Welcome to our unaccompanied tours (UT) blog, Foggy Bottom Rambles! We can share information, programs, and resources quickly with you and since blogs are a two way street, we (and the other readers) can hear from you. What's in a name you say? This blog reflects how we (back here in DC, Foggy Bottom area) provide information (rambles) to you. Find tips from the field, websites and information, home is where the hooch is suggestions, upcoming programs and events and follow our book club. Let us know what you think: contribute to the blog or email us at FLOaskUT@state.gov.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

FLO Website Feature: Foreign Service Life and Crisis Management


The Family Liaison Office (FLO) can provide guidance and assistance to employees and families navigating the challenges and opportunities of the Foreign Service lifestyle. FLO’s Foreign Service Life webpage provides information on a variety of topics including eldercare, adding a family member to your orders, members of household, foreign-born spouses, long–distance relationships, and more.

The Crisis Management Services webpage also has useful information about personal preparedness (is your Go Bag ready?) and post evacuations.

 Email FLOAskSupportServices@state.gov with questions.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

REPATRIATION

Repatriation Advice:    

    10 Tips for Handling Reverse Culture Shock 


Repatriating can be as difficult as moving to a foreign country in the first place. Adults feel the very real pangs of saying good-bye to their exotic adventure. Children face the loss of, well, everything they know. For everyone, there is the job of beginning again. But life has many chapters, and these tips can help you make “back home” feel like home again.Have family discussions about relocating and let each person have a voice. Open, honest communication makes everyone feel heard, and that they are an important player in the transition.



Have family discussions about relocating and let each person have a voice. Open, honest communication makes everyone feel heard, and that they are an important player in the transition.

Realize that not every member of the family will be thrilled about the move. If the current location is home to the children, they may fear the unknown. Spouses may dread the red tape and their own job search. Acknowledging these legitimate concerns is important.

Accommodate personal temperaments. Some people are adventurous; others hate change. Some think ahead more than others. Each family member will experience the adjustment phase differently, and the duration and intensity will vary.

Monitor your kids. Children are resilient, but moving can be a huge adjustment for them. Give your children time, urge them to make new friends by using their cultural diversity as an entrĂ©e, by expanding their notion of who friends should be and by looking for peers with more diverse interests and backgrounds. Encourage them to be confident and to see the possibilities. If they don’t settle in well, though, consider third-party help from a counselor or psychologist.

Recognize that you may feel like an outsider for a time. You won’t be aware of recent local events or inside jokes that your family and friends share. (And they may be uninterested in or apathetic about your new interests and hobbies.) So expand your circle of friends. Look for an international community or expat group where you can meet people who have lived in other countries.

Bring the culture back with you. Create new family traditions by incorporating some of the customs and foods from your expat days, and share them with family and friends. Your life has been enriched and you don’t want to lose that.

Leverage your international experience at work, in school, or other activities. Your kids may become wonderful resources in geography or humanities class! Beware of sensitive perceptions, though. From my home in Belgium I could go to Paris for the day or London for the weekend—and some regard this as boasting.

Stay in touch with the friends you made abroad. As the one who left, it will fall to you to make the greater effort to stay connected. Skype and FaceTime provide a visual and more emotional link, but email, Facebook and other social media are just as important. It’s inevitable that some folks will drift away, but the ones who stay connected will be treasured ties to that time in your life.

Invite folks from your former country to visit. You might worry that you’ll be overrun with guests, but trust me: people have good intentions about visiting, yet in reality things come up and trips get postponed. The numbers will be manageable.


Budget for return visits. Seeing people in person, even if only once in a while, is the best way to cement long-distance friendships. They’ll appreciate your return, and you’ll enjoy reminiscing when you visit favorite spots. When I’m in the Frankfurt area, it’s a treat to return to my favorite Greek restaurant in Offenbach—not only for the food, but also for the memories.




