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September is a time of transitioning back to school for families as well as those beginning long-term training here at the Foreign Service Institute. FSI welcomed over 800 new language students from many federal agencies on Tuesday, and the Transition Center is beginning our fall programming for employees, spouses, and our interagency partners. While you're around, we encourage you to take advantage of the wealth of information and resources available for you as you get ready to settle into life here in the Washington, D.C. area.

Whether you are new to FSI or have been here for a while and have been meaning to stop by, we look forward to seeing you on campus and our doors are always open!

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

Monrovia is located on the coast of Liberia, on the furthest point Cape Masurado. Founded in 1822, the city is named for U.S. President James Monroe and historically the two countries have had strong ties. Weather ranges from warm and rainy from May through December and hot and dusty during the dry season from December to April.

Health issues are a concern in the country, especially in regards to the recent outbreak of ebola – the post was put under evacuation status for EFMs. For the latest information please visit the website for the Center for Disease Control. Travelers to Liberia are also at risk for mosquito-carried diseases, such as malaria and yellow-fever. The embassy has a health unit, but it is strongly recommended to bring common over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, Pepto-Bismol, and cold or cough remedies.

There are almost daily sports and fitness events that members of the embassy community are welcome to join. Stay in shape with activities ranging from cross fit to zumba to ultimate frisbee.

Shopping on the local economy can be challenging due to the lack of dairy products and high prices of produce, much of which is imported. Monrovia has a consumables allowance, of which employees are encouraged to take full advantage. Some items to consider bringing are paper products, American snack foods, baking supplies, and canned food.



2014 Employment Courses for adult eligible family members (EFMs) of all agencies sending families overseas

Adult eligible family members (EFMs) of all agencies are invited to attend four employment courses designed specifically for spouse/partners navigating both a career and a mobile lifestyle. All classes will be at the Foreign Service Institute, George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center, Arlington, VA. The tuition for each class is $210.

  • Basics for Overseas Employment (MQ703) September 11: Rules and regulations of overseas employment inside and outside the mission will be explained in addition to FSI's online training resources and the ins and outs of security clearances.

  • Employment Tools for Foreign Service Life (MQ704) October 21: This workshop will offer resources for planning a job search as well as recommendations on how to utilize the foreign affairs experience to form a comprehensive employment plan.
  • Portable Careers: Employment Options (MQ706) November 4: This course is dedicated to informing eligible family members (EFMs) of various portable career options they might consider pursuing as a means to more consistent international employment.
  • International Development and NGOs: Employment Options November 20: The seminar 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.

Regulations, Allowances, and Finances in the Foreign Service
September 18-19, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Do not let the complexity of allowances add to your list of Foreign Service questions. Attend this two day course and hear directly from subject matter experts on the newest department policies related to general allowances as well as leave, travel, overseas education, crises, and medical allowances. Furthermore, general aspects of retirement, estate planning, savings plans and insurance will be presented. This course is designed to meet the needs of participants eager for up to date information, an introduction to the topics, or those looking for a refresher. Open to all Foreign Affairs agency employees and adult eligible family members (EFMs). The tuition for each class is $420.

Raising Bilingual Children (MQ851)
September 18-19, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
FREE for all agencies. Should you encourage bilingualism in your children? Is it helpful or harmful? If you decide to do it, what is the proven effective ways? Employees, spouse, partners, join us for an evening of insight from experts and Foreign Service peers concerning raising bilingual children. A highlight of the evening will be hearing from Foreign Service young adults who have been successfully raised bilingual. To register please email the name of participant(s), agency affiliation, and preferred email contact to

Overseas Briefing Center


U.S. Domestic Posts
Are you and your family posted to a domestic assignment in the United States? Visit the OBC's resources for domestic posts! Find information on local schools, housing resouces, transportation, recreation, and more.

The OBC also has a robust collection of information on the Transition to Washington, D.C., including information on short-term housing, childcare, and helpful Washington D.C. resources and links.

OBC Resources for Kids
The Overseas Briefing Center is a welcoming place for the whole family! Our children's activity workbook, Where in the World Are You Going, is available both online and in-center to help children ages 3-8 deal with the idea of an international move. The OBC also offers numerous books for children as well as adults on the topic of a family move overseas.

New Post Videos
We have recently added post videos from the following locations: London, United Kingdom; Kathmandu, Nepal; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Monrovia, Liberia; and Madrid, Spain. In addition to being posted on the intranet on BNET, all post videos may be viewed in-center or checked out from the OBC and shared with family in the comfort of your own home!

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
May5–6, 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
September 29–October 2 | December 1–4
February 24–27, 2015 | April 6–9, 2015
July 27–30, 2015 | Sept 28–Oct 1, 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
October 6–November 28
March 2–April 24
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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