Our hearts go out to all who were impacted by the devastating earthquake in Nepal. During such a difficult time, we extend recognition to our colleagues in Kathmandu and throughout the country working long, difficult hours for a tragedy that could never be fully anticipated, no matter how prepared one might be. Situations like this underscore why it is so important to build resilience in yourself, in your family, and in your community. Wherever you're headed, keep in mind the necessity of strengthening your own resilience and the capabilities of those around you so that you can be better prepared for the dangerous, difficult, and unexpected circumstances that you too may encounter. Reach out to the Transition Center to learn more about resilience strategies that can help you weather challenging situations, and thank you for all that you do.
Ray Leki, Director
Sharon Hardy, Deputy Director
Post-It of the Month
Whether you're bidding on your next post or getting ready to sail, all foreign affairs personnel and their families can access our Post Info To Go database. Email the OBC with the posts you'd like more information about!
Is Amman – or any other post – in your future? Here are a few things you should know about this post:
Amman is the capital city of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, home to about 4 million of the country's approximately 8 million inhabitants. Jordan is a constitutional monarchy, ruled by King Abdullah II since his ascension to the throne in 1999. Arabic is the official language, and although many of the country's well-educated and middle class population speak English, it can help to learn some common Arabic phrases. The climate in Amman is fairly moderate, although summers can be very hot and dusty and it's not unheard of to get a little snow in winter.
Amman tends to be a family-oriented post. Most children go to the American Community School, though some attend the British International Community School. There are a wide variety of extracurricular activities for children, ranging from dance to music lessons to sports.
Many American products are sold in local grocery stores (though they may be expensive), and there is a commissary that sells some staples that are harder to find. There is also DPO to ship in your favorite products through Amazon or NetGrocer.
Jordan is filled with ancient historical sites, many imbued with religious or geo-political significance, including the ancient Greco-Roman city of Jerash, the archeological site Petra, made famous by Indiana Jones, and the Christian baptism site. Desert hiking and camping are popular options, including the red sand-filled Wadi Rum. The Dead Sea is a fun excursion with many resorts nearby to turn it into a weekend trip. Jerusalem lies only 60 miles from Amman, and Tel Aviv is a short flight away.
email the Overseas Briefing Center.
Free Seminar – Legal Considerations in the Foreign Service
May 20 6:00pm–8:30pm | The mobile foreign affairs lifestyle gives rise to unique legal implications for foreign affairs agency employees and their family members. This seminar includes a panel of experts provided by the American Foreign Service Protective Association to discuss contingency planning. Participants will learn steps in creating wills, trusts and powers of attorney.
Resilience Strategies for Success Overseas
May 21, 9:0am–4:00pm | This foundational course is designed to proactively meet the needs of foreign affairs community members, including employees, family members, and members of household. This one-day workshop takes a practical approach and explores the need for resilience, the meanings and definitions of the term, develops strategies to increase resilience to thrive in an internationally mobile lifestyle.
Free Seminar – Going Overseas Super Saturday
May 30 Morning & Afternoon | Our Going Overseas Super Saturday includes four FREE non-tuition courses for adults and children addressing both the psychological and the logistical preparations necessary when planning an overseas move. The highly interactive presentations in each course introduce all ages to the impact and logistics of an impending international move and help families and couples plan together. See below for which of the courses best meet your family's needs. See the course page for registration instructions.
Morning Options: 9:00am–12:00pm
Afternoon Options: 1:00pm–3:30pm
Going Overseas for Families: This workshop designed for families addresses the concerns and excitement around the coming international move and makes them think about how they plan to prepare for it. Specific sessions focus on making transitions and dealing with stress. Children in grades 2-12 attend this class along with their parents.
Going Overseas for Singles and Couples without Children: In this interactive workshop, individuals and couples discuss the four stages of moving and brainstorm methods to manage stress and communicate effectively through the transition.
June 3 5:30pm–8:30pm | The Transition Center, in collaboration with GLIFAA, will host a FREE evening seminar open to all U.S. government agencies sending people on overseas assignments. Participation by Department of State and USAID leadership makes this a significant event in the professional journey of our LGBT+ coworkers.
Going Overseas: Logistics for Adults: For the afternoon session, adult participants attend this session to receive invaluable information on the logistics of moving overseas and learn the "nuts and bolts" of making this move.
Going Overseas: Logistics for Children: Children in grades 2-12 will be introduced to the logistics planning necessary for their international move. The children engage in thinking about the impending packout and prioritize what they would like to take with them.