The Wall Street Journal - by Elizabeth Vennekens-Kelly

Friday, August 21, 2015

Diplotots - Full Time Openings!
Calling all Department of State parents!  Diplotots Too has immediate FULL TIME openings in the preschool and pre-k program! 
         Discovery Preschool (Age 2 ½)
         Preschool (Age 3)
         Prekindergarten (Age  4/5)
The center is located in the SA-17 building at the corner of 19th and F Streets NW and offers children both interior and exterior play space to enjoy, as well as fun and educational classroom environments.  Please visit the Diplotots Too center webpage for more information: 
You also can contact Director Joi Woods at jowoods@cclc.com or Assistant Director at Diplotots Too, Sarah Dietz at sdietz@cclc.com or (202) 485-6005 to learn more about enrollment opportunities.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

FSYF Youth Newsletter—Summer Edition Online

The summer edition of the Foreign Service Youth Foundation (FSYF) Youth Newsletter, “Here, There & Everywhere” is on the FSYF website. Read about the FSYF Youth Award winners, their winning essays and artwork, and find out how FS youth are contributing to their communities.


Calling All FS Youth! Submit Your Article for the Fall Issue.
The theme for the Fall issue is all about “Back to School.” 

Write about your new school, new friends, or something that you miss about your previous school. Submissions are due Wednesday, September 30, 2015. Email your submission to fsyf@fsyf.org with "Youth Newsletter Contribution” in the subject line and earn the chance to win an Amazon gift card. Learn more at fsyf.org.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

     A+ Resources Transitioning Your Family Back to School

Preparing for the start of your child’s new school year can be hectic and stressful for a working parent.  To keep these distractions from impacting your productivity, let Information Quest (IQ) lend a helping hand.

IQ is the Department’s program name for WorkLife4You, a comprehensive and confidential resource and referral service that assists employees who are searching for ways to balance the demands of their professional and personal lives.

IQ can connect you with the tools and resources to make back-to-school prep easier for you and your child, such as before- and after-school care, special needs assistance, tutoring programs, scholarship opportunities, and help getting your children the necessary vaccinations.  Plus, call IQ today to receive your free College Kit!  If you have a college-bound child or college freshman, take advantage of all the practical products and valuable safety information to ensure a smooth transition into college life.  
           
For additional information and/or to request the services please call 1-866-552-IQ4U (4748) or TTY: 1-800-873-1322.  

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

NEW Family Member Employment FAQs

Check Out FLO’s NEW Family Member Employment FAQs

Employment remains a top concern for family members in the Foreign Service. The Family Liaison Office (FLO) knows that whether you are going overseas and seeking employment or returning to Washington, DC, the job search and hiring process can be difficult. 

To better meet the needs of family members, FLO’s Employment Team is happy to share the new Family Member Employment Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)now on FLO’s website.

We hope these FAQs will help you find the answers you need quickly. We will continue to add the most commonly asked questions to this list so we can better serve our family members.

Have an employment question that is not on the list? 
Email FLOAskEmployment@state.gov.

Friday, August 7, 2015


Effective Job Interviewing Workshop 

The Bureau of Human Resources
Career Development Resource Center

Presenter: 
Bill Norris, Senior Career Counselor

Date: 
Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Time: 
Noon to 1:00 p.m.

Place: 
HST (Main State), Room 1107

Objectives:

    Preparing for interviews

    Handling different types of interviews

    Developing strategies for how to respond to traditional and behavior-based interview questions

    Practicing to make a memorable impression


This workshop is open to all employees of the Department of State, Fellows, and Eligible Family Members. Contractors are welcome to attend on a space-available basis on their own time. Reservations are not required.


The Career Development Resource Center (CDRC) is located in Columbia Plaza (SA-1) in room L-321. Civil Service employees, fellows and Eligible Family Members of the U.S. Department of State may call 202-663-3042 to schedule an appointment with a Senior Career Counselor to discuss individual career development needs including resume review, Individual Development Plans, long-term career planning and goals, accomplishment statements, and networking. All Department of State employees may visit the CDRC to pick up handouts or borrow career development resources from the library.


