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Transition Center eNewsletter


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We bid welcome to our many foreign affairs colleagues as they return from overseas or prepare for their next postings and take advantage of TC training opportunities and the resources available in the Overseas Briefing Center. If you are unable to visit us in person, I strongly urge you to visit our online support materials and learn about all that we offer. Those of you returning to the DC area this summer might want to consider reviewing our fall schedule of classes and registering now! Our training staff continually revisits and updates our course curriculums to reflect the ever-changing demands of the foreign affairs lifestyle.

We will mark the departure of our esteemed colleague, Adam Russell, who has been the talent behind our intranet, internet, e-newsletter and other technical efforts over the last several years as he moves on to the Congressional Budget Office. That's what transition – and the Transition Center – is all about. Good luck, Adam.

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

Moscow, like other world capitals, has many things to see and do. Concerts, theater and ballet performances, festivals, restaurants, and many other cultural opportunities are at your fingertips in this exciting city. Worried about the long winters? Moscow airport has non-stop flights to countless destinations in Europe if you're looking to get away for a weekend!

Unfortunately, one of the disadvantages to living in Moscow is its substandard accommodations for people with disabilities. Getting around Moscow will prove difficult as Russia does not have the same ADA standards you are used to seeing in the United States. Handicap parking is scarce, and there is minimal accessibility for wheelchairs in buildings, public transportation, and on sidewalks (especially during the winter).

Moscow is a relatively safe city, however, you should always be aware of your surroundings. Pick-pockets and other crimes of opportunity are as common in Moscow as in any other major city. Examples of xenophobia have been cited in some parts of Moscow, too.

Health Concerns: Given Moscow's geographical location, you may experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD typically occurs at the same time every year. In Moscow, it is common during the prolonged, cold and dark winter months. A simple method for mitigating the symptoms of SAD is phototherapy. Remember to pack full-spectrum light bulbs (available from any major hardware store) and use them in your home during the winter.



Realities of Foreign Service Life
July 25, 9:00am – 4:00pm

New to the Foreign Service? Do you have a list of question to which you want real answers not bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo? Join us for class and hear directly from Foreign Service veterans.

During this one day course participants will receive information on the structure and characteristics of U.S. missions and overseas communities; discuss what it is like to be part of the diplomatic community overseas; and hear about housing, security, arrival in country, packing, employment and more from a panel of foreign service veterans.

Young Diplomats Overseas Preparation
July and August Dates Available

The Transition Center offers a FREE 2-day Summer Youth Program for children of all foreign affairs agencies in Grades 2-12. It is offered multiple times in the summer.

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 indicating the target date, the name of youth participant(s), rising grade levels, agency affiliation, and preferred email address for communication.

Overseas Briefing Center


Updates to DC Area Housing
Coming to FSI in the fall? OBC has made updates to its housing information. If you're looking at hotels or short-term housing options near FSI, review our DC area housing information.

Ask OBC!
The Overseas Briefing Center continues to see a high volume of visitors this summer! In May and June, approximately 1,800 visits were logged for in-house assistance with transition needs. This is in addition to answering over 1,100 emails from the foreign affairs community.

If you have a question about your transition this summer, please reach out and take advantage of our expertise. If we don't know the answer, we will put you in touch with someone who does! Email an OBC Resource Specialist for post-specific or reentry to Washington information.

OBC Expands Post Video Collection
We have recently added post videos from the following locations: Dublin, Ireland; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Guadalajara, Mexico. Thank you to those involved in getting their post videos submitted! They are a vital tool for bidders and their families when considering their next assignment!

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
January 13–14, 2015

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

Course Dates
July 28–31 | September 29–October 2
December 1–4 | February 24–27, 2015

Job Search 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
August 4–September 30
October 6–November 28
March 2–April 24


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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