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.

Monday, August 3, 2015


Interested in continuing your education while your spouse/partner is on his/her unaccompanied tour?
Some reasons you might decide to continue your education are to:
Get a Bachelor's or an advanced degree.
Complete work on an interrupted degree.
Gain work-content skills.
Change careers.
Keep up-to-date in your field.
Keep a professional license current.
Learn more about a particular subject. 
See what’s available for Foreign Service family members in continuing education.

You may contact the Education and Youth Team with your questions. Please email FLOAskEducation@state.gov.

In the District of Columbia      
American University Program Information McKinley Building 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20016 Tel: (202) 885-2500Fax: 202-885-3991
Catholic University, Metropolitan School of Professional Studies 321 Pangborn Hall Washington, DC 20064 Tel: (202) 319-5256
Corcoran School of Art 17th and New York, NW Washington, DC 20052 Tel: (202) 639-1800
Gallaudet University 800 Florida Avenue NE Washington, DC 20002 Tel: (202) 651-5000
George Washington University Center for Career Education 2020 K St. NW, Suite B100 Washington, DC 20052 Tel: (202) 994-1000
Georgetown University Summer and Continuing Education 37th and O Streets NW Washington, DC 20057 Tel: (202) 687-5942
Johns Hopkins University School of Continuing Studies 1625 Massachusetts Ave. NW Washington, DC 20036 Tel: (410) 516-8000 Fax: (202) 516-7704
Levine School of Music 2801 Upton Street, NW Washington, DC 20007 Tel: (202) 686-9772 Fax: (202) 337-2268
NAFSA: Association of International Educators 1875 Connecticut Ave. NW Suite 1000 Washington, DC 20009 Tel: (202) 737-3699 Fax: (202) 667-3419
National-Louis University 529 14th St. NW, Suite 1125 Washington, DC 20045 Tel: (800) 443-5522, ext. 5151
Smithsonian Institution Smithsonian Associates 1100 Jefferson Drive SW Room 3077, MRC 701 Washington, DC 20560 Tel: (202) 633-1000
Southeastern University 501 I Street SW Washington, DC 20024 Tel: 800-500-8760 Fax: (202) 488-8093
Strayer College 1025 15th Street NW Washington, DC 20005 Tel: (202) 408-2400
Trinity College 125 Michigan Avenue NE Washington, DC 20017 Tel: (202) 884-9300
University of the District of Colombia Continuing Education 4200 Connecticut Ave. NW Building 38, Room 207 Washington, DC 20008 Tel: (202) 274-7404
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Graduate School 600 Maryland Avenue SW Washington, DC 20024 Tel: (202) 720-5885
In Maryland
Anne Arundel Community College Continuing Education 101 College Parkway Arnold, MD 21012-1895 Tel: (410) 777-2325
Bowie State University 14000 Jericho Park Road Bowie, MD 20715 Tel: 301-860-4000
Capitol College 11301 Springfield Drive Laurel, MD 20708 Tel: (301) 953-3200
Community College of Baltimore County 800 S. Rolling Road Catonsville, MD 21228 Tel: (410) 455-4304
College of Southern Maryland PO Box 910, Mitchell Road La Plata, MD 20646 Tel: (301) 934-2251
Columbia Union College External Degree Program 7600 Flower Avenue Takoma Park, MD 20912 Tel: (301) 891-4092, (800) 835-4212
Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences, NIH One Cloister Court Bethesda, MD 20814-1460 Tel: (301) 496-7976 Fax: (301) 402-0483
Glen Echo Park 7300 MacArthur Boulevard Glen Echo, MD 20812 Tel: (301) 634-2222 Fax: (301) 492-5384
Hood College Brodbeck Scholars Program for Adults  23+ 401 Rosemont Avenue Frederick, MD 21701-8575 Tel: (301) 696-3616
Howard University 1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 600 Silver Spring, MD 20910 Tel: (301) 806-6800 Fax: (301) 585-8911 
Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington 6125 Montrose Road Rockville, MD 20852 Tel: 301-881-0100 Fax: (301) 881-6549
Johns Hopkins University School of Continuing Studies 9601 Medical Center Drive Rockville, MD 20850 Tel: (410) 516-9797 Fax: (301) 294-7010
Maryland Public Television College of the Air 11767 Owings Mill Boulevard Owings Mill, MD 21117 Tel: (410) 356-5600
Montgomery College Route 355 and Manakee St. Rockville, MD 20850 Tel: (301) 279-5188
Prince George's Community College 301 Largo Road Largo, MD 20772 Tel: 301-322-0878
University of Maryland University College University Boulevard and Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20742 Tel: (800) 888-8682 Fax: (301) 985-7678
The Writer's Center 4508 Walsh Street Bethesda, MD 20815 Tel: 301-654-8664 Fax: (301) 654-8667
In Virginia
Stratford University 7777 Leesburg Pike Suite 100 South Falls Church, VA 22043
George Mason University FAST-TRAIN Program Graduate School of Education 4400 University Drive Fairfax, VA 22030-4444 Tel: (703) 993-3173 Fax: (703) 993-3336
Marymount University Center for Comprehensive Learning 2807 North Glebe Road Arlington, VA 22207 Tel: (703) 522-5600
Northern Virginia Community College Annandale Campus 8333 Little River Turnpike Annandale, VA 22003-3796 Tel: (703) 323-3000 Fax: (703) 323-3367
University of Virginia Continuing Education 2990 Telestar Court Falls Church, VA 22042 Tel: (800) 346-3882
Virginia Art League School Torpedo Factory Art Center 105 North Union Alexandria, VA 22314 Tel: (703) 683-2323
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University of Northern Virginia Graduate Center 7054 Haycock Road Falls Church, VA 22043 Tel: (703) 538-8327 Fax: (703) 698-6062
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia James Monroe Building 101 North 14th Street Richmond, VA 23219 Tel: (804) 225-2600
Maryland Higher Education Commission Jeffrey Building 16 Francis Street Annapolis, MD 21401-1781 Tel: (410) 260-4500

