Husband wants to pursue Foreign Service


#1

Hello,

I am 26, currently married for 3 years. My husband is planning to take the Foreign Service Exam. He has always been interested in politics, foreign policy, and history-- he is highly motivated and smart. He is currently a town planner but getting very restless and bored in his work, and not really wanting to transfer to the same type of work in another position.

I am excited about his ambition but also nervous. I want children in the few years and I worry about my husband pursuing this type of career track.

Does anyone know anything about this type of career? Is it suitable to family-life? Should I be worried about this? Right now we both work, very decent, well-paying jobs, but I think we are both getting pretty bored. However, my family is of course in the U.S. and it would mean leaving them behind. I have been abroad and find it very exciting, but I am also not sure that foreign service work is good for young couples wanting to start families.

I am so confused and a little bit stressed about it. However, I don’t want to squelch my husband’s ambition either, because I know how dissatisfied he is right now in his current career. I am sorry I am all over the place with this posting, but I don’t know what to do!

Any prayers or advice is appreciated.

Thank you.


#2

It’s decent pay with decent housing. Not poverty by any means, but not the Trump lifestyle by any means either.


It’s MOSTLY working in an embassy. Which embassy/country my dh would assigned to would determine my level of worry more than the actual position itself. It is NOT a military-type position.


There’s lots of information about it, but I don’t have it at finger tips at the moment.


#3

I wish him luck on the exam. It is pretty difficult. It is a great career if you are not interested in putting down any permanent roots anywhere. One down side is you don’t get to pick your duty station. That means you could end somewhere great like Germany or Hungary, or you could end up in a place like Saudi Arabia or Iraq where the living is VERY different. You could end up in a 3rd world country where medical care is very poor at best. that should be considered especially as it related to delivering a baby and getting your children good health care.


#4

Here is a website that has all sorts of info…hope it helps :slight_smile:

careers.state.gov/general/index.html


#5

I looked into it as a senior in college. I thought it would be interesting for two or three years. Passed the exam [except for language], but dropped out before the interview. Decided to go to graduate school instead.

Safety is pretty good I think because you are on diplomatic passports.

It would mean a lot of moving for the children; much akin to military life. My family wasn’t military, but the first time I completed three years in the same school was college - 5 elementary schools and 3 high schools. I lived in 16 different houses by the time I graduated from high school. I found it fine, but know that some think it a problem.


#6

[quote=St.Eric]I wish him luck on the exam. It is pretty difficult. It is a great career if you are not interested in putting down any permanent roots anywhere. One down side is you don’t get to pick your duty station. That means you could end somewhere great like Germany or Hungary, or you could end up in a place like Saudi Arabia or Iraq where the living is VERY different. You could end up in a 3rd world country where medical care is very poor at best. that should be considered especially as it related to delivering a baby and getting your children good health care.
[/quote]

You could end up like Joe Wilson… in Niger… Actually, it’s not such a bad place. I worked in a lot of them and always enjoyed all the exotic locale’s and food. Libya. NW Frontier of Pakistan (spicy food - fabulous… being junior I got tasked with giving tours to official visitors to the Khyber Pass… Will never forget the volleyball game between the KGB and the CIA!!! (in Niger).

Touched down in around 30 countries over the years.

Enjoyed every second of it.

If you like history, you would be visiting a lot of very famous places… the crossroads of history in many respects.

And when you get to be my age, you can bore the daylights out of people with all your stories!!!

[Oh, NO! Daddy’s telling another story!!! ]


#7

I have taken the exam. I passed the oral once but never got called up. I took it again recently, and passed the written, and missed the oral by .05 points!

It is THE MOST DIFFICULT civil service exam in the world.

I have friends current or past in the Foriegn Service. You can be sent anywhere in the world. Personally, my wife and I think it a great career idea (she wants me to take it again).


#8

If the duty station is at an embassy that falls under attack, spouses get sent away. Do you have a support network?

hurst


#9

Thank you all for your encouraging and practical advice. It sure is alot to consider. Pray for us in this decision and process.


#10

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