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.

Friday, February 21, 2014

FSI Announces:

 Going Overseas

Classes for the whole family

 4 Classes from which to choose 
Saturday, March 15 OR May 17, 2014
Going overseas involves both psychological and practical preparation for adults as well as children. Interactive presentations in these four courses introduce all ages to the impact and logistics of an impending international move.

Morning Options: 9:00am -12:00pm
Going Overseas for Families (MQ210)
This workshop designed for families, addresses the concerns and excitement around the coming international move and makes them think about how they plan to prepare for it. Specific sessions focus on making transitions and dealing with stress. Children in grades 2-12 attend this class along with their parents.

Going Overseas for Singles and Couples without Children (MQ200)
In this interactive workshop, individuals and couples discuss the four stages of moving and brainstorm methods to manage stress and communicate effectively through the transition.

Afternoon Options: 1:00pm -3:30pm
Going Overseas: Logistics for Adults (MQ220)
Adult participants attend this session to receive invaluable information on the logistics of moving overseas and learn the "nuts and bolts" of making an international move.

Going Overseas: Logistics for Children (MQ230)
Children in grades 2-12 will be introduced to the logistics planning necessary for their international move. The children engage in thinking about the impending packout and prioritize what they would like to take with them.

Who May Attend: 
Open to Foreign Affairs agency employees, adult eligible family members (EFMs), and children in grades 2-12.

Where and When:
At the George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center, Foreign Service Institute, Arlington, VA on Saturday March 15 OR May 17, 2014.  See above for course times.

How to Register:
To register please indicate which course options you are interested in attending and include the name of participant(s), agency affiliation, and preferred email contact to FSITCTraining@state.gov .  

Tuition: No Charge

For questions about these courses please email FSITCTraining@state.gov.

For more information about Transition Center programs and training classes for personnel, family members and members of household, see our website at http://fsi.state.gov//fsi/tc/.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

FSI Announces 2014

Protocol and U.S. Representation (MQ116)

This hands-on course helps participants gain practical knowledge of diplomatic protocol and U.S. representational responsibilities pertinent to Foreign Service life. 
Upon completion participants will have gained confidence to attend receptions, make introductions, plan seating arrangements for a formal dinner, and adhere to formal dining etiquette. This course is well worth your Saturday!

This course will include:
·         A mock reception complete with a receiving line
·         Modern seating arrangement activity
·         All New! Hands-on formal dining etiquette simulation

2014 Course Dates:
March 1, 2014 
May 3, 2014
June 7, 2014
July 12, 2014
August 9, 2014
September 13, 2014

Who May Attend: 
Open to Foreign Affairs agency employees and adult eligible family members (EFMs).

At the Foreign Service Institute, George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center, Arlington, VA.

How to Register:
State Department EFMs register through the employee’s CDO/Training Officer or by following the “Apply Now” link here: http://reg.fsi.state.gov/CourseCatalog.aspx?EventId=MQ116   

All other USG EFMs must submit a SF-182. 

Tuition: $225

For questions about this workshop please contact coordinators at FSITCTraining@state.gov .

For more information other Transition Center programs and training classes for personnel, family members and members of household, see our website at http://fsi.state.gov//fsi/tc/ .

FSI Announces 

Portable Careers: 

Employment Options (MQ706)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Family member employment continues to be one of the most challenging issues for Foreign Service families.

Come to this class and learn about various portable career options, adaptive skills of individuals who have been successful in portable careers, applicable regulations, and types of business structures to consider when contemplating entrepreneurship. 

This one-day presentation will include specific “how-tos” on starting a portable career, including EFM-led sessions by two who have been successful in pursuing a portable career while living abroad.

Who May Attend: 
Open to all Foreign Affairs adult eligible family members (EFMs).

Where and When:

 Foreign Service Institute 

George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center

Room C3116, Arlington, VA 
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
8:30 am- 4:30 pm 

How to Register:
State Department EFMs register through the employee’s CDO/Training Officer 
or by following this “Apply Now” link
All other Foreign Affair Agency EFMs must submit a SF-182.

