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.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Secretary of State John Kerry and Diplomutt Ben
Holiday Event Salutes Unaccompanied Tour Families
In December, Secretary of State John Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, hosted the eighth annual Diplomacy at Home for the Holidays event in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms at Main State, honoring the dedication and sacrifice of U.S. government employees and families who endure long periods of separation due to assignments at hardship posts. 
Like the first such event, hosted by Secretary Clinton in 2009, the celebration was geared towards children, offering activities, performances and gifts. They decorated a keepsake box to fill with special mementos to share with their parents and a jar filled with Hershey Kisses. After  posing with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in the digital photo booth, they could then email the photos instantly to their special person serving at an unaccompanied post.  
Entertainment was provided by the Carol Ringers Bell Choir and a military jazz quartet. Later, Secretary Kerry told attendees that “representing America abroad is what the State Department is all about. And it’s more than just a job; it’s a calling. And everybody here is a member of a family. We’re all part of the same family.” 
He then introduced the “wicked awesome” cast of the Broadway hit”Wicked,” which performed the popular songs “The Wizard and I,” “For Good” and “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.”
At the close, Secretary Kerry mingled and posed for photos, and the children went home with large world globes and gift bags full of items donated by event sponsors.    

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Spring 2017 Distance Language Courses at FSI

The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) announces the Spring 2017 semester of online distance language learning courses starting January 17, 2017. FSI’s School of Language Studies offers 67 courses in 17 different languages at a variety of levels. Enroll now as some courses fill up quickly.

Enrollment is free to direct-hire Department of State employees and their family members on a space available basis. Other agency personnel and their family members may enroll through their DC office on a reimbursable basis with a fully funded SF-182 sent to TurnerVB3@state.gov. Employees can enroll via their Career Development Officer (CDO) or on the FSI Registrar’s Course Catalog on OpenNet. Family members can enroll via their sponsor’s CDO. Email OnlineLanguage@state.gov for more information. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

FLO Website Feature: Boarding Schools

Are you thinking about sending your child to boarding school next year? FLO’s Education and Youth Team can help you navigate the boarding school process in the Foreign Service. You can start your search for the “right” school on FLO’s Boarding School Options webpage. Email the Education and Youth Team at FLOAskEducation@state.gov.