8164
Florida
The US Foreign Service: Representing America Abroad
Get to know America’s first line of defense as you speak with Foreign Service Officers, learning about foreign policy, international intrigue and fascinating stories of life abroad.
Rating (5)
Program No. 8164RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,049
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6 days
5 nights
12 meals
5 B 3 L 4 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
St. Petersburg, FL
D
Staybridge Suites

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: 5:00 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: In the hotel meeting room, we’ll have a buffet welcome dinner with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Intro., State Dept. Challenges, Perspectives on North Korea
St. Petersburg, FL
B,L,D
Staybridge Suites

Breakfast: In our meeting room at the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers hot items such as eggs (boiled or scrambled) and meat (bacon or sausage), as well as cereal, fresh fruit, yogurt, breakfast bread or pastry milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We will begin the program with a general introduction to and overview of the United States Foreign Service, our diplomatic corps that operates out of the State Department. While America has had envoys working on our behalf since before the Revolutionary War, the foreign service was reorganized by the Foreign Service Act of 1924 that merged the diplomatic and consular personnel and functions. We’ll learn about the history and structure, understand the differences between embassies and missions, ask and answer questions. After a short refreshment break, we will learn about and discuss challenges the State Department faces and uncharted territory in the current environment.

Lunch: In the hotel.

Afternoon: We will be joined by one of our most experienced former Foreign Affairs officers who will discuss the current situation with North Korea. Next, we will board a bus for a field trip through St. Petersburg with our Group Leader who will provide commentary about some of the interesting neighborhoods.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: We will gather in our meeting room to view a National Geographic documentary — “Ambassador: Inside the Embassy” — that explores the world of diplomatic relations focusing on the experience of ambassadors in Japan, Pakistan, and Guatemala. The filmmakers were granted unprecedented access to go behind the scenes in these remarkably different countries and present an insider’s view of what it takes to practice the arts of diplomacy, sometimes in crisis situations, to promote peace and protect American citizens while advancing the interests of the U.S. abroad.

DAY
3
Diplomatic-Military Cooperation, US-China, Families Overseas
St. Petersburg, FL
B,L,D
Staybridge Suites

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will be joined by another retired Senior Foreign Service Officer who will address diplomatic-military cooperation overseas. We’ll learn about the importance of joint cooperation to implement U.S. policy abroad. We’ll take a short break, then have our second lecture of the morning with our lecturer who will discuss U.S.-China relations.

Lunch: Hotel buffet.

Afternoon: Ed Fugit will return to share the experiences and challenges of living and raising children overseas while in the U.S. Foreign Service. We’ll then board a bus and for an expert led exploration of a local museum.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: For a change of pace, we’ll enjoy a demonstration of Tai Chi. Tai Chi is an ancient system of mind and body practices involving different postures and gentle movements with related mental focus, breathing, and relaxation. We’ll have an opportunity to engage in Tai Chi for ourselves.

DAY
4
Putin & His Plans, Policy, Tales of the Foreign Service
St. Petersburg, FL
B,L
Staybridge Suites

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Our most experienced retired foreign officer will join us again to discuss Vladimir Putin and his plans, which — given current events — is sure to be eye-opening. After a short refreshment break, we’ll be joined by a retired career ambassador who will tell us how the U.S. Foreign Service helps formulate and implement policies that further our national interests, both in theory and practice.

Lunch: Hotel buffet.

Afternoon: Next, we will hear from a retired Foreign Service Officer about diplomatic service in various places around the world and some of the adventures that ensued. Through anecdotes and stories — non-classified, of course! — we’ll gain an appreciation and understanding of life in the Foreign Service. The remainder of the afternoon is free.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Angela Merkel’s Leadership, Catalan Independence, Wrap-up
St. Petersburg, FL
B,D
Staybridge Suites

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: With another retired Foreign Service officer, we will explore the leadership vacuum in Europe and how Angela Merkel helps to fill it. We’ll pause for a refreshment break, then resume with our lecturer to appreciate and discuss the situation in Spain and the fight for Catalan Independence. During a wrap-up session, we’ll discuss the program and have Q&A — an opportunity to ask all the remaining questions that have come to mind.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. You might like to go out independently and explore downtown St. Petersburg, where museums, cafés, the beautiful waterfront, and other points of interest are within easy walking distance (2-5 blocks) of the hotel.

Dinner: We will re-group in the hotel lobby and take our bus to a local restaurant for a plated meal; coffee, tea, water included, other beverages available for purchase. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
St. Petersburg, FL
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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