Foreign Service Youth Foundation Established

From its early years, AAFSW provided opportunities for Foreign Service children to socialize, ranging from dances to picnics and camping trips.  In 1983, Around the World in a Lifetime (AWAL) was formed. This group was established by teens and their parents to assist young people with reentry or to prepare them for an overseas assignment. In 1989, AAFSW joined with the FLO and others to incorporate the Foreign Service Youth Foundation as the sponsoring body for AWAL. The Foundation also now supports a group for younger children. Visit for more information.

Weekend Events

Young people standing around a picnic table in 1975
Teen Getaway Weekend (1975) Sponsored by AAFSW.
Young people arriving on the shore of a lake in canoes
Teen Getaway Weekend (1975) Sponsored by AAFSW.

Holiday Dances

“They came from Dakar and Panama, Moscow and Madrid and even the University of North Dakota to have a ball, and incidentally practice up on their protocol. “They” are the sons and daughters of State Department and Foreign Service personnel who gathered at the Chevy Chase Woman’s Club Thursday night for the traditional Christmas Dance given for them by the Association of American Foreign Service Women.”

Washington Post; December 31, 1961, “Foreign Service Teens Have a Ball”, no author listed
December 1975 Teen Dance sponsored by AAFSW

Foreign Service Journal – Feb. 1965, p. 36-37


Around the World in a Lifetime (AWAL)

Shuffled from post to post at the whim of the US government, the children of foreign service officers are seasoned diplomats relying on a self-taught skill – adjustment.  Adjusting to new languages, to strange customs, to impossible living conditions, they carry on.  That is, until they are asked to make the biggest adjustment of all – return to the United States.  Here, these kids can fall to pieces.

Sponsored by the Overseas Briefing Committee, the Family Liaison Office and AAFSW, AWAL has grown to almost 200 members.  Members come and go, some snatched away by a new transfer, some braced enough by AWAL to approach their new American life alone, but the core of the group remains, working to make kids feel at home.  The group organizes parties and several retreats, the biggest one being in the fall, which is mainly a reentry workshop for those who returned during the summer.”

Washington Post; 1986, “Coming Home to a Foreign Land”; Author: Nina Killham


Foreign Service Youth Foundation established


30 Years of FSYF – Foreign Service Journal – Sept. 2019, pp. 42-44