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Connect with FLO

The Family Liaison Office (FLO) has two LinkedIn groups for Foreign Affairs family members. The FLO Global Employment Initiative (GEI) group focuses on practical job search resources and tips from Global Employment Advisors around the world.

The FLO Telework Connection group serves family members interested in telework opportunities and is a first step in a pilot project to connect talented family members with potential employers.

Also, the FLO Weekly e-newsletter can be delivered each week to your email inbox. Just email FLOPublications@state.gov to be added to the distribution list. And don’t forget to check out our website, www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo, which houses over 90% of our information and resources.

Did you know?

That 17% of all family members work outside the mission? EFMs are permitted to work in countries with which the U.S. has a Bilateral Work Agreement or De facto work arrangement. Before accepting a position outside the mission, EFMs must secure approval from the Chief of Mission. Family members can use the new Chief of Mission Approval Memo template, or check with post to learn if they have their own post-specific template. For any family member employment related questions, email FLOAskEmployment@state.gov.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Career Transition Center

Are you more than ten years away from retirement eligibility and in the early-to-mid stages of your career? This two-day future-oriented financial and legal seminar is for you!

Course Dates
November 9 – 10, 2015
January 12 – 13, 2016
May 3 - 4, 2016
June 8 – 9, 2016

Do you have fewer than ten years until retirement? Don't wait! Prepare by attending the four-day seminar as soon as possible.

Course Dates
July 27 – 30, 2015 (space is available!)
September 28 – October 1, 2015
November 30 – December 3, 2015
March 1 – 4, 2016
April 11 – 14, 2016
June 20 – 23, 2016
July 25 – 28, 2016
September 26 – 29, 2016

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Overseas Briefing Center

Get Your Post Info to Go!

Are you looking for your next post? Do you need more details about life at post? Post Info To Go from the Overseas Briefing Center (FSI/TC/OBC) offers you a wide array of insights and knowledge from posts worldwide. Don't have access to the State intranet? 

Email the OBC for assistance and additional information about using Post Info To Go no matter where you are.

There are also a variety of supplemental resources that have been compiled on our publicly accessible site at

Allowances at each post (TIP! This information is available in a compiled format in Post Info To Go and you can compare up to three countries side-by-side!)

Travel warnings and consular information sheets

Links to Foreign Service Life Skills Training information

List of Foreign Affairs Offices and organizations

Don't know where to start? Contact the Overseas Briefing Center to discuss your questions and find answers for your next move to post!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Resources For Children To Help Cope With Separation

Children's Resources for Unaccompanied Tours families:

Children's age appropriate workbooks designed to help your children cope with separation.  To request one for your child, email us at FLOaskUT@state.gov.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Brown bag lunch with the Career Development

 Resource center team

The Bureau of Human Resources

Career Development Resource Center


Brown bag lunch with the
Career Development Resource center team

Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Noon to 1 p.m.
CDRC Library; SA-1, Room L-321
  •   To eat – bring your own lunch
  •   To network and discuss engaging career topics with one of the topnotch career counselors of the CDRC – Mary Santulli.  Come prepared with questions on topics including resumes, networking, interviewing, success on the job, career branding, etc.

