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An overseas assignment translates to months of preparation and planning. U.S. government employees and their family members assigned to a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas can visit the Overseas Briefing Center (OBC) in Arlington, VA to use their collection of resources for researching overseas posts and the logistics of an international move. Hours of operation.

Country Bidding Information

  • OBC’s listing of country bidding resources assists in discovering more about an overseas location.
  • U.S. government employees and their eligible family members who are bidding on or assigned to a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas can access post-specific information via the OBC’s Post Info To Go websites. For more information, contact the OBC.

Resources for an International Move to a Mission Overseas

  • Begin your child’s journey with The Amazing Adventures of (Me): A Guided Journal to My International Move! This guided journal from the Transition Center features activities-filled pages to facilitate discussion as children process and prepare for an international move. Activities are designed to engage children, with prompts to ask a parent for more information. Look inside this free, printable e-publication to find:
    • Activities to encourage curiosity and discovery
    • Quotes from kids who have experienced moving overseas
    • Games to prompt discussion, and more!

    An accompanying Parent Companion guide provides context to help formulate discussion and understanding of the emotional journey of your child. Help them write their own story with their hearts and minds!  Let your children explore the various stages of an international move and discover how they are feeling about the upcoming transition.

  • ZINES! A new series of Teen Zine tell the stories of kids who travel from post to post and their struggle to find their place in the world, figure out a new school, find new friends, manage relationships, and handle the bumps along the way. Overall resilience themes are incorporated, including maintaining a positive attitude, finding one’s meaning and purpose, active problem-solving, self-care as the key to well-being, supportive social relationships, and developing a growth mindset. Download a PDF of the first ZINE: Transitions . Download a PDF of the second ZINE: Identity .
  • The Foreign Service Assignment Notebook: What Do I Do Now? offers invaluable information and guidance for an international move and assignment to a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Topics include: overview of a U.S. Mission, children in the Foreign Service, resilience, post research, packing to go, finances, family member employment, insurance, traveling with pets, and more.
  • The Transition Center’s READY SET TRAVEL app generates a personalized “to do” list, from the day you receive your assignment to the day you depart. This all-in-one tool can help keep track of completed tasks, send reminders to personal calendars, add personal notes, access essential contact information, and connect to online resources. Available for iOS and Android devices.

Learn about Allowances for an International Move

  • Department of State employees heading on assignment overseas are eligible for certain allowances, as outlined on the Office of Allowances website. Here is a quick guide to Allowances for Transitions.

Annual KidVid Contest

  • The Foreign Service Institute’s Overseas Briefing Center (OBC), in collaboration with the Foreign Service Youth Foundation (FSYF), hosts the annual worldwide KidVid Contest. Contestants submit an original video that depicts life for Foreign Service youth at their post. The purpose of this contest is to develop a library of videos that will help FS families anticipate what life overseas is like from a kid’s perspective. The Overseas Briefing Center administers the contest and FSYF awards cash prizes to winners.  Foreign Service youth, ages 10-18 who are posted overseas, are eligible to enter this contest.

Traveling with a Pet to an International Location Outside of the United States

  • Getting a pet to a foreign country involves understanding country-specific import restrictions, paperwork procedures, and the various offices involved in the process. OBC’s guidelines for pet shipping are invaluable to understanding Pets and International Travel. U.S. government employees heading to a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas can contact the OBC for detailed country-specific guidelines.

Online Training Resources for an International Assignment

  • These online training resources offer substantive information for living overseas as an American and as part of a U.S. mission community.
  • Protocol for the Modern Diplomat – Ask OBC for this booklet designed to help readers master the basics of diplomatic protocol.

The Overseas Briefing Center staff is available to answer questions, share valuable resources, and assist with transition concerns. U.S. government employees assigned to an overseas U.S. Mission can contact the OBC  for more information.

U.S. Department of State

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