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, June 20, 2017

Check Out the OBC's CultureGrams

Did you know that the Transition Center’s Overseas Briefing Center at the Foreign Service Institute provides online access to CultureGrams? This database of cultural information is available for use by all foreign affairs community members associated with a U.S. Mission overseas. CultureGrams houses cultural reports, information for kids, recipes, interviews with locals, and more. Email FSIOBCInfoCenter@state.gov for the username and password. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Be prepared to travel with your pet. The Transition Center has the resources and information to help plan your next transfer. Learn more at: https://goo.gl/ZuzY9O

Monday, June 12, 2017

Recertification for Members of the FSFRC in Reserve Status 

  • Foreign Service Family Reserve Corps (FSFRC) members in categories 1 and 2 who are not actively working in a local TEMP or FMA assignment are required to recertify their eligibility to remain in the FSFRC on an annual basis.
  • Approximately two months prior to the anniversary date of your appointment to the FSFRC, the Bureau of Human Resource’s Office of Shared Services (HR/SS) will contact you with instructions via the personal email address that you provided on your membership application form.
  • If your personal email address has changed, contact HR/SS with the correct address at FSFRC@state.gov.
  • Completion and submission of your recertification package in a timely manner is critical in allowing HR/SS adequate time to adjudicate your submission prior to your annual recertification date.
  • If you are not actively working in a local TEMP or FMA assignment and have not received a recertification request two months prior to the anniversary of your membership, contact HR/SS at FSFRC@state.gov.
  • Failure to respond to recertification requests in a timely manner will lead to termination of your membership in the FSFRC.  

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Facts and Updates: Making Sense of the Department of State Education Allowance:
An understanding of education allowances is crucial for Foreign Service families. Here is an introduction.  
To read the article in full, please click here:    Foreign Service Journal

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Prepare for an Emergency: Go-Bag and 72-Hour Kit

Every day there is a possibility of a sudden departure from an overseas post due to political unrest, natural disaster, a death in the family, divorce, a family member in crisis, or a medical emergency.

There are many ways to prepare for the unexpected and a good place to start is by reading FLO’s Personal Preparedness Plan for tips on creating your plan. FLO also provides a checklist for preparing a Go-Bag and a 72 Hour Emergency Kit.

Visit the Crisis Management Services webpage for more information. Email questions to FLOAskSupportServices@state.gov