This workshop is open to all employees of the Department of State:  Civil Service, Foreign Service, Interns, Fellows, and Eligible Family Members. Reservations are not required.

The Career Development Resource Center (CDRC) is located in Columbia Plaza (SA-1) in room L-321. Civil Service employees, Foreign Service employees, fellows and Foreign Service Eligible Family Members of the U.S. Department of State may call 202-663-3042 to schedule an appointment with a Senior Career Counselor to discuss individual career development needs including resume review, Individual Development Plans, long-term career planning and goals, accomplishment statements, and networking. All Department of State employees may visit the CDRC to pick up handouts or borrow career development resources from the library.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Don’t Forget to Join the FLO Telework Connection LinkedIn Group

The FLO Telework Connection LinkedIn group is a first step in a pilot project to connect talented family members with potential employers.

We currently have 175 members and are starting to invite employers to join and begin posting opportunities. Don’t forget to join this new group to make sure that interested employers see what you have to offer.

For more information, email FLOAskEmployment@state.gov.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Family Liaison Office 
The Foreign Service Youth Foundation
cordially invite you to the 

2015 Youth Awards Ceremony

as we honor our
 FSYF Contest and Award Winners,
AAFSW Scholarship Merit Award Winners, 
 Children with Parents Serving at Unaccompanied Posts

Friday, July 10th, 2015
10:00am - 12:00pm

Location of Event
Department of State's George C. Marshall Center
2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520
Use East Entrance on 21st Street


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

5K Run and GORUCK Light Challenge with Veterans@State

The Department of State Veterans group invites you to join us in some physical team building challenges. Summer 2015 we are getting out and active. Join us and experience the camaraderie that accompanies the completion of team based physical events. Details for the two events are listed below. We encourage interested parties to sign up individually to secure your place. A Veterans@state forum will be provided to coordinate pre-race and post-race activities.
Non-Veterans, families and friends welcome to join!

Start Point: Bull Run Park
7700 Bull Run Dr., Centreville, VA 20121
Participants or “Ruckers” of all ages and abilities are welcome. Ruck as fast as you can or as slow as you want, this isn’t about personal records – it’s about getting active and having fun with family and friends.
Most 5K’s start too early in the morning and you don’t meet anyone new. GORUCK 5K’s start in the afternoon where you and your friends ruck with some of the best people you can meet.
** Rucking is a walking or jogging exercise while wearing a backpack or other “rucksack” to carry supplies/weight for a set distance.

Start Point: TBA at least one week from event
4-5 hours, 7-10 miles
GORUCK Light Challenge = Fun Rucking while tackling team challenges. Average completion rate: 100%
Maybe you’re still not sure about GORUCK, but you want to do something. GORUCK Light is an easy to accomplish team relay. It’s a lighter vibe, lighter loads and less time commitment, which means more time to socialize with your class after you’re done.
The average completion rate of those who show up is 100%. If you can do a 5K, you can do a GORUCK Light Challenge.
For any questions on the events, please feel free to contact the Veterans@state Special Events Coordinator, Jared Sarkis, at sarkisjs@state.gov. If you are interested in joining the Veterans at State EAG or would like more information, please visit our SharePoint site: Veterans@State

Friday, June 19, 2015

Looking for College Options? UMUC Offers 25% Discount

In 2014, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) signed a first-of-its-kind agreement to provide a 25 percent discount on out-of-state tuition rates on courses, certificates, and degree programs to all current Federal employees, spouses, and their legal dependents.

Those who are eligible can take individual courses or enroll in any of UMUC’s 95 undergraduate and graduate degree or certificate programs, most of which are available fully online. Visit UMUC’s website for more information and to enroll.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Free 2-Day Summer Youth Program for Children Grades 2-12

Foreign affairs agency children in grades 2–12 are invited for two days of exploration into the world of diplomacy and realities of living overseas as an American. The young diplomat participants will also explore safety and security threats they might face overseas and identify resources to protect themselves. This course is highly interactive. Children are divided by age and all information is shared using age appropriate activities and details.

**Session attendance is limited. Register now to guarantee your preferred session**

Who May Attend: Open to all Foreign Affairs agency children in rising grades 2-12 (no exceptions)

PLEASE NOTE: A parent or guardian is required to be on campus. This youth course runs simultaneously to MQ911 Security Overseas Seminar. Parents are encouraged to register for MQ911.

Where and When: At the Foreign Service Institute, George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center, Arlington, VA from 9:00am-4:00pm on July 13-14, July 20-21, July 27-28, August 3-4, and August 10-11.

How to Register: To register please email FSITCTraining@state.gov with all of the following information: which course offering you are interested in enrolling your children, the name of youth participant(s), rising grade levels, agency affiliation, and a preferred email contact.

