The Foreign Service Journal, July-August 2005

32 F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / J U LY- A U G U S T 2 0 0 5 F O C U S O N F S I / F S T R A I N I N G FSI: C OMMENTS FROM THE F IELD A Very Satisfied Customer I have been in FSI three different times: from December 1984 to August 1985 for Spanish and Area Studies (about 36 weeks total); from February 1991 to August 1991 for French and Area Studies (about 28 weeks total); and, from July 2001 to September 2001 for Spanish and Area Studies (about 12 weeks in total). I found the FSI instructors to be very good on all three occasions. In particular, they designed a special Spanish refresher program for me on the third occasion I was there. My courses focused a lot on development and food aid terms I would need to know as a food for peace officer in Bolivia. I was a very satisfied customer and felt FSI had well prepared me for the posting. Walter Shepherd USAID/Bolivia Training vs. Children I have been in training two times since joining the Foreign Service in January 2002 — first from January to October 2002, when I took A-100, Spanish, ConGen, EEO training and the Security Overseas Seminar. The second time was for only four days, in September 2004, to take the advanced consular name- checking course. I found the 2004 experience to be extremely stressful because I had an eight-month-old baby and, although I contacted the child-care center at FSI in May 2004, they were already booked through March 2005. (Diplotots at Main State was also full.) I then had to scramble to find someone to care for my infant. It is very difficult to find short-term child care in the D.C. area, something the State Department does not readily address. (I have friends who have had similar M EMBERS SHARE KUDOS AND CRITIQUES OF FSI T RAINING . B Y S USAN M AITRA s part of our research into the state of FS training today, the Journal sent out an AFSANET to members requesting their views. We received a much greater response than anticipated, but many obser- vations were for background only. The following is a sampling of statements authorized for publication. — Susan Maitra, Senior Editor A