The Foreign Service Institute is comprised of four schools and one center:
The School of Language Studies (SLS) offers instruction in over 70 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. FSI is a co-creator of the speaking and reading language proficiency rating scales used throughout the U.S. government. 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. Visit the School of Languages' webpage here.
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. CSCD produces comparative analyses which are incorporated into FSI training and used to help prepare foreign affairs professionals at all ranks for the challenges faced at U.S. missions around the world.
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. 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.
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.
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 resource fairs designed to meet the diverse needs of the foreign affairs community as they navigate a transitory lifestyle. 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. Visit the Transition Center's webpage here.