Reasonable Accommodations for people with disabilities who wish to attend this event are available upon request.  The request should include a detailed description of the accommodation needed and the requestor’s contact information.  Request for accommodations should be made 7-10 days in advance or as soon as possible.  To request an accommodation, send an email to Reasonable Accommodations@state.gov or call HR/ER –Disability Reasonable Accommodation Division at 202-261-8160.


For more information visit our page and check our calendar for upcoming events

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

MHN Member Pulse Updates

Raising Healthy and Happy Children


Every parent wants to raise a healthy, happy child. But knowing how to do so can be challenging. Being a parent means making many decisions on a daily basis that impact your child. At some point, you've probably wondered, "Am I doing this right?"
This month's Member Pulse digest includes tips for raising healthy, happy kids to make your journey as a parent a little easier. Just click on the titles below to go directly to the articles.

·  Maternity leave: Tips for returning to work
Are you anxious about going back to work after maternity leave? These tips can help you stay connected to your baby and make your return to work easier.
·  Child development: Know what's ahead
While every child grows at his or her own pace, child development follows a fairly expected path. Learn what milestones to look for from ages two to five.
·  Bullying: Help your child handle a bully
The effects of childhood bullying are serious and can last into adulthood. Learn about the types of bullying, warning signs, the effects, and what to do if you think your child is being bullied.
·  Teenage depression: Prevention begins with parental support
Teenage depression can lead to long-lasting physical and emotional challenges. Learn what you can do to prevent teenage depression.
Don't forget to save MHN Member Pulse to your list of favorite websites! Also, check out MHN's member website for all sorts of valuable tools and content just for EAP members.

To access MHN's member website, you will need your company code. You can obtain this by contacting MHN at (800) 646-9923 or membersupport@mhn.com.
We speak your language!
Call our toll-free number for assistance. When you call MHN, free interpretation services are available in over 170 languages.


Monday, August 3, 2015

ADULT AND CONTINUING EDUCATION PROGRAMS

Interested in continuing your education while your spouse/partner is on his/her unaccompanied tour?
Some reasons you might decide to continue your education are to:
Get a Bachelor's or an advanced degree.
Complete work on an interrupted degree.
Gain work-content skills.
Change careers.
Keep up-to-date in your field.
Keep a professional license current.
Learn more about a particular subject. 
See what’s available for Foreign Service family members in continuing education.

You may contact the Education and Youth Team with your questions. Please email FLOAskEducation@state.gov.

COLLEGES OFFERING ADULT AND CONTINUING EDUCATION PROGRAMS
In the District of Columbia      
    
