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The Glamorous Life of a Career Diplomat?

 Language Learning Forum : Languages & Work Post Reply
Bilingual Triglot
United States
Joined 2458 days ago

28 posts - 37 votes
Speaks: Arabic (Written), Arabic (Egyptian)*, English*
Studies: Spanish

 Message 1 of 3
12 May 2014 at 4:28pm | IP Logged 
You are a junior career diplomat in the US State Department. You finished a three year assignment at the US
consulate in Marseille. You have been working back at the State Department in Washington DC for the last 1
1/2 years. For your next assignment your first choice of the consulate in Montreal has been denied and you
have been assigned to the US Embassy in Quito but you do not have to start there for a few months. You
studied Spanish in High School for two years but did not retain much; you are however hoping that your
robust French will ease your second attempt at learning Spanish.

Do they send you for the next 3-6 months to the Foreign Service Institute for full time instruction?

Do they hand you a set of tapes the day before you fly to Quito and wish you luck?

Do they give you a volume discount for Rosetta Stone? I hope not!

If you are sent to the FSI, do you encounter the same 50 year old Spanish course or has it been updated? If it
has been updated why is the updated version not available to the general public since taxpayers have
effectively funded the creation of the course?

While learning Spanish at the FSI, is that your full time job? Are you assigned fully to the FSI for 3-6 months
or are you supposed to do it on the side while working full time at the State Department? Do you spend
Monday to Wednesday of every week at the State Department but then spend Thursday and Friday working
on your Spanish at the FSI?

Edited by haziz on 12 May 2014 at 5:13pm

1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
Russian Federation
Joined 5193 days ago

9753 posts - 15778 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 Message 2 of 3
12 May 2014 at 10:13pm | IP Logged 
I don't know, but DLI publishes the lessons they develop at GLOSS. Amazing stuff, a lot more enjoyable than FSI. Lots of lessons for Spanish too. Nearly everything is based on native materials, with glossaries, recordings and exercises helping you to understand the content.

Also, while the FSI courses are public domain, it's not obligatory to release them. In fact the existing ones have been published by private individuals having access to them, and not by FSI itself.
3 persons have voted this message useful

Bilingual Diglot
Senior Member
https://talktagalog.Registered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3084 days ago

172 posts - 240 votes 
Speaks: English*, Tagalog*
Studies: Spanish, Mandarin

 Message 3 of 3
07 February 2015 at 4:37am | IP Logged 
A career diplomat's life glamorous?


But yes, being a career diplomat can open lots of doors for you which wouold be otherwised closed.

My impression on U.S. career diplomats is that language-wise they are generally very well-prepared
compared to their counterparts from other countries.

1 person has voted this message useful

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