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, September 27, 2016

FLO is on Facebook!

We look forward to sharing and connecting with our Foreign Service community on Facebook. Like our pageand turn on notifications to stay up to date with FLO news in the areas of family member employment, education and youth, crisis management, foreign service life, unaccompanied tour     support, and more.  

Monday, September 26, 2016

The GEI Program Expands

Over the course of the last 12 months, FLO’s Global Employment Initiative (GEI) has expanded to 20 GEAs worldwide. There are new Regional Global Employment Advisors (GEAs) in the EAP, WHA, EUR, and AF regions. GEI has also extended regional GEA services to the United Kingdom, Israel, and Mexico and now supports all Eligible Family Members (EFMs) and Members of Household (MOHs) under Chief of Mission Authority at 228 posts in 167 countries. GEAs support family members in their job search by providing resources, guidance, and facilitating skills development. GEI creates a worldwide network of job search and career transition professionals who understand the challenges EFMS and MOHs face when working overseas and when returning to the United States. For more information, visit the GEI webpage or to contact the GEA covering a specific post, email GEI@state.gov.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

FLO Awards 2016-2017 Professional Development Fellowships

Every spring since 2004, FLO has enabled EFMs and MOHs to apply for fellowships through its Professional Development Fellowship (PDF). Fellowships of $1,000 to $2,500 are awarded each year. The purpose of the program is to assist EFMs and MOHs in maintaining, enhancing, and/or developing their professional skills while overseas.

The 2016-2017 season was particularly competitive--FLO received over 220 applications. Applications were reviewed by a selection committee and FLO is pleased to award 108 fellowships, surpassing previous years. Projects approved this season include renewing/maintaining state licensures and national board certification in accounting, medical, and legal occupations and attending local and/or online universities to maintain or complete a degree. Areas of study are varied and include global health policy, information technology, management, strategic communication, and foreign language.

Since its inception, the PDF program has supported more than 1,200 family members for a total of approximately $2,000,000 in fellowships. For more information on the program, visit FLO’s PDF webpage and look for announcements about the next open season in spring 2017.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

For young people, going to college involves making some of their first major life decisions. Here are some tips for Foreign Service high schoolers on how to get it right.                          
The college application process is like the ultimate dating game. Every year a new batch of students puts themselves through the possibility of crushing rejection with hopes of finding acceptance with “the one.”

It’s an emotional and opaque process in which the student must also learn to live with the fact that the rules of the game are constantly changing. This year alone has seen the introduction of the new SAT, a rising interest in doing away with standardized
test scores and even the creation of a new application process—the coalition application.

With the stakes so high, the Family Liaison Office interviewed two college counseling experts—Judy Bracken and Rebecca Grappo—in search of best practices for applying to college and a heads-up on the biggest mistakes Foreign Service kids make.

Judy Bracken has 17 years of experience in Falls Church and Fairfax County, Virginia, public schools as a college and career counselor, and currently works as a counselor for private clients. Rebecca Grappo is the founder of RNG International Consultants and specializes in helping parents make the right educational choices for their Third Culture Kids. She has also worked as a teacher internationally and domestically.

Both Grappo and Bracken are parents of Foreign Service kids, so they have been through the process themselves and understand the unique challenges FS kids face while attempting to untangle the college application process. Our discussion is the basis for the pointers to Foreign Service students heading into the college application process offered here. 
To read the full article by Claire Wedderien follows this link:

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Employment Opportunity in FLO: CLO Program Specialist  

Family members returning to the Washington, DC area may be interested in applying for the CLO Program Specialist (GS-11) position in FLO. The incumbent of this position is responsible for providing a wide range of program assistance to the Community Liaison Office (CLO) Program through training, programmatic outreach, administrative and technical support, and development and maintenance of resources to guide and support CLO staff at more than 200 missions overseas. The incumbent reports to the Division Chief with day-to-day oversight from FLO’s CLO Program Officer. This position is located in Washington, DC, and requires some travel. The application deadline for this position is 11:59 p.m. ET, September 19, 2016. Visit FLO’s website for details and application instructions.  

Visit FLO’s website for details and application instructions.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Health Benefits of Sleep
from the Office of Medical Services

Use this infographic to remind yourself and your colleagues of four big health benefits of getting enough high-quality sleep.

The brain uses a quarter of the body's entire energy supply, yet only accounts for about two percent of the body's mass. So how does this unique organ receive and, perhaps more importantly, rid itself of vital nutrients? New research suggests it has to do with sleep. 
Jeff Lliff, a neuroscientist explores the unique functions of the brain.

Watch his Ted Talk:  One more reason to get a good night’s sleep