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 1000+ 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.


2017: Year in Review and Implications for FSO Applicants

2017: Year in Review and Implications for FSO Applicants

It’s the start of the New Year, and with it an opportunity to review what has happened over the last 12 months. It is no secret the Department of State is being minimized both in personnel and its influential capacity. You need only walk down memory lane: Diplomats...

Secretaries of State Still Living

Secretaries of State Still Living

  Do you know how many Secretaries of State are still living? It may come as a surprise to you. It did for me. My curiosity to determine how many remain arose, as most things do, by accident. I was watching a news reel when a story of the president came on and his...

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...