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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Overseas Briefing Center (OBC)


RESEARCH life at overseas posts
LEARN the logistical requirements of a move
FIND resources to help navigate the foreign affairs lifestyle

What People Are Saying About OBC:

"Love that place. Such friendly staff - they don't just sit behind the desk waiting for questions - they reach out and offer their help. Fabulous resource!"

"The Overseas Briefing Center is a great resource. I will certainly be back - even if my assignment is domestic!"

"The OBC was a wonderful resource for my wife and I as we researched posts. The information was very useful and the OBC team members were great!"

At the Overseas Briefing Center (OBC), we help U.S. Government employees and their family members prepare for an overseas assignment or a return home. We encourage you to explore our website and email us with questions and requests for additional information.

  • Post Briefing Boxes:  Research your next assignment using our post-specific briefing boxes which contain extensive country materials including Welcome to Post information, the Post Report, medical and health considerations, security issues, employment for family members, schooling for children, car import/export specifications, pet import and quarantine requirements, housing and more.  To get a head start, visit our Country Information internet links.  
  • Post Info To Go: Post Briefing Boxes are available in electronic format on the DOS Intranet website, providing a view of post life from your desktop. For family members without Intranet access, OBC staff members can email key information to you. Simply send us a request for a specific post, with your name and federal government agency affiliation.
  • Personal Post Insights: Read anonymous feedback about posts worldwide, written by members of the U.S. foreign affairs community who express a variety of opinions and perspectives through comments on schooling, employment for family members, housing, life at post for singles, what car to bring, and more.  Contact a resource specialist for more information.
  • Audiovisual collection:  Audiovisual resources are available for viewing in the center, including post videos that can be checked out overnight. Post videos highlight daily life as a member of a specific embassy community. Over 70 recent post videos are also available as streaming video from the Department of State BNET (Intranet).
  • Pet Import and Quarantine Restrictions: We provide detailed information to Foreign Service families taking a pet overseas.  For post-specific information, contact a resource specialist.
  • Logistical information for an international move:  Find post-specific consumables lists, information about consumables shipments, household goods, car and home insurance options, important paperwork and documents to hand-carry, FAM references for the move, and Preparing to Go Overseas checklists
  • Transition to the United States, including Washington, DC area information (temporary housing facilities near FSI, childcare, and general reentry information) and U.S. Domestic Posts.
  • Cultural resource information:  Materials in the center include the Culture Schock series, as well as CultureGrams for the whole family.  Also visit Success Overseas.
  • International Schools: brochures and yearbooks
  • Publications:  We publish information that supports the Foreign Service lifestyle and the logistics of an international move.  More here ...
  • Two Resource Specialists who address individual concerns:  OBC staff are members of the Foreign Service community with multiple years experience at a wide variety of posts. They are available to answer any/all questions, in person, by phone, or via email.


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