American University Program Information McKinley Building 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20016 Tel: (202) 885-2500Fax: 202-885-3991
Catholic University, Metropolitan School of Professional Studies 321 Pangborn Hall Washington, DC 20064 Tel: (202) 319-5256
Corcoran School of Art 17th and New York, NW Washington, DC 20052 Tel: (202) 639-1800
Gallaudet University 800 Florida Avenue NE Washington, DC 20002 Tel: (202) 651-5000
George Washington University Center for Career Education 2020 K St. NW, Suite B100 Washington, DC 20052 Tel: (202) 994-1000
Georgetown University Summer and Continuing Education 37th and O Streets NW Washington, DC 20057 Tel: (202) 687-5942
Johns Hopkins University School of Continuing Studies 1625 Massachusetts Ave. NW Washington, DC 20036 Tel: (410) 516-8000 Fax: (202) 516-7704
Levine School of Music 2801 Upton Street, NW Washington, DC 20007 Tel: (202) 686-9772 Fax: (202) 337-2268
NAFSA: Association of International Educators 1875 Connecticut Ave. NW Suite 1000 Washington, DC 20009 Tel: (202) 737-3699 Fax: (202) 667-3419
National-Louis University 529 14th St. NW, Suite 1125 Washington, DC 20045 Tel: (800) 443-5522, ext. 5151
Smithsonian Institution Smithsonian Associates 1100 Jefferson Drive SW Room 3077, MRC 701 Washington, DC 20560 Tel: (202) 633-1000
Southeastern University 501 I Street SW Washington, DC 20024 Tel: 800-500-8760 Fax: (202) 488-8093
Strayer College 1025 15th Street NW Washington, DC 20005 Tel: (202) 408-2400
Trinity College 125 Michigan Avenue NE Washington, DC 20017 Tel: (202) 884-9300
University of the District of Colombia Continuing Education 4200 Connecticut Ave. NW Building 38, Room 207 Washington, DC 20008 Tel: (202) 274-7404
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Graduate School 600 Maryland Avenue SW Washington, DC 20024 Tel: (202) 720-5885
In Maryland
Anne Arundel Community College Continuing Education 101 College Parkway Arnold, MD 21012-1895 Tel: (410) 777-2325
Bowie State University 14000 Jericho Park Road Bowie, MD 20715 Tel: 301-860-4000
Capitol College 11301 Springfield Drive Laurel, MD 20708 Tel: (301) 953-3200
Community College of Baltimore County 800 S. Rolling Road Catonsville, MD 21228 Tel: (410) 455-4304
College of Southern Maryland PO Box 910, Mitchell Road La Plata, MD 20646 Tel: (301) 934-2251
Columbia Union College External Degree Program 7600 Flower Avenue Takoma Park, MD 20912 Tel: (301) 891-4092, (800) 835-4212
Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences, NIH One Cloister Court Bethesda, MD 20814-1460 Tel: (301) 496-7976 Fax: (301) 402-0483
Glen Echo Park 7300 MacArthur Boulevard Glen Echo, MD 20812 Tel: (301) 634-2222 Fax: (301) 492-5384
Hood College Brodbeck Scholars Program for Adults  23+ 401 Rosemont Avenue Frederick, MD 21701-8575 Tel: (301) 696-3616
Howard University 1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 600 Silver Spring, MD 20910 Tel: (301) 806-6800 Fax: (301) 585-8911 
Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington 6125 Montrose Road Rockville, MD 20852 Tel: 301-881-0100 Fax: (301) 881-6549
Johns Hopkins University School of Continuing Studies 9601 Medical Center Drive Rockville, MD 20850 Tel: (410) 516-9797 Fax: (301) 294-7010
Maryland Public Television College of the Air 11767 Owings Mill Boulevard Owings Mill, MD 21117 Tel: (410) 356-5600
Montgomery College Route 355 and Manakee St. Rockville, MD 20850 Tel: (301) 279-5188
Prince George's Community College 301 Largo Road Largo, MD 20772 Tel: 301-322-0878
University of Maryland University College University Boulevard and Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20742 Tel: (800) 888-8682 Fax: (301) 985-7678
The Writer's Center 4508 Walsh Street Bethesda, MD 20815 Tel: 301-654-8664 Fax: (301) 654-8667
In Virginia
Stratford University 7777 Leesburg Pike Suite 100 South Falls Church, VA 22043
George Mason University FAST-TRAIN Program Graduate School of Education 4400 University Drive Fairfax, VA 22030-4444 Tel: (703) 993-3173 Fax: (703) 993-3336
Marymount University Center for Comprehensive Learning 2807 North Glebe Road Arlington, VA 22207 Tel: (703) 522-5600
Northern Virginia Community College Annandale Campus 8333 Little River Turnpike Annandale, VA 22003-3796 Tel: (703) 323-3000 Fax: (703) 323-3367
University of Virginia Continuing Education 2990 Telestar Court Falls Church, VA 22042 Tel: (800) 346-3882
Virginia Art League School Torpedo Factory Art Center 105 North Union Alexandria, VA 22314 Tel: (703) 683-2323
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University of Northern Virginia Graduate Center 7054 Haycock Road Falls Church, VA 22043 Tel: (703) 538-8327 Fax: (703) 698-6062
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT STATE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia James Monroe Building 101 North 14th Street Richmond, VA 23219 Tel: (804) 225-2600
Maryland Higher Education Commission Jeffrey Building 16 Francis Street Annapolis, MD 21401-1781 Tel: (410) 260-4500
FLO WEB LINKS FOR ADULT EDUCATION


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Connect with FLO

The Family Liaison Office (FLO) has two LinkedIn groups for Foreign Affairs family members. The FLO Global Employment Initiative (GEI) group focuses on practical job search resources and tips from Global Employment Advisors around the world.

