Resources For Travelling Abroad

16 Mar, 2012

With Desautels students returning from another tour abroad (not to mention the countless number of students who do exchanges every year), I thought I would focus this post on country resources.

Since I always like to highlight both free (as in, free once you’re no longer a McGill student) and subscription resources (free while you’re a student, not after), I wanted to open this blog by pointing to one cherished online chestnut called the CIA World Factbook.  As the name states, this website is compiled by America’s Central Intelligence Agency and contains great, succinct overviews of countries around the world. It provides basic demographic, economic and political data.  The pages are regularly updated so they’re typically pretty current.

While the CIA Factbook will give you a basic overview, it you’re hoping to dig a little deeper into your country of choice, McGill subscribes to a resource called the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). A sister organization to The Economist, the EIU provides thorough country analysis for over 200 countries.

The basic country report covers economic, political, and trade information which the EIU believes would have an impact on business. These reports are great way to get a bird’s eye view of the general business climate in a particular country.  Note that they are updated monthly so you may want to turn to news sources for up to the minute information.

Beyond the country report, the EIU contains reports dealing with the financial regulations, commercial laws (called Country Commerce) as well as investment opportunities and regulations (called Country Finance).  They also issue news reports and news wires by region and provide risk briefings for countries.

While all of this information will give you a good sense of the economic and political climate in particular countries, they don’t necessarily outline in full detail business customs. To learn more about business customs in a particular country, I suggest searching our catalogue for relevant books or searching the business article literature for advice.

Happy travels!

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