The Foreign Service Journal, June 2021

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JUNE 2021 57 Rebecca Grappo, M.Ed., has been connected to the Department of State for 35 years, as both a former employee and Foreign Service family member. She is the founder of RNG International Educational Consultants, LLC, which specializes in helping students around the world with the college applica- tion process as well as boarding school and therapeutic placements. EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT are dependents of American diplomats in more than 230 posts around the world. Unless they were infants and blissfully unaware of what was happen- ing, all of them have been affected. Some families left posts under authorized or ordered departure; others stayed throughout the pandemic, but remained locked in their homes, unable to go out for months at a time. To say that it played out differently according to the country would be an understate- ment; experiencing the pandemic in Sweden was not the same as experienc- ing it in Brazil or Manila. But no matter where they were posted, no one has had it easy. Schools began to shut down amid the growing crisis in March 2020. Stu- dents anticipated being back at school after spring break, only to find that they couldn’t return for the rest of the academic year. It would be impossible B ooks will be written, and Ph.D. theses will be defended, about the impact of COVID-19 on society. But few will probably ever interview, let alone study, one group of people: the children of the Foreign Service. Members of the Foreign Service are highly trained professionals who take on worldwide assignments and serve cou- rageously amid threats of war, terrorism, natural disasters—even pandemics. Let’s take a look at how their children fare. The Pandemic Strikes Not many people could have imag- ined the seismic impact a global pan- demic would have on their professional or personal lives—and especially those of their children. Far-reaching, this pandemic has affected just about every single person on the planet. It caused a global diaspora of Foreign Service families. About 13,000 children FS children face unique challenges in the best of times. How are they faring during the pandemic? BY REBECCA GRAPPO THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 On FS Kids TIPS AND THOUGHTS