The FLO Telework Connection group serves family members interested in telework opportunities and is a first step in a pilot project to connect talented family members with potential employers.

Also, the FLO Weekly e-newsletter can be delivered each week to your email inbox. Just email FLOPublications@state.gov to be added to the distribution list. And don’t forget to check out our website, www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo, which houses over 90% of our information and resources.

Did you know?

That 17% of all family members work outside the mission? EFMs are permitted to work in countries with which the U.S. has a Bilateral Work Agreement or De facto work arrangement. Before accepting a position outside the mission, EFMs must secure approval from the Chief of Mission. Family members can use the new Chief of Mission Approval Memo template, or check with post to learn if they have their own post-specific template. For any family member employment related questions, email FLOAskEmployment@state.gov.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Career Transition Center

Are you more than ten years away from retirement eligibility and in the early-to-mid stages of your career? This two-day future-oriented financial and legal seminar is for you!

Course Dates
November 9 – 10, 2015
January 12 – 13, 2016
May 3 - 4, 2016
June 8 – 9, 2016


Do you have fewer than ten years until retirement? Don't wait! Prepare by attending the four-day seminar as soon as possible.

Course Dates
July 27 – 30, 2015 (space is available!)
September 28 – October 1, 2015
November 30 – December 3, 2015
March 1 – 4, 2016
April 11 – 14, 2016
June 20 – 23, 2016
July 25 – 28, 2016
September 26 – 29, 2016

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Overseas Briefing Center


Get Your Post Info to Go!

Are you looking for your next post? Do you need more details about life at post? Post Info To Go from the Overseas Briefing Center (FSI/TC/OBC) offers you a wide array of insights and knowledge from posts worldwide. Don't have access to the State intranet? 

Email the OBC for assistance and additional information about using Post Info To Go no matter where you are.


There are also a variety of supplemental resources that have been compiled on our publicly accessible site at

Allowances at each post (TIP! This information is available in a compiled format in Post Info To Go and you can compare up to three countries side-by-side!)

Travel warnings and consular information sheets

Links to Foreign Service Life Skills Training information

List of Foreign Affairs Offices and organizations

Don't know where to start? Contact the Overseas Briefing Center to discuss your questions and find answers for your next move to post!


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Resources For Children To Help Cope With Separation


Children's Resources for Unaccompanied Tours families:

Children's age appropriate workbooks designed to help your children cope with separation.  To request one for your child, email us at FLOaskUT@state.gov.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Brown bag lunch with the Career Development

 Resource center team

The Bureau of Human Resources

Career Development Resource Center

Presents:

Brown bag lunch with the
Career Development Resource center team

Date:
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Time:
Noon to 1 p.m.
Place:
CDRC Library; SA-1, Room L-321
Overview
  •   To eat – bring your own lunch
  •   To network and discuss engaging career topics with one of the topnotch career counselors of the CDRC – Mary Santulli.  Come prepared with questions on topics including resumes, networking, interviewing, success on the job, career branding, etc.


This workshop is open to all employees of the Department of State:  Civil Service, Foreign Service, Interns, Fellows, and Eligible Family Members. Reservations are not required.

The Career Development Resource Center (CDRC) is located in Columbia Plaza (SA-1) in room L-321. Civil Service employees, Foreign Service employees, fellows and Foreign Service Eligible Family Members of the U.S. Department of State may call 202-663-3042 to schedule an appointment with a Senior Career Counselor to discuss individual career development needs including resume review, Individual Development Plans, long-term career planning and goals, accomplishment statements, and networking. All Department of State employees may visit the CDRC to pick up handouts or borrow career development resources from the library.