish in Spain or Guatemala is not only easy but possible for everyone.

AR: What made you interested in becoming an expert in student international work and travel?

JMH: I come from a small town in Northern New Brunswick and I had a chance to go to Nigeria with a friend whose parents were teaching there. The experience was so exciting and mind opening that I quickly made up my mind that I wanted to have an international life. A few years later, after a number of trips abroad, I started working professionally for the U.N. and other international organizations. At one point I realized that I wanted to share the knowledge I had with students across Canada and the U.S. That is when I started writing my first book back in 1992, and more recently, launching my new web site 15 months ago to help students all across the U.S. and Canada to build global career skills.

AR: Thanks for speaking with me. Before we go, what's the one most important tip you can leave with our readers?

JMH: Firstly, students have to be bold and brave, they have to be willing to take small risks and go abroad to gain incredible experiences. By going abroad students will gain the skills and insights that will help you for a life-time of living in a world dominated by the new global economy.

Learn more on February 4 to find out how to design the life-enhancing experiences that will also make your resume stand out from the competition. Hachey will be pleased to respond to any and all questions in person at his. Get there early to save your seat!

To help raise our campus' “international IQ,” Fanshawe College recently purchased a license that gives all students free access to the online version of Hachey's book. The site offers the same cutting-edge resources for studying and working abroad as the paper version - and more! Right now, we are the only college in Ontario that offers this resource to its students, giving Fanshawe grads a competitive edge in the workplace!

Early birds can start accessing Hachey's written materials, all freely available on his website. Simply go to and use your email address to register for free.

Brought to you by Fanshawe International Club and International Partnership.