Hey Travelers! We have the honor of hearing from Kellie Bland! She is a distinguished two-time consular fellow who served in Mexico and Peru. If you dream of becoming a consular fellow or exploring the Foreign Service as a foreign service officer, this video is your essential guide!
In the video above, Kellie shares her personal story and valuable tips for aspiring consular fellows. She is a former Peace Corp volunteer. According to Kellie, many former Peace Corps volunteers also do the Consular Fellows programs. While it is not a direct path, serving in the Peace Corps offers an extraordinary chance to serve as consular officers around the world.
And as a side note, programs like the Peace Corps or Consular Fellows program also helps makes you more competitive for government jobs in the future.
Next up, Kellie talks about the language requirements for the consular fellows program. Proficiency in Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, or Portuguese is crucial for locations where Consular Fellows are deployed, opening doors to diverse opportunities. In the video, Kellie shares how the Peace Corps help her prepare for the language proficiency needed by the Consular Fellows program.
Kellie also discusses training in Arlington, Virginia. After general training, Consular Fellows undergo language training and specialized consular courses, preparing them for their work abroad. While the consular fellows program offers an amazing opportunity, Kellie highlights the potential stress linked to language tests, adding an exciting yet challenging dimension to the journey.
Consular Fellows have limited-term appointments. This means that after service after two posts, the contracts for consular fellows end. A consular fellow’s appointment is 60 months or five years. In this timeframe, consular fellows do impactful work in the consular sections of U.S. embassies and consulates abroad. In the video, Kellie mentions that even though consular fellows have limited-term appointments, some of her friends that were consular fellows went on to become officers in the Foreign Service.
Thank you Kellie for sharing your experiences and journey of what it was like to be a consular fellow. If this opportunity sounds interesting to you, be sure to check out this video. Your adventure awaits!
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