If possible, visit the Overseas Briefing Center to check out post audiovisuals and cultural books, learn about pet import and quarantine restrictions, research information in country briefing boxes, and pick up logistics handouts. Many of these resources are also available online on the DOS intranet. OBC can assist via email U.S. Government employees and family members without Department of State intranet access.
OBC offers a comprehensive listing of internet sites to complement materials available in the center.
If you are a Department of State (DOS) employee assigned to a U.S. Mission overseas, consult with your Career Development Officer (CDO) to arrange professional studies, language training, and area studies at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI). Non-State employees assigned to a U.S. Mission overseas should consult with their training divisions to learn about available training opportunities.
DOS employees can arrange language training for Eligible Family Members (EFMs) -- authorized on a space-available basis. Again, your CDO is the starting point in this process. If your spouse cannot attend regular classes, distance training may be possible for some languages, including German, Greek, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish (email firstname.lastname@example.org). Learning key phrases in the language of the assigned country can make a big difference in one's comfort level upon arrival.
Prepare for your overseas experience with life skills training. Complete list of available Foreign Service Life Skills Training. Many of these classes are free to non-State Foreign Affairs personnel and family members.
If you need child care to attend classes, find child care options by emailing the Overseas Briefing Center or using the services of WorkLife4You (WL4Y) (formerly IQ: Information Quest), the referral service for Department of State employees and family members.
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