Arabic language and culture instructor conducts class for three students in the Foreign Service Institute’s Arabic ALERT class. Participants are seated in a practice tea ceremony. February 2017. [State Department Image]

Foreign Service Institute

Our Mission

The mission of the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) is to deliver world-class diplomatic training and provide the career-long learning opportunities that U.S. government foreign affairs professionals need in order to excel in today’s global arena, advance U.S. foreign policy and deliver on behalf of the American people. To fulfill these critical responsibilities, the personnel we serve require a unique combination of specialized expertise, operational skill sets, and a broad capacity for innovative and visionary leadership. FSI training and resources promote substantive, regional, and linguistic expertise, leadership finesse, personal resilience and problem-solving.

The Latest

Key Topics

Foreign Language Training

FSI’s School of Language Studies (SLS) offers instruction in over 65 languages, with course length and curricula targeted at a range of language proficiency, from survival to advanced language skills, to enhance the foreign affairs community’s ability to work and live abroad effectively. SLS staff are active within the U.S. government’s interagency community of language trainers and testers and frequently benchmark with external foreign affairs agencies on language instruction.

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Diplomatic Tradecraft and Regional Area Studies Training

The School of Professional and Area Studies (SPAS) provides job-specific orientation, tradecraft, and area studies training to empower foreign affairs professionals to advance U.S. interests and tackle the evolving challenges of 21-century diplomacy. SPAS supports our professionals through tailored programs in Consular, Economic and Commercial, Management, Office Management, Political, and Public Diplomacy, as well as new-hire orientation programs and in-depth Area Studies courses. SPAS is also home to the Center for the Study of the Conduct of Diplomacy (CSCD), which examines recent diplomatic experiences in order to capture best practices and lessons learned.

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Applied Information Technology Training

The School of Applied Information Technology (SAIT) prepares all DOS employees for their foreign affairs mission today, and tomorrow, by developing proficiency in the use of technology. SAIT drives the Department forward by empowering foreign affairs professionals with DOS digital literacy. Specifically, SAIT enables end-users to efficiently and effectively weave technology into their daily routines; ensures that the Department’s Information Technology (IT) professionals have the up-to-date knowledge and skills required to operate and maintain the complex computer and technology systems employed domestically and at all U.S. overseas missions; and prepares individuals to serve as IT consultants on behalf of their mission.

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Leadership and Management Training

The Leadership and Management School (LMS) provides needs-based leadership and crisis management training to prepare Department personnel to face global leadership challenges throughout their careers. LMS provides first-class, highly interactive leadership training that moves the Department’s foreign affairs cadres from the entry level through the senior ranks of the State Department. LMS also provides tailored crisis management training program for the United States’ 270 diplomatic posts abroad; individualized coaching services; and, organizational development services to missions, bureaus, and other units.

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The Transition Center (TC) serves all U.S. Government employees and family members preparing for or returning from overseas assignments. TC offers formal courses and programs, as well as non-tuition seminars, briefings, and resources designed to meet the diverse personal and professional needs of the foreign affairs community. TC's Center of Excellence in Foreign Affairs Resilience (CEFAR) provides consultations and training designed to help individuals, family members, and teams perform at their best, even when faced with high stress and threats. The Overseas Briefing Center (OBC) provides extensive country research materials, logistical information for an international move, and cultural adjustment resources. The Career Transition Center (CTC) organizes retirement planning seminars and a job search program that focuses on career development, job search strategies and life planning.

Learn More About TC Transitions

U.S. Department of State

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