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.

Friday, October 30, 2015

On October 21, MHN and FLO held a very successful webinar on “Parenting during Times of Separation”. We discussed the different aspects of successful parenting during an Unaccompanied Tour or a separation due to an evacuation.

If you were unable to attend, write to FLOaskUT@state.gov to obtain the workbook and transcript from the session. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

OBC Resources for Kids



OBC Resources for Kids

The Overseas Briefing Center (OBC) is a welcoming place for the whole family. Its children's activity workbook, Where in the World Are You Going?, is available both online and in the OBC to help children ages 3-8 deal with an international move. The OBC also offers Culture Grams*, an online resource for kids to learn about the people, history, culture, and more in countries around the world. To access the site, log-in with: Username: OBC; Password: countries. For more information, contact the OBC at FSIOBCInfoCenter@state.gov. (*Note: Culture Grams is for U.S. government employees only.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

TOMORROW...Changing Careers: New Ideas and Trends-Webinar


Changing Careers: New Ideas and Trends

Join FLO’s employment team and Hanna Morgan, the “Career Sherpa,” for the webinar, Changing Careers: New Ideas and Trends. Ms. Morgan will talk about how companies are using different strategies to find their next great hire. She will also discuss where companies are looking and what job seekers can do to better position themselves. This will include the newest trends of visual resumes and online portfolios—why they are important and what to include.

When: Wednesday, October 28 at 8:30 a.m. (ET)
RSVP: FLOGlobalWebinars@state.gov

Log in as a "guest" at http://deptofstatehr.adobeconnect.com/changingcareers. Please use your name and post. Participants will need a computer with a high-speed Internet connection and speakers. Only the presenter will be able to speak; however,    the chat function will allow you to post questions during the Q&A session.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

One Week Away - Register Today!

FSYF College Workshop with Becky Grappo 

Sunday, October 25, 11am - 2pm at Oakwood Falls Church

Every fall FSYF hosts an in-person college workshop at Oakwood Falls Church to address issues directly related to Foreign Service youth and the college application process. The program is appropriate for high school students of all ages and their parents. FSYF is delighted to have Ms. Becky Grappo, President of RNG International Education Consultants, and member of the FSYF Advisory Council return to facilitate this program for the third consecutive year. The cost is $15 per person for members and $30 per person for non-members. Lunch is included with this event. Space is limited and advance registration is required. Register and Pay Here
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The FSYF 2016 Academic Merit Award Application is Now Available!

Since 2010, FSYF has been recognizing Foreign Service high school seniors and gap year dependents for their outstanding achievements through the FSYF/GEICO Academic Merit Award. This year FSYF is offering a one-time only competitive merit based award with a first place prize of $4000 and a second place prize of $2000.


Deadline for application is Monday, February 8, 2016

Winners will be honored at the FSYF Youth Awards Ceremony at the Department of State in July 2016.

More information and the application form
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FSYF Meet-Up Events Continue in the Fall

These events are an opportunity for FSYF members in the DC Metro area to connect with each other. If your family has recently returned from overseas, is new to the FS, or just wants to enjoy a casual FS social opportunity, please join us:
This Sunday! Fall Scarecrow Making Event on Sunday, October 18, from 1pm to 4pm: If you have a pre-teen/tween child and live in the D.C. Metro area, please join FSYF in Arlington, VA to make a front-yard Halloween strawman. Bring a pair of blue jeans, a long sleeve button-up shirt, and a pair of pantyhose. FSYF will provide the straw to stuff inside and safety pins/twine to connect the pants and shirt. This fun hands-on event will take place at the Arlington Forest Shopping Center on Arlington Blvd/Route 50 located a half-mile west of FSI (look for the Outback Steakhouse sign). Meet in the open-air courtyard (or on the covered walkway if it is raining). Arrive anytime between 1pm and 4pm. Space is limited and advance registration is required. FSYF is requesting a $5 donation to help cover the cost of the straw. Register and Pay Here

FSYF Pre-Holiday Potluck Dinner on Saturday, November 14, from 4pm to 6:30pm: FS High school age teens and their families; welcome the fall season by sharing a pre-holiday potluck dinner. Make new friends and enjoy sharing time with other FSYF families. This event is taking place in Rockville, Maryland, and is being held at the private residence of one of our members. Please bring a beverage and a side dish to share.  RSVP is requested by Friday, November 13. RSVP Here
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About the Foreign Service Youth Foundation:  Since 1989, FSYF has helped Foreign Service youth embrace the adventure of an internationally-mobile childhood by encouraging resilience and fostering camaraderie.  Global programs include:  a Foreign Service youth-written newsletter, an adult newsletter, five annual contests, and two scholarships for college-bound seniors.  D.C.-area events include:  re-entry seminars for high school and middle school students, a college admissions workshop, teen/tween game nights at Oakwood Apartments, and a Fall welcome back picnic.  FSYF also assists FLO and AAFSW in providing emergency support to families evacuated from overseas.  For more information, visit www.fsyf.org.  CFC code 39436.



