While I am eager to take on this rare and adventurous opportunity, I do have some concerns…A major one of which is that I am in my early 20’s, single and female.

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I know enough female FSOs who have found husbands abroad to dispel that myth.

But I think the Foreign Service lifestyle is harder for single women than for single men. I cannot tell you how many State Department post reports I’ve read where “great post for singles” meant “great post for single guys to pick up local girls in bars.” I’d be curious to know how many FSOs are single and compare that against the resources offered specifically for them.

You’ll be assigned a sponsor before you arrive, and you’ll immediately have all sorts of groups and activities to join.

Although the exact mix varies from post to post, expect to find things like a weekly happy hour at the Marine House for Embassy staff and families; trips, tours and social events organized by the Community Liaison Office, some aimed at singles; a Hash House Harriers international running group; regular social gatherings for English-speaking diplomats (including the British and Canadian communities, for instance); and formal or informal gatherings for the international community at your post.

I do not want to dissuade you from pursuing your dream, but you should be aware of some realities of Foreign Service life that are not well publicized. You may be called to go somewhere you don’t want to go that could put your life at risk. If keeping the family together is your , you may be disappointed.

These views are my own but have been reinforced by years of firsthand observations and conversations with peers. Take solace in your career, and maybe a nice hobby like crochet or mah jongg. Then accept the fact that you'll soon have a [country-of-first-posting]ese wife.[Bella’s intro: When I learned about Heather Steil’s writings about her experiences as a single woman in the Foreign Service, I immediately wanted to share her thoughts with Single-at-Heart readers. I owe it to readers who read my earlier post a balanced view of the Foreign Service that cannot be found in the Foreign Service Journal, AFSA press releases, State Department literature, or blogs written by diplomats or their dependents. Measure as many times as it takes to get full clearance and then cut. They can make your life miserable if you’re not compliant or simply rub them the wrong way. He is recipient of numerous State Department awards, the Joint Civilian Service Achievement Award from the U. Department of Defense, and a commendation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Paraguay. Department of State last year to pursue other interests, a decision that I do not regret and am thankful I made. If you’re a free spirit or like to do things your own way, think twice. Do nothing privately you would not want to see end up in the pages of the Washington Post. The Department’s hierarchical clearance and promotion systems are designed to give leverage to those in positions of authority. diplomat, he served in South Korea, Paraguay, and Zambia before resigning in 2011 to write full time. What can you recommend to me and people in my position in terms of meeting young people abroad, getting involved in post life, and whether or not the possibility of meeting “Mr. What is post life like for a young Singleton’ a la Bridget Jones’ Diary?