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 websites and information, upcoming webinars, programs and events. FLO does not endorse organizations or companies linked-to in this blog, the views they express, or the products/services they offer. Let us know what you think: contribute to the blog or email us at FLOAskUT@state.gov.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

FLO Website Feature: UT Resources


FLO’s Unaccompanied Tours (UT) team provides a number of services and resources for employees and families preparing for, serving in, or returning from an assignment to an unaccompanied post. You will find information on the children’s certificates and medals of recognition program, a link to the Foggy Bottom Rambles blog, age-appropriate workbooks for children, and more. You can also download the Decision Tree, a guide to help you decide where your family should live during a UT.

Visit FLO’s UT webpage today. Email Questions to FLOAskUT@state.gov.

Monday, August 6, 2018

FLO Website Feature:  Members of Household:
A Member of Household (MOH) is an individual who accompanies or joins a sponsoring employee at a U.S. mission abroad. An MOHs is not on the employee’s travel orders but needs to be officially declared and approved by the Chief of Mission as part of his/her household. It is important for employees and others to understand that certain privileges and allowances that are extended to EFMs as defined by laws, regulations, and interpretations, often cannot be extended to those who are not on the employee’s travel orders. It is highly recommended that an MOH have adequate medical and evacuation insurance when living overseas. To learn more, go to FLO’s Members of Household webpage

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

FSYF Transfer Season Resources for Families with Children


Check out the many resources the Foreign Service Youth Foundation (FSYF) offers to families transitioning with children.Families Transferring to the DC Area
  • Reentry Programs
    • High School Reentry Seminar, August 17, 6 to 9 pm: Helps repatriating high school students and their parents adjust to American high school life and local teen social culture. 
    • Middle School Reentry Seminar, August 19, 1 to 3 pm: Helps repatriating middle school students and their parents adjust to life in American middle schools. 
  • Welcome Back Picnic, September 16, 4 to 6 pm: A traditional American cookout with food and classic picnic games.
  • Youth Meet Ups: variety of events organized throughout the year.
  • Welcome Home Videos: Families considering moving to Arlington, Falls Church, Herndon, Stafford, or Vienna, VA, can view Foreign Service youth-produced videos profiling these communities. 
 Families Transferring Overseas
  • KidVids: Videos that FS youth has created depicting life at overseas posts from a kid’s perspective. 
  • Raising Children Overseas Video: A talk by Dr. Elmore Rigamer, a renowned child psychologist who was the Department of State's first-ever regional psychiatrist (September 2015). 
 For details on all of the resources above and more, go to www.fsyf.org. Email fsyf@fsyf.org with questions.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Employment Opportunities in FLO - Join Our Team!


If you are in the DC area, you may be interested in applying to one if these positions in the Family Liaison Office. 
  • Program Support Officer (GS-09): The incumbent is responsible for administering the expeditious naturalization program and will counsel, support and provide information to employees and family members seeking United States citizenship. He/she serves as liaison with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for expeditious naturalization matters. In addition, the incumbent is the office administrator for FLO. For details, go to bit.ly/ProgramSupportOfficer. Apply by 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 18.
  • Social Media Specialist (GS-11): The incumbent of this position manages FLO’s social media program to include building and implementing social media strategy, and developing, editing and publishing content on various social media platforms. He/she is responsible for marketing FLO and its programs on social media and also participates in the planning and implementation of FLO outreach activities. For details, go to bit.ly/FLOSocialMediaSpecialist. Apply by 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, July 20.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

FSFRC News


Webpage Update
The Family Liaison Office (FLO) and HR Shared Services recently updated the Foreign Service Family Reserve Corps (FSFRC) webpage to better help family members determine if they are eligible to apply, and if so, when and how. Learn more at bit.ly/FSFRCInfo.

Open Enrollment for Eligible Family Members
Eligible family members can now apply during the FSFRC’s monthly open enrollment periods. The vacancy announcement will be posted on USAJOBs.gov on the last Monday of every month and will stay open for five business days or until midnight of the day that 250 applications are received, whichever occurs first. The next announcement will open on Monday, June 25. Are you eligible to apply? Check the FSFRC webpage to find out.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Family Member Employment: The Global Employment Initiative


The Family Liaison Office’s Global Employment Initiative (GEI) program maintains a worldwide network of job search and career transition professionals who understand the challenges Eligible Family Members (EFMs) and Members of Household (MOHs) face when working overseas and when returning to the United States. The program employs 20 Global Employment Advisors (GEAs) who support all EFMs and MOHs under Chief of Mission Authority at 228 posts in 167 countries. GEAs support family members in their job search by providing resources and guidance and facilitating skills development. For more information, visit the GEI webpage or to contact the GEA covering a specific post, email GEI@state.gov.

