The Foreign Service Journal - November 2014 - page 14

14
NOVEMBER 2014
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
F
rom stories of expat living to analyses of different countries and their
respective international schools, the website
Tales from a Small Planet
(talesmag.com) is the quintessential tool for Foreign Service families. Whether
you’re headed to Vietnam or Switzerland, big embassy or small consulate,
Tales
offers clear, concise infor-
mative tips on life there. And if it
doesn’t, then you can create that
content.
Tales
was a spinoff from
the
SUN
newsletter (Spouses’
Underground Newsletter),
created in 1991 by authors and
Foreign Service family members
Francesca Kelly and Fritz Galt.
SUN
had a small but devoted
following for nine years. With the
rise of the Internet,
SUN
moved
online in 2000 and evolved into a small nonprofit,
Tales from a Small Planet,
to
run the website.
The site aims to be a forum for collecting and sharing free and unbiased
information about “what it’s really like to live there” for cities and countries
around the world. Anyone can contribute to the content for the site, and many
uncensored views are reflected there.
Tales
has helped countless international
employees and family members as they evaluate options for future assign-
ments or gain insight into the place they are headed.
Tales
gives expats the opportunity to contribute stories of their adventures
in four categories: cross-cultural encounters, adjusting to life in another coun-
try, short fiction about living abroad and bizarre experiences.
For the highly popular Real Post Reports section, users are encouraged to
answer detailed questions about places they’ve served. Questions include: Are
there problems with racial, religious or gender prejudices? Are there any health
concerns?What is the availability and relative cost of groceries and household
supplies?
For those with kids, the Real Schools Reports, which includes community
members’ inputs about international schools in many cities worldwide, can be
invaluable. Parents and teachers comment on the type of education offered,
classroom sizes, teacher-parent communication and the school’s strengths
and weaknesses.
No matter how long you’ve been in the Foreign Service, a new post can be
daunting and stressful.
Tales from a Small Planet
is like a
Yelp
or
Trip Advisor
for Foreign Service families, and well worth a look.
n
—Editorial Intern Trevor Smith and Editor Shawn Dorman
SITE OF THE MONTH:
Tales from a Small Planet
1...,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,...100
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