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Transition Center eNewsletter

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We are very pleased to welcome one of the Department of State's most experienced psychiatrists to the staff of the Transition Center. Dr. Sam Thielman will be serving as a Senior Advisor for Work Force Resilience and recently published a short article on depression and resilience.

News of the Ebola virus outbreak has captured America's attention and added another understandable concern to list of uncertainties that we face daily in this community. As is the case with many fears, one of the best ways to counter them is through great information. That's what our Overseas Briefing Center tries to bring you and your clients every day – reliable, up-to-date resources to ease your anxiety and concerns and empower you to make educated decisions. Stop on by! You are always welcome.

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 Kuala Lumpur – or any other post – in your future? Here are a few things you should know about this post:

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is a multi-ethnic city of over 1.5 million inhabitants located on Asia's Malay Peninsula. Just north of the equator, Kuala Lumpur is hot and humid year round. May through July are the driest months of the year, although 200 days annually see some sort of precipitation. Malaysian is the official language of the country, but English is widely spoken.

Kuala Lumpur features an abundance of after-hours activities and events. Being a multi-cultural city, there are restaurants and cuisine from every corner of the world. Cultural opportunities are plentiful, and the city has a variety of concert halls, movie theaters, bars, and similar venues for leisure and recreation. Travel to other locations in Asia is relatively convenient and affordable.

Minor crime issues, including purse-snatching and credit card fraud, can be a concern. It is recommended to only take marked, official taxis, easily located at a taxi stand or hotel. In general, the same level of caution should be exercised as in any big city in the United States.

There are several schooling options in Kuala Lumpur. Most children attend the International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL), though Mont'Kiara International School (MKIS), The Alice Smith School (British-based), and Garden International School (Australian-based) are also available. There are many high-quality preschools offering a number of different programs. Parents should check with the CLO office or the Office of Overseas Schools to find the best fit for their children and to discuss special-needs considerations.



Resilience Strategies for Success Overseas (MQ502)
November 7, 9:00am – 4:00pm
This workshop takes a practical approach and explores the need for personal resilience and helps participants develop strategies to increase their personal resilience in order to thrive in an internationally mobile lifestyle. All USG employees and adult families members are encouraged to take this course in preparation for an overseas tour. To enroll, please visit the instructions for tuition-based courses.

FREE – Special Education Needs Overseas (MQ118)
November 18, 9:00am – 4:00pm
This course is designed specifically for Foreign Service families to help them understand and navigate Department of State services available overseas to children with special needs. Participants will hear from all DOS offices that provide support and services to these families, and will also have the opportunity to speak privately with these specialists about schooling, allowances, medical clearances, etc. To register please email the name of participant(s), agency affiliation, and preferred email contact to

International Development and NGOs: Employment Options (MQ705)
November 20, 9:00am – 4:00pm
Are you an eligible family member trying to establish a career in the International Development and NGO field? Join us for this seminar which includes presentations and panels tasked with explaining the structure, function, and network of international development organizations, NGOs and companies; as well as realistic avenues for internationally mobile spouse/partners to "break into" this sector. To enroll, please visit the instructions for tuition-based courses.

Overseas Briefing Center


DVDs of Panels and Popular Topic Presentations
The Overseas Briefing Center has DVDs available for sessions that relate to a variety of themes that are central to the Foreign Service lifestyle. Titles can be checked out for two days and can also be borrowed over weekends if you are looking to have more time to watch the sessions. Titles include:

  • Traveling with Pets
  • Tax Seminar 2014
  • Raising Children in the Foreign Service (Pt. I, Pt. II)
  • Estate Planning Seminar
  • Cross Cultural Adaptation
Other themes include safety, local history of FSI, and special education needs for overseas. Stop by the OBC to view the full collection.

Pet Smarts in State Magazine
Are you a Foreign Service pet owner headed overseas any time soon? Take a look at the recent Pet Smarts article in State Magazine, written by OBC's resident pet expert, Maureen Johnston. For post-specific pet information, email the OBC for your post's pet survey. The Transition Center also offers an annual Traveling with Pets class that addresses many of the concerns and challenges the Foreign Affairs community faces when bringing a pet to post.

Share Your Thoughts about Life at Post
Knowing the ins and outs of life at post can make a big difference in your bidding decisions and preparation for going abroad. Personal Post Insights (PPIs) provide anonymous feedback about life at post, including such topics as housing, schools, social life, shopping, family member employment and more. Learn more about PPIs and how you can fill one out!

Contact OBC
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

Upcoming Courses...
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!

Course Dates
November 12–13, 2014| January 13–14, 2015
May 5–6, 2015 | June 10–11, 2015

Retirement Planning Seminar
Do you have fewer than ten years until retirement? Prepare now by attending the four-day seminar.

Course Dates
December 1–4, 2014| February 24–27, 2015
April 6–9, 2015 | June 22–25, 2015

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!

Course Dates
March 2–April 24, 2014
August 3–September 25, 2015


Transition Center Links                              Partner Offices and Organizations
  » Transition Center                                    » Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide
  » Career Transition Center                      » American Foreign Service Association
  » Overseas Briefing Center                     » Family Liaison Office
  » Foreign Service Life Skills Training    » Foreign Service Youth Foundation
  » Foreign Service Institute                       » Office of Allowances
  » Security Training                                     » Office of Medical Services
  » High Stress Assignment Outbrief       » Overseas Schools
  » Overseas Crisis Readiness                  » Retirement Network
  » Contact Us


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