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Family Liaison Office and MHN 
are offering an interactive webinar

“Parenting During Separations”
Wednesday, October 21, 2015 
9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET

The October 21st session will discuss successful parenting during times of    separations.  A participant workbook accompanies the session and individuals are encouraged to request a copy before the session by writingFLOAskUT@state.gov.

Remote or In-Person Participation:                                          Participants may attend in-person or virtually. Virtual participants will need a  computer with a high-speed Internet connection and computer speakers. Only the presenter will be able to speak. The chat function will allow you to post questions during the presentation. To participate in the webinar visit:

Enter as a guest and type your first name and your post or future post. The
session will begin at 9:00 a.m. ET and will last one hour. It will be held in room 1239 of the Harry S Truman building. In-person participation: RSVP to FLOAskUT@state.gov. If you do not have a state badge or diplomatic passport, please let us know so someone will be available to escort you.


If you have questions: Please direct questions or in-person RSVPs to FLO's Unaccompanied Tours Team at 202-647-1076 or email FLOAskUT@state.gov 




Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Foreign Service Youth Foundation College Workshop


Sunday, October 25, 2015
11am to 2pm
at Oakwood Falls Church (State Room)


The Foreign Service Youth Foundation’s (FSFY) annual fall college workshop will again address the perennial issues directly related to Foreign Service youth and the college application process.  This year, Becky Grappo, President of RNG International Education Consultants, will facilitate the event. A former Foreign Service family member, Ms. Grappo has lived in eleven countries outside of the Unites States.  Her background includes teaching at U.S. public and international schools, working on education and youth concerns for the Department’s Family Liaison Office, writing about the issues associated with educating and raising children and teens in an internationally mobile lifestyle and raising three global nomad children abroad.  

The topics to be covered during the afternoon will relate to the mobile FS youth experience, and may include:
  • Interruptions in curriculum and extra-curricular activities
  • Challenges regarding teacher recommendations
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) vs. Advanced Placement (AP)
  • Planning college visits from overseas
  • Standardized testing issues
  • State residency requirements
  • Deciding upon and planning a gap year

Fees (Includes Lunch)
FSYF Members: $15 per person
Non-members: $30 per person

Additional information and registration can be found at http://www.fsyf.org/CollegeWorkshop.

About the Foreign Service Youth Foundation:  Since 1989, FSYF has helped Foreign Service youth embrace the adventure of an internationally-mobile childhood by encouraging resilience and fostering camaraderie.  Global programs include:  a Foreign Service youth-written newsletter, an adult newsletter, five annual contests, and two scholarships for college-bound seniors.  D.C.-area events include:  re-entry seminars for high school and middle school students, a college admissions workshop, teen/tween game nights at Oakwood Apartments, and a fall welcome back picnic.  FSYF also assists FLO and AAFSW in providing emergency support to families evacuated from overseas.  For more information, visit www.fsyf.org

Friday, October 2, 2015

FLO Assists with Expeditious Naturalization



FLO Assists with Expeditious Naturalization

The Family Liaison Office (FLO) assists over 100 foreign-born Department of State spouses each year to naturalize and become U.S. citizens. When certain conditions are met, spouses are able to apply for expeditious naturalization. The program is considered “expeditious” because the residency requirement is waived when living overseas on orders. Adjudication for all applications is administered by USCIS, with FLO acting as a liaison. While FLO can only act as a liaison for Department of State spouses, we can provide information to spouses from other agencies under Chief of Mission authority who would like to start the application process. To be eligible for expeditious naturalization, a spouse must be listed on the employee’s orders to an overseas post of more than twelve months, or have more than twelve months remaining at an overseas post. The applicant must also have legal permanent resident status (conditional or regular) before they can naturalize. As each case is different and the process takes several months, those wishing to apply for naturalization should contact FLO upon receipt of the employee’s TM One (assignment cable) to determine when they should initiate the application. Spouses interested in this program should visit FLO’s Expeditious Naturalization webpage for more information and links to USCIS’s website. For questions or to initiate an application, email FLOAskNaturalization@state.gov