Most family historians will eventually reach a point where their genealogy research leads them "across the pond" or over a border. Many genealogists, unfortunately, abandon their research at this point, because they find the thought of genealogy research in a foreign country intimidating or overwhelming.
Other than a few record differences and a possible language barrier, genealogy research really isn't all that different from one place to the next. The research skills and processes that you already use readily transfer to research in a new location. If you like a challenge (and what genealogist doesn't), then taking your research into a foreign country isn't really that hard.
Learn About the Country
When you first began your genealogy research, you probably quickly found that you had a lot to learn. Most of us weren't born knowing about changing geographic boundaries, major wars or census takers. Approach your genealogy research in a new country, just as if you're a beginner. Get a good history book about the region and learn about the events and beliefs which shaped the lives of the people who lived there. Join a local genealogical society which serves the area. Ask questions of other researchers on mailing lists and forums. Buy a map, or locate one online, so you can become familiar with the country's geography and boundaries.
Work Around the Language Barrier
Since most genealogical records, books and resources are in the language of their native country, many genealogists find language a major stumbling block. While the language differences will certainly slow your research down, there is no reason that it should derail it completely. Genealogy word lists have been compiled for many common languages, providing a way for genealogists to easily understand the most important words found in genealogical documents. On the Internet, free translation tools allow you to get rough translations on the fly of many foreign language Web sites. Translaters will, of course, be able to translate records for you for a fee. It may seem impossible when you first start, but you'll probably be surprised how quickly you learn enough basics to start understanding the records.
Familiarize Yourself With the Record Types
Most countries and governments keep records of the same basic life events - births, marriages and deaths. Religious records, census records, and historic newspapers are also found in most countries. What you need to learn are the dates for which these types of records were kept, and where the records can be accessed.
Find the Records
Begin your search by viewing the records available for your country of interest in the Family History Library Catalog. While the Mormons may not have microfilmed all available records, this will at least give you a general idea of the types of records available. Better yet, these records can be easily accessed at your local Family History Center. Next, check the World GenWeb site for your country or region, to see what records have been transcribed and made available online. Major archives, companies and genealogical groups have also made a wide variety of foreign records available online. The complete U.S. census, old English wills, French parish records - these and more can be viewed on the Internet.