The destination may be unknown, but the path is clear, you just need to take the first step…

…the plane will come later.


The beginning is the easiest,
you know you want to become a Foreign Service Officer.

The hard part is what follows. From start to finish, the application process averages one year and there are many hurdles along the way. If at any point you falter, you most likely need to start over. As they say, this is a marathon and not a sprint- and I am in it for the long haul.

With nearly 20,000 applicants a year taking the Foreign Service Officer Test in pursuit of this career, my story is just one of many. However, we all experience much of the same woes and joys as we strive for this opportunity.

From the basics to the interesting, and my personal experiences, Path to Foreign Service is your resource to help you along your way.


Join 600+ active members in the pFS community


Path to Foreign Service began as a blog to talk about my experience, but it has since grown into a community of individuals each trying to become an Officer and assisting one another. With publications, reading resources, and simulators, the website has turned into a repository of information and tools to help you become a diplomat!

FSOT Reading List

Compiled by the State Department, this is their suggested reading list for passing the FSOT.

FSOT Essay Simulator

Writing is more complicated when there is a time and character limit, this simulator helps you handle the stress.

The FSOT Simulator

Not sure what the FSOT is like, this is the best way to practice.


Should I Join the Foreign Service: Pros and Cons

Should I Join the Foreign Service: Pros and Cons

There are a variety of considerations you should make before joining the Foreign Service as a diplomat. The “job” is not just a career, but it is also a lifestyle - one that has many perks and potential drawbacks. Searching online, asking former/current diplomats and...

Growing up Overseas Due to the Foreign Service

Growing up Overseas Due to the Foreign Service

Growing up overseas due to the Foreign Service has many pros and cons. Some of them are noticeable and immediate impacts, while others are only fully appreciated, or even understood, many years later. Below, my sister Cristina talks about her experience with having...

Foreign Service Officer Salary:  A Comprehensive Guide

Foreign Service Officer Salary: A Comprehensive Guide

FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER SALARY: A Comprehensive Guide (2017 Update) The Foreign Service Officer salary is dynamic and ever changing. Though your base salary, pegged to a Washington, D.C. cost of living, remains steady, each country has different allowances. Depending...