How to Become a Diplomat

by Shenron on September 19, 2009

Serving your country as a foreign diplomat is one of the most admirable things you can do with your time. Not only does it require an extreme dedication to service, it also requires you to be knowledgeable in foreign affairs and various other topics. I’m sure you’ve seen the lines at the airports that allow foreign diplomats through before everyone else. Well apart from getting through security faster, what does a diplomat do? Well a foreign diplomat is usually someone stationed overseas that helps citizens while they’re overseas, domestic affairs, and everyday governmental affairs that can’t be handled from back home. It’s a very prestigious government job but getting to have the title of diplomat is quite long and complicated.

Diplomat 5 How to Become a Diplomat

Let’s take a look.

1. Become a citizen: One of the most basic tasks you have to complete is becoming a citizen and making sure your criminal record is in order. Anything more than a parking ticket is usually more than they’d like to see on a resume. There are age requirements to becoming a foreign diplomat as well. But, those depend on the country you’re currently living in and the country you’re looking to work in.

2. Take the FSWE: The FSWE, or Foreign Service Written Exam, is the first step in the process application process. You can find the exam registration on the U.S. State Department’s website. The exam is administered once a year and is held in most major cities. Because the demand for the exam isn’t huge, you may have to find a nearby major city to drive to in order to take the exam. The exam covers topics ranging from history to economics. It’s a good idea to brush up on your foreign affairs and be knowledgeable in as many topics as possible.

3. Oral: The FSWE is the written part of the exam. Advancing to the next stage of the process is based on your passing of the FSWE. Because the FSWE has such a low pass rate, advancing to the next step is an achievement in itself. The oral part of the exam tests your mastery of your own native language and a second language (preferably the one that is spoken in the country you’re planning on working in). The foreign language portion of the oral exam is not completely necessary but it is almost unheard of being employed as a diplomat without being at least bilingual.

Diplomat How to Become a Diplomat

4. Background checks: Assuming you’ve made it this far in what seems like the longest job application process in the country, you’ll be subjected to a thorough background check.

5. And finally, upon completion of the background check, you’re now ready to apply. Your chances of getting a job as a foreign diplomat are fairly high because of the amount of time and effort required to “weed out” those that are ineligible up to this point. They want to make sure they hire only the best so if you’re now actually able to fill out an application, you’re more than qualified. Head over to the State Department’s website and fill out the application for the foreign position you’re interested in.

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