Mention a diplomatic career and most people imagine high-level
meetings, formal dress and cocktail parties. Few stop to think that
behind the occasional glitter of official functions are thousands of
families facing all the routines and crises of life - births,
deaths, childrearing, divorce - far from home, relatives, and
friends, in an unfamiliar and sometimes unfriendly country and
culture. This book provides reflections and perspectives on the
realities of Foreign Service life as experienced by members of the
Foreign Service community around the world. The writers share their
unvarnished views on a wide variety of topics they care about:
maintaining long-distance relationships, raising teens abroad,
dealing with depression, coping with evacuations, readjusting to
life in the United States, and many others. These are stories from
the diplomatic trenches - true experiences from those who have lived
the lifestyle and want to share their hard-learned lessons with
If you are new to the Foreign Service, this book will offer
insights and practical information useful in your overseas tours and
when you return home. Even if you are a seasoned veteran of the
Foreign Service, the reports and reflections of others may encourage
you to compare and evaluate your own experiences.
If you (or your partner) are contemplating joining the Foreign
Service, this book can serve as a reality check, giving you honest,
personal perspectives on both the positive and negative aspects of
Foreign Service life.
If you are a student wondering what the Foreign Service is all
about, this book will broaden your knowledge and provide you with an
insider’s view not found in any textbook.
Patricia Linderman has lived as a Foreign Service family member
in Trinidad, Chile, Cuba and Germany. Melissa Brayer-Hess has lived
in France, Nigeria, Russia, Algeria, Egypt, and Ukraine.