Non-State Tuition: $225.00

For questions about this seminar please contact coordinators at FSITCTraining@state.gov.
For more information about other Transition Center programs and training classes for personnel, family members and members of household, see our website at http://fsi.state.gov//fsi/tc/.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

AAFSW Happy Hour

for Foreign Service spouses, partners and employees
Organized by AAFSW, the non-profit volunteer organization for the foreign affairs agency community

Tuesday, Feb. 18
7 – 9 pm
Capitol Room, Oakwood Apartments
501 Roosevelt Blvd.,  Falls Church, VA 22044

▪ Enjoy wine, cheese and tapas
▪ Network and make new friends
▪ Talk to people who understand Foreign Service life
▪ Learn about community initiatives such as Livelines, the Foreign-Born Spouse Group, and much more!

RSVP (not mandatory) to Barbara Reioux at  office@aafsw.org

Learn more about

AAFSW/Foreign Born Spouses 
ccordially invites you to a
Valentine's Day Luncheon 

To celebrate our friendship...

AAFSW and the Foreign Born Spouse Group 

Valentine's Day Luncheon 
Wednesday, February 12  11: 30 am
hosted at the home of our AAFSW member Tere Weinger

Please come and bring your favorite dish to share with other guests 

Also, in the spirit of Saint Valentine, we are asking each guest to bring a poem to make this celebration a special one.

If you would like to see old friends and meet new ones, have fun and taste delicious food, please contact the AAFSW office: office@aafsw.org or 793-820-5420 or Sheila Switzer or Sheila_switzer@yahoo.com or  703-623-6695.  
Please let us know what food you are contributing to the luncheon. 

Friday, February 7, 2014


The Family Liaison Office (FLO) together with MHN  will conduct an interactive in-person and virtual webinar on Tuesday Feb 18, 2014 @ 9am EST

The webinar is designed for all employees and their family members (spouse, partner, children, parents, siblings) experiencing or interested 
in an unaccompanied tour (UT).

Participants may attend in person or call in.  The session will last one hour.  To participate virtually,contact FLOAskUT@state.gov for sign-on instructions.   If attending in person, it will be held in room 1239 of the Harry S. Truman Building.  

Topics to be covered will include an explanation of MHN’s services inclusive of navigating the MHN website to find health and work/life articles, assessments, and resources as well as an overview of existing FLO services, counseling options, and specialized training.

Coming in the Spring....

another informative webinar on April 16, 2014 dealing with the subject of “Reintegration after an Unaccompanied Tour".  The session will present material on all aspects of reintegration; relationships, family life issues, and work issues.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

FSI Training:  Tax Seminar (MQ117)

Offered to address the unique tax issues facing the Foreign Service community, this seminar is a must for any Foreign Service employee or spouse/partner.

Current tax accountants specializing in international employment and living will explain the difference and implications of domicile versus residence, foreign-earned income exclusion, independent contractor versus employee and much more. 

Bring your questions!

Eligibile Participates
U.S. Government employees and their Eligible Family Members (EFMs) planning an overseas tour or returning from a post overseas

Course Dates and Times

12 February 2014      6:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Additional Information
E-mail FSITCTraining@state.gov or call 703-302-7268.

Department Notice Masthead

High-Stress/Threat Unaccompanied Tour Employee Support Group

Have you recently returned from, or are you en route to, a high-stress/threat or unaccompanied post?  Are you finding it difficult to adjust to a “normal” environment?  Would you like to know what to expect?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, this support group may be for you!

The Deployment Stress Management Program in the Office of Medical Services sponsors a support group to all State Department and USAID employees who have served at or are en route to a high-stress/threat or unaccompanied post.

The support group is confidential and provides an opportunity for employees to share their experiences, ask questions, and support each other. 

The support group is facilitated by MED/MHS/DSMP Social Workers and is held monthly, on the first Wednesday from 12:00 to 1:00p.m., in the Ralph Bunche Library (Room 3239), Harry S. Truman Building (Main State). 

The next support group meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 5th, 2014.  Registration is not required.

For more information please contact at Mr. Michael Arthur at 703-516-1663 or ArthurMJ@state.gov.