Family members of U.S. direct-hire employees assigned to an overseas mission may be eligible for training through the Foreign Service Institute (FSI). FSI’s mandate is to provide training to Foreign Service Officers. Family members should pay careful attention to FSI’s course catalog to learn if EFMs may apply since not all classes are open to EFMs, and seats are offered on a space-available basis.
Training enrollment is managed by the Family Liaison Office (FLO) for those family members not employed at post. Family Members employed at post submit training requests through their post supervisor and training officer. The only exception is for Consular training, as FLO manages all consular training requests. Family members may contact the Family Liaison Office for additional .
FSI Functional Training Courses Available to Family Members on a Space-Available Basis
Basic Consular Course or “ConGen” (PC530 )
Financial Management Overseas (PA211)
General Services Operations (PA221)
Human Resources Management Overseas (PA230)
HR Essentials for Management Officers (PA314)
Facility Manager Tradecraft (PA521)
Management Oversight of Construction Safety/Occupational Health Programs (PA585)
Managing Projects at State – OBO Companion Course (PA682)
Information Technology Training
Department of State Family Members
There is no charge for functional training for a Department of State family member. Family members should contact the Family Liaison Office for enrollment information.
Non-Department of State Family Members
For spouses of employees of other agencies, the parent agency of the employee must agree to pay the course fee before the EFM can be considered for enrollment. There is no mechanism for the spouse to pay directly for an FSI course. The fee for the Basic Consular Course may be waived for non-Department of State spouses if post requests the tuition waiver and FSI approves. Non-Department of State family members should contact the Family Liaison Office for enrollment information.
Students are required to maintain 100 percent attendance for all classes. See FSI’s attendance policy.
Cancellation, No Show and Incomplete Policy
Family members who register for courses are expected to attend. If students know in advance that they are unable to attend the course, they are expected to notify FSIRegistrar@state.gov and FLOAskTraining@state.gov a minimum of five (5) working days prior to the class start date. Failure to do so could jeopardize the family member’s selection for future training and may result in student reimbursement of the course cost. See FSI’s no-show cancellation policy.
Note for non-Department of State family members
Family members, who are affiliated with non-Department of State agencies and posted to U.S. missions abroad, are subject to their agency’s regulations, procedures and funding, and should seek guidance from their agency regarding funding, enrollment procedures or related resources.
At the Transition Center (TC), a variety of courses are available for eligible family members in the areas of Foreign Service Life, Personal and Financial Planning, Foreign Service Families, Going Overseas, Expanding Employment Options, Returning to Washington, and Security Overseas.
The Foreign Service Institute provides on-site language training in more than 70 languages starting from beginner to high proficiency. Seats are offered to family members on a space-available basis. Enrollment of family members in instructor-led language training and area studies is coordinated through the Office of Career Development and Assignments. The Department of State employee should contact his/her Career Development Officer (CDO) for further information about enrolling a spouse in language training.
FSI’s Distance Language Learning Program – offers 16 languages, accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. A mentor monitors and guides the student on a weekly basis. For more information, contact OnlineLanguage@state.gov.
FSI’s Self-Guided Study Resources is available by enrolling in the various language libraries offered by FSI, such as Mango (30 languages from beginner to intermediate level), and FSI’s other online linguistic resources (25 languages at varying skill levels). For more information, search FSI internet catalog (type “language” in the search bar) or contact OnlineLanguage@state.gov.
For additional information, visit FSI’s Overseas Briefing Center’s (OBC) Language Training Options for Eligible Family Members webpage.
Many posts offer a Language Training Program. Family members should check with their post on the availability of these programs.
FSI Distance Learning for Foreign Service Family Members
Department of State family members can take advantage of the extensive Commercial Skillsoft General Library. The library is available on the Internet via the FSI Learn Center. Students receive a password (valid for one year) that includes access to over 2,300 courses ranging from Information Technology to Management.
Enrollment may be done on FSI’s intranet (OpenNet) site by the Department of State employee who will create an account on behalf of the family member. Alternatively, a password may be obtained by writing to the FSI registrar’s office at FSIRegistrar@state.gov.
Once a family member has a password, he/she can access the FSI Internet site at fsitraining.state.gov. Non-Department of State family members should check with their agency for similar resources.
For information on the above listings, please email FLOAskTraining@state.gov.