Questions: For questions about this seminar please contact coordinators at FSITCTraining@state.gov.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Transfer Season = More Employment Opportunities in FLO

You may have noticed several employment opportunities in FLO in recent weeks. FLO goes through transition season along with the rest of the Foreign Service community. We are all family members and many of us are moving on to our next adventure. We hope that those of you moving back to the DC area this season will consider applying for one of the positions below.

 Education and Youth Program Specialist (GS-09) - See vacancy announcement for details.

 Unaccompanied Tours Specialist (GS-09) - See vacancy announcement for details.

 Crisis Management and Support Program Specialist (GS-09) - See vacancy announcement for details.

All positions are located in Washington, DC and may require some travel. The positions are full time, two-year limited appointments, with potential to be extended up to a maximum of five years. The appointments are not in the Competitive Service. The application deadline for all three positions is 11:59 p.m. ET, June 24th, 2015.

Monday, June 15, 2015

IQ Quest - Summer Care: We’re here to help!

Summer is here but don’t worry if your summer care plans are still pending!  Information Quest (IQ) offers personalized guidance, targeted information and customized resources and referrals to meet your family’s unique summer care needs, including:

Personalized Referrals

Specialists are standing by 24/7 to refer you to summer camps and programs and child care providers that are the right fit for you and your family, including:
·         Day and residential programs
·         Specialized programs (sports, academic, art, special needs, etc.)
·         Child care centers
·         Family day care
·         In-home care (nannies, au pairs, babysitters)
·         And more!

Plus, you have access to Emergency Backup Dependent Care, a program designed to help you secure—and pay for—backup care when your care plans are disrupted. Emergency Backup Care provides:
·         Ample coverage — 5 days per year for each eligible family member
·         An extensive network of credentialed child care centers or in-home care providers which only require a $10 co-pay for up to a full day of care
·         Reserve care up to 30 days in advance or request for last-minute emergencies

Access Interactive Tools

Log on to the WorkLife4You website to access tips, checklists and in-depth articles to help your whole family plan for summer on topics such as:
·         How to find and evaluate summer camps
·         Discover summer options for teens
·         How to prepare your child for residential summer camp
·         Summer camp health & safety tips
·         Summer fun with the whole family
·         How to keep kids learning to avoid summer brain drain
·         And more!

Get Summer Savings

Visit the online Discount Center for helpful savings on millions of brand-name products and services nationwide for all of your needs this summer!

For additional information and/or to request the services please call 1-866-552-IQ4U (4748) or TTY: 1-800-873-1322.   

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Family Liaison Office 
The Foreign Service

 Youth Foundation
cordially invite you to the 

2015 Youth Awards


as we honor our
 FSYF Contest and Award Winners,
AAFSW Scholarship Merit Award Winners, 
 Children with Parents Serving

at Unaccompanied Posts

Friday, July 10th, 2015
10:00am - 12:00pm
Location of Event
Department of State's George C. Marshall Center
2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520
Use East Entrance on 21st Street


Friday, June 5, 2015

It can be challenging at times to balance the demands of work and life. We may feel the need to do more in less time at work – or to be available at all times in today's connected world.
We may also feel pressure to shine in all the other areas of our life – as a parent, as a spouse or partner, as a friend. These demands can make us feel burned out, stressed, unproductive, and unwell.
This month's Member Pulse digest features tips for finding the work-life balance that's best for you. Just click on the titles below to go directly to the articles.
·         Work-life balance: tips to reclaim control
Do you feel overwhelmed when you think of your to-do list at work? Do you often work long hours or work on your days off? Juggling work and life demands isn't easy, but these tips can help you keep a healthier balance.
·         Stress relief: when and how to say no
At some point, most of us have said "yes" to taking on a task that we simply didn't have time to do. It's harder to say "no," but doing so can be much better for our stress level. Read more for tips on why, when and how to say "no."
·         Job burnout: how to spot it and take action
Are you irritable around your co-workers or clients? Feeling cynical or critical at work? Suffering from unexplained backaches or headaches or a lack of energy? You could be experiencing job burnout. Job burnout can hurt your health, career and relationships. Find out if you're at risk of burnout and what to do if you are experiencing it.
·         Your EAP: daily living services
Not enough hours in the day to finish everything on your "to-do" list? Your EAP can help you find the right business or service to meet your needs – from a pet-friendly hotel for your next trip to a reliable plumber. Services we can find for you include:
    • Hotel accommodations
    • Repair and maintenance for your home or car
    • Transportation services
    • Pet services
    • Relocation assistance