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pFS Blog

How to Practice for the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT)

So you’ve done all your studying and are ready to practice for the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT), but you’re not really sure how? Don’t worry, I had the same problem. Actually, the vast majority of folks taking the test have had or are currently having the exact...

FSOT Practice Essay Question Simulators (2018 Update)

The Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) practice essay simulators were created to help applicants pass the essay section of the FSOT. If you would like to go directly to the basic practice simulator, the link follows: FSOT Essay Simulator Basic If you would like to...

Language Training at FSI

The Stories from the Field series continues with Rob, who was recently posted in Brazil. His first assignment! You can keep up with Rob on his website. Rob and I actually met up a couple of times when we both lived in DC in 2017. We connected because of...

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FSO, FSS, and Consular Fellows 2017 Fiscal Year Hiring Rates

The Foreign Service Officer (FSO), Foreign Service Specialist (FSS), and Consular Fellows hiring numbers for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 have been released! If you have been following the blog for some time, then you know I enjoy learning this information and...

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

  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

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 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 (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...

Single Foreign Service Officers: Dropping a Truth Bomb

This week, Heather, from the blog Adventures Around the World, shares her perspective as a single "solo" Foreign Service Officer. Her story is one shared by many in the Service, but not one readily discussed because of its hard truths. A career in the Foreign Service...

The FSO Application, Becoming an Officer, and Moving to DC

I am excited to kick off the Stories from the Field series with Danielle, the author of the blog 2 Cats, 7 Continents, and a spouse of a recently hired FSO. How recent? They go on their first deployment in June. Exciting! Danielle breaks down her and her husband's...

Stories from the Field: Recollections of the Foreign Service

The Foreign Service is more than a career, it's a lifestyle. At a minimum, you are consistently moving to a new post every few years, interacting with different cultures from your own on the daily, and learning (sometimes quite painstakingly) that there are indeed...