Oct 26, 2017

Almost everyone has the ambition to work and live abroad because as they say, the grass is greener on the other side. Filipinos who work abroad often work for a foreign company or work in an airline company, but you can also serve our beloved country while working abroad. You can do this by becoming a Philippine diplomat.

Recently, I stumbled upon a Facebook post from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on how to become one. To begin with, you should be a Filipino citizen of legal age, must be a bachelor’s degree holder, and must have two years of work experience or must be pursuing further studies.

That sounds easy, right? But wait.

To be a Philippine diplomat, you must pass the Foreign Service Officer Exam (FSOE). The exam is divided into five parts.

Qualifying exam
First, you must take the qualifying exam administered by the Civil Service Commission (CSC). It basically tests verbal, analytical, numerical, and managerial abilities. To pass this exam, you must get a mark of at least 80 percent.

Preliminary interview
The second step is a preliminary interview with a panel of foreign service officers. The officers will evaluate your capabilities and potential to be a foreign service officer and ambassador of the Philippines. Familiarize yourself with current policies and political circumstances as this could be the key to pass this stage.

Do those sound easy? Well, brace yourself for the remaining rounds.

An extensive written exam
The next one is another written test. However, you might want to review the Treaty of Versailles, hegemonic stability theory, and etc. This written exam includes questions on “English, Filipino, Philippine political, economic, social and cultural conditions, international affairs, world history, and foreign language.” A lot of aspirants may worry about the foreign language component. If you have yet to learn a foreign language, some people suggest that you take up Spanish since it’s easy to learn. The exam is a three-day test so yes, it sounds like you really need to prepare for it.

Psychological test
Once you’ve passed the written test, the next will require you to undergo a psychological test. It usually takes a whole day, so DFA suggests that you rest well before the test.

Another set of extensive oral exams
The final round is another three-day oral test that includes an individual interview, a panel discussion, and a formal dinner. The test analyzes your oral, critical thinking, and analytical skills along with your attitude. According to a Reddit thread, you’ll need to prepare for an impromptu speech on any topic during the formal dinner. Also, you must prepare your best Filipiniana for this portion.

To pass the exam, you must get an overall average of 80 percent. That is still not the end, however. Names of those who passed will then be submitted to the President for a possible appointment.

Well, the process to become a foreign service officer is indeed tedious—because the role of a diplomat is no easy task. For the 2016 FSOE, only 26 passed out of 527 examinees. In some cases, some say that no one passed some examinations. But with proper preparation, it’s definitely not impossible.

So if you plan to take the test, be sure to read a lot and prepare well and dress well—a good Filipiniana may make a good impression after all.

The deadline for the FSOE application is on Dec. 8, 2017 at 5 p.m.

Header image courtesy of Inquirer.

Read more:
Larry Itliong: The forgotten Filipino hero in American history
Three reasons why you should explore the Philippines first before flying out
How to incorporate local weaves into your wardrobe

TAGS: abroad civil service commission department of foreign affairs diplomat foreign service exam nolisoli.ph