Foreign Service Officer

10 Apr

After a lot of deliberation, I decided, back in January, to apply to become a foreign diplomat of the US. Considering the various options for living abroad, ranging from ESL to tourism to international business, this one is the most appealing to me.

The process is somewhat long and intricate. First, you have to apply to take the test. To my surprise, it was offered in Madrid in less than one month’s time, in February. I studied quickly and went to the embassy one Wednesday morning to take the four hour exam.

Also to my surprise, I passed. So I had 21 days to write a series of personal narrative essays, after which time they’ll let me know if I qualify for the most grueling portion of the application process—the oral exam. Apparently they drill you with a number of situations and you have to answer on your toes how you would solve each one.

From what I’ve read, only a third pass the written exam, only a third pass the personal narrative portion, and only a third pass the oral exam.

100/3/3/3=3.7% of applicants get the job.

Considering I didn’t study international relations, I’m going to feel proud if I move on to the oral exam portion. If you pass that, you spend a year or two in Washington, DC, politics capital of the US, before they send you abroad . . . And usually not to Bermuda or Canada your first term.

But you get to work for the State Department, you get to live abroad, and your job, at the very least, is always interesting.

Transitions has an interesting in-detail article as does the New York Times.

1 Comment

Posted by on April 10, 2011 in Jobs Abroad


One response to “Foreign Service Officer

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