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An overseas assignment translates to months of preparation and planning.  U.S. Government employees and their family members assigned to a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas can visit the Overseas Briefing Center (OBC) in Arlington, VA to use their collection of resources for researching overseas posts and the logistics of an international move.  Hours of operation.

Country Bidding Information

  • OBC’s listing of country bidding resources assists in discovering more about an overseas location.
  • U.S. government employees and their eligible family members who are bidding on or assigned to a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas can access post-specific information via the OBC’s Post Info To Go websites.  For more information, contact the OBC.

Resources for an International Move to a Mission Overseas

  • Begin your child’s journey with The Amazing Adventures of (Me): A Guided Journal to My International Move!  This guided journal from the Transition Center features activities-filled pages to facilitate discussion as children process and prepare for an international move.  Activities are designed to engage children, with prompts to ask a parent for more information.  Look inside this free, printable e-publication to find:
    • Activities to encourage curiosity and discovery
    • Quotes from kids who have experienced moving overseas
    • Games to prompt discussion, and more!

    An accompanying Parent Companion guide provides context to help formulate discussion and understanding of the emotional journey of your child.  Help them write their own story with their hearts and minds!  Let your children explore the various stages of an international move and discover how they are feeling about the upcoming transition.

  • The Foreign Service Assignment Notebook: What Do I Do Now? offers invaluable information and guidance for an international move and assignment to a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.  Topics include:  Overview of a U.S. Mission, children in the Foreign Service, resilience, post research, packing to go, finances, family member employment, insurance, traveling with pets, and more.
  • The Transition Center launched the READY SET TRAVEL app, available through the App Store (for iPhone and Android).  Based on questions answered by the user, the app generates a personalized “to do” list and add items to a smartphone calendar.  A checklist in increments of time (months, weeks and days before departure), including what to bring to the airport (!), helps users get organized.  Check off completed items, connect to online resources, and read the resilience tips.

Learn about Allowances for an International Move

  • Department of State employees heading on assignment overseas are eligible for certain allowances, as outlined on the Office of Allowances website.  Here is a quick guide to Allowances for Transitions.

Traveling with a Pet to an International Location Outside of the United States

  • Getting a pet to a foreign country involves understanding country-specific import restrictions, paperwork procedures, and the various offices involved in the process.  OBC’s guidelines for pet shipping are invaluable to understanding Pets and International Travel.  U.S. government employees heading to a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas can contact the OBC for detailed country-specific guidelines.

Online Training Resources for an International Assignment

  • Three online training resources offer substantive information for living overseas as an American and as part of a U.S. mission community.
  • Protocol for the Modern Diplomat – Ask OBC for this booklet designed to help readers master the basics of diplomatic protocol.

The Overseas Briefing Center staff is available to answer questions, share valuable resources, and assist with transition concerns.  U.S. government employees assigned to an overseas U.S. Mission can contact the OBC  for more information.

U.S. Department of State

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