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Must-read blogs by US Foreign Service Officers

Secretary Kerry Photographs the Dome of the Rock (Credit: Department of State)

Whether you’re interested in joining the US Foreign Service or want to gain a better idea of what life is really like for American diplomats, reading blogs written by FSOs and their families provides a great, personal perspective on  the American foreign policy machine from Foggy Bottom to the world over.

Don’t forget to check out the Foreign Service Reading List for even more in-depth reading and preparation for the Foreign Service Officer’s Test.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of some of the most interesting blogs written by current or former FSOs and FSO spouses. Among other things, they discuss the grueling application process, the daily office life overseas and at home, family life, the challenges of moving every two years, and personal reactions to major events like the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and Anne Smedinghoff. If you’re a fan of the Cable at Foreign Policy, take a look at some of these blogs for a more personal perspective.

Most of theses blogs have been around for many years, so if you find one you like it is definitely worth checking out archived posts to see how a tour and diplomatic career progresses over time.

  • ForeignServiceTest.com – A fantastic resource, this blog is written by a current Foreign Service who touches on a wide range of topics, including preparing for the FSOT and “inside information” on FSO culture. Be sure to check out the “A Day in the Life” series, which gives you an idea of the average workday for FSOs in each career track.
  • Diplomatic Mom – An FSO mother and wife discusses foreign culture and life (bonus points for being married to another FSO). Also includes a very informative series of posts detailing the process to become a Foreign Service Officer, daily life as a diplomat, and the logistics of moving and raising a family on a tour.
  • Adventures in Good Countries – A blog by Katie Kiser, an FSO who completed a tour in Lahore, Pakistan.
  • Life After Jerusalem – Commentary by an American FSO of Indian heritage who provides an LGBT perspective. Frequently updated.
  • A Diplomat’s Wife – A blog with a more personal perspective of FSO life written by the wife of a diplomat. Provides a good idea of family life in the Foreign Service.
  • You Can Call Me Al – FSO Al Caniglia recently completed his language training and began a tour in Germany. Worth following if you want to see what a tour is like from the beginning.
  • The B Files – A diplomat and mother who just completed her first tour in the Dominican Republic. Must-read for those thinking of a mid-career application to the Foreign Service.
  • Mabsuta Bideshi – Written by Sharlina Hussain-Morgan, an American of Bengali heritage from New York State who recently completed her first tour in London and is heading to Cairo next.
  • Worldwide Availability – A blog by an American and Berkeley alum who immigrated from China at the age of 16. After making a career change from online marketing, he completed his first overseas tour in Seoul and is currently serving a tour in Malaysia.
  • Email From the Embassy – Also written by an FSO spouse, this blog discusses the challenge of families dealing with unaccompanied tours.
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