To register, contact FSITCTraining@state.gov and give the participant's name, agency affiliation, and preferred email address.
Young Diplomats Overseas Preparation – FREE
Dates in June, July, and August 9:00am–4:00pm | The Transition Center offers a FREE 2-day Summer Youth Program for children of all foreign affairs agencies in Grades 2-12 offered multiple times in the summer (see dates).
The program includes two days of interactive exploration into the world of diplomacy, the realities of living overseas as an American, safety and security threats overseas, and learning how to protect themselves. Children are divided by age and all information is shared using age-appropriate activities and details. **Session attendance is limited. Register now to guarantee your preferred session!
** PLEASE NOTE: A parent or guardian is required to be on campus.
To register, contact FSITCTraining@state.gov indicating the target date, the name of youth participant(s), rising grade levels, agency affiliation, and preferred email address for communication.
Pre-Deployment Preparation for High Stress Assignments
Dates in May, June, and July 6:00pm–9:00pm| This course has the simple goal of empowering employees and couples to be more psychologically prepared for an extended assignment to a high stress post. Part of the course will focus on practical considerations in preparing for and sustaining an unaccompanied assignment. Both employees and family members who attend will better understand the challenges of maintaining the health and well-being of relationships with spouses, children, siblings and others who will await the return of the officer. The Department is asking officers to go to posts that are known to be difficult and appreciates the sense of service and courage of those officers willing to serve. No one wants an officer's sustaining personal relationships to be sacrificed along the way.
Overseas Briefing Center
Share your Wisdom about Overseas Posts!
"So what is the housing really like at my next post?" is a common type of question as people consider where they might look for their next overseas posting. With social media today, members of the foreign affairs community continue to rely upon others' opinions when it comes to lifestyle information at posts around the world.
It is also helpful to remember that not all information can easily be shared in public forums. This is where Personal Post Insights can offer a more in-depth and honest assessment of post details.
If you have recently returned from an overseas post your insights are invaluable to your colleagues in the foreign affairs community! Consider taking just a few minutes to submit a Personal Post Insight today - your friends will thank you!
Child and Family Care Resources
Whether your household is moving into the DC metro region for the first time or returning from an overseas posting, the issue of finding childcare can be a challenge. The Overseas Briefing Center maintains an informational list of preschools and childcare centers that are in the region around FSI with contact information and an overview of services offered at each facility. Thirteen facilities make up the list along with additional information about IQ:Information Quest services (for Department of State personnel).
Are you looking for more information about local family and child care services? Contact the OBC by sending an email to FSIOBCInfoCenter@state.gov from your .gov or .mil address to request a copy of the current list. If you are a family member and need the list, be sure to include a reference to your spouse's .gov or .mil address in your email.
What are Visitors Looking For in the OBC?
The Overseas Briefing Center had implemented iPad sign-in kiosks beginning in late November 2014 and recently compiled the past five months' statistics to better understand usage trends in the OBC. Post-specific research (36%) came out as the top activity for visitors. Pick up printed handouts (12%) and Use internet access workstation (9%) were also commonly cited activities. The next most commonly cited reasons for visiting OBC included Check out/Return resources (8%), Get template for letter to post (8%), and Meet with Resource Specialist (7%). During the five-month period nearly 2,700 visitors used the kiosks to register the purpose of their visits.
View OBC's Extended Hours
Foreign Service Institute | Room E-2126
Email Us | 703.302.7276 | Weekdays 8:15 AM – 5:00 PM
Career Transition Center
Mid-Career Retirement Planning Seminar
Are you more than ten years away from retirement eligibility and in the early-to-mid stages of your career? This two-day future oriented financial and legal seminar is for you!
June 10–11, 2015
November 9–10, 2015 (not yet in FSI catalog)
January 12–13, 2016 (not yet in FSI catalog)
June 8–9, 2016 (not yet in FSI catalog)
Retirement Planning Seminar
Do you have fewer than ten years until retirement? Prepare now by attending the four-day seminar.
June 22–25, 2015
July 27–30, 2015 September 28–October 1, 2015
November 30–December 3, 2015 (not yet in FSI catalog)
March 1–4, 2016 (not yet in FSI catalog)
Job Search (Transition) Program
Leaving full-time U.S. Government work? Focus on your transition and plan the next phase of your professional and personal lives in JSP!
August 3–September 25, 2015
October 5–30, 2015 (not yet in FSI catalog)
March 7–April 29, 2016 (not yet in FSI catalog)