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What major do I need to work at an embassy/consulate?
I asked this question a few weeks ago, but I think I may have put it in the wrong area!

I am in my first year of college. I have a general idea of what I want to do, but I want to keep my mind open.

My hope is to get a job overseas, I have always wanted to live in a different country. Right now my plan is to become a teacher (either elementary or high school english) and then get a "double major" in journalism. Then, I would maybe work for the DODDs or possibly a private school of some sort...and if I ever wanted to just pick up and move home, it would be possible.

However, when I was in Washington D.C. I remember just falling in love with the atmosphere, and all of the history. I think working at an embassy, consulate, or even under an ambassador...would just be a really great experience. I figure I could live in another country, and be able to travel back to the states easily if I ever needed to.

My question is this: What major would I have to go into to work at an embassy? International affairs?


Could I get my teaching certificate and possible double major in "international affairs" so that I could work at an embassy for a while...but always have my teaching degree to fall back on? I mean...is that even possible? Would it be a smart idea, or just a waist of time? I want to have a lot of room for change, and opportunity in my life.


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Political Science and International Relations.

I want to become a diplomat. those are my intended majors.

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The most direct way to get a job in an embassy is to join the state department as a Foreign Service Officer. They serve as the U.S. diplomatic corps. It doesn't matter what you study; officers are hired based off of a written and an oral exam. If you're interested, I've blogged about it at http://www.thehegemonist.com/2009/01/getting-job-as-foreign-service-officer.html

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Several helpful members have already provided you with the appropriate websites above. I will make some additional suggestions based on information from people who have successfully gone through the process. You are in good shape because you are planning so far ahead and are in a position to give yourself a definite edge over your competition.

First of all take a foreign language course, become good at it, both in writing and speaking. If you have some inkling about which country you wish to go to, become fluent in the language of that country. If you think about working in France, learn French; Korea, learn Korean; Afghanistan, learn Pushtu; Iran, learn Farsi; Israel, learn Hebrew; Pakistan or India, Urdu; Latin American countries, Spanish; China, Mandarin etc. Take your pick and start practicing.

Next, learn about cultures and different religions. Courses in cultural anthropology is a very good one. Education in a specific culture is even better.

As for majors, I would recommend International Relations and for a minor World history. If you are the studious type, which I suspect you are, a second major in English would be great.

For your extra curricular activities, subscribe to two news papers and if you can't afford it read at your local library. One is New York Times and the other is Washington Post. These two papers always give you a world perspective of events and they always start with some background information. New York Times has somewhat of a liberal slant and Washington Post is conservative.

For fun, start learning world geography and history, when you get to the oral exam and the written test, this is what it is all about. What do you know about other countries; history and recent events. It is like answering questions on jeopardy. These are panel interviews. These are not questions you can prepare for over a six month period.

Finally, now that the hard part is over; here is the easy way to do what you want. Just get a degree in teaching and the State Department will hire you as a teacher. There is only one catch, you will be teaching American kids, American stuff, watching American movies, but living in a foreign country, probably in an American community too, like they have in Kuwait.

It is refreshing to see a young person take this kind of interest in serving the American interests overseas. Good luck

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