Join the GEI LinkedIn group for job search resources, news on employment programs, and tips from GEAs. You can also share career management strategies and learn from others in the Foreign Service community.
 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Check out the article, "The Vocational Education Option: A Student’s Search for Meaning in Today’s Economy", by FLO’s Education and Youth Officer in this month’s Foreign Service Journal. bit.ly/FSJVocationalEdOption
It is part of the June Education Supplement where you will also find a Foreign Service student guide to creating a college list, what to look for in a college search, and more.
Contact FLO’s Education and Youth team at
FLOAskEducation@state.gov with your education-related questions and go to www.state.gov/flo/educationto learn more about our resources and services.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

FLO Global Webinars: EFM Entrepreneurship Series, Part 4


FLO’s Global Employment Initiative (GEI) invites you to watch the webinar, Learn from Those Who’ve Gone Before: Photography & Design, the final in our four-part EFM Entrepreneurship Series.

This series of webinars is designed to help aspiring EFM entrepreneurs learn from EFMs who are successfully self-employed. Join us to learn from this outstanding group of EFM business owners.
When: Tuesday, June 5 at 9:00am ET
 Watch the recordings from previous sessions:
Professional Services: recording coming soon

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


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? At the Overseas Briefing Center (OBC), we help U.S. Government employees and their family members prepare for an overseas assignment or a return home. We encourage you to explore our website and email us with questions and requests for additional information.

RESEARCH life at overseas posts
LEARN the logistical requirements of a move
FIND resources to help navigate the foreign affairs lifestyle

           There are also a variety of supplemental resources that have been compiled on our publicly accessible site at Country Information (Bidding Resources):

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 at FSIOBCInfoCenter@state.gov. to discuss your
your questions and find answers for your next move to post!


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Is Your Senior Searching for the Right College for Next Fall?
Check out this list of colleges and universities still accepting applications: bit.ly/collegeopenings
The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) has released their annual list of colleges and universities that are still accepting applications from prospective freshmen or transfer students for the fall of 2018....
See More
The College Openings Update is designed as a tool for counselors, parents and teachers as they assist students who have not yet completed the college…
NACACNET.ORG

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Reminder! PDF Applications Due on May 13


Applications for the 2018-2019 Professional Development Fellowship (PDF) program are due on Sunday, May 13. Program details, application instructions, and the application form are on the PDF webpage. Read the instructions BEFORE completing the application.

Like and follow FLO on Facebook for updates. Send questions to FLOAskPDF2018-2019@state.gov with the subject line: PDF Question.

About PDF
The program is open to spouses and partners of direct-hire U.S. government employees from all agencies serving overseas under Chief of Mission authority. The fellowships assist spouses and partners with maintaining, enhancing, and/or developing their professional skills. Activities may include, but are not limited to, education and distance learning through an accredited university, professional development, obtaining or renewing certifications and licensures, and participation in professional conferences. Fellowships from $1,000 up to $2,500 will be offered on a reimbursable basis.
 

Monday, May 7, 2018

FLO Website Feature: College and Beyond


If your child is starting to think about his/her college and university options, check out the Family Liaison Office’s College and Beyond webpage. You will find information on standardized tests, college applications, scholarships, financial aid, and more. Also, visit the College Application Frequently Asked Questions webpage to learn more about what to expect from the application process. Email FLOAskEducation@state.gov with questions. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

2018-2019 PDF Application Period Now Open


The Family Liaison Office is now accepting applications for the Professional Development Fellowship (PDF) program. The program is open to spouses and partners of direct-hire U.S. government employees from all agencies serving overseas under Chief of Mission authority. The fellowships assist spouses and partners with maintaining, enhancing, and/or developing their professional skills. Activities may include, but are not limited to, education and distance learning through an accredited university, professional development, obtaining or renewing certifications and licensures, and participation in professional conferences. Fellowships from $1,000 up to $2,500 will be offered on a reimbursable basis.

The application deadline is May 13, 2018. Program details and the application form are on the PDF webpage. Like and follow FLO on Facebook for updates. Send questions to FLOAskPDF2018-2019@state.gov with the subject line: PDF Question.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Employment Resources for Family Members 


Over the next three weeks, we will provide tips for preparing yourself for future employment opportunities overseas and in the U.S. Whether it is your first overseas post or your last, these tips apply to you. Questions or appointments? Contact a member of FLO's Employment Team at FLOAskEmployment@state.gov.

Part One: Moving to an Overseas Post
Regardless of where you are going, it is very important to have your employment documents with you. Check out this list of important documents. If you are currently working in a Family Member Appointment overseas, download your eOPF documents from HR Online while you still have access. Also, remember your Employee Express login.