About FSI Courses

The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) is the United States Government’s primary training institution for officers and support personnel of the U.S. foreign affairs community, preparing American diplomats and other professionals to advance U.S. foreign affairs interests overseas and in Washington. At the George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center, the FSI provides more than 600 courses—including some 70 foreign languages—to more than 100,000 enrollees a year from the State Department and more than 40 other government agencies and the military service branches.

The courses provided on this site are the original courses developed by the FSI.  The audio has been digitally remastered in MP3 format to provide the highest possible sound quality.  All courses also come with a detailed student handbook that is to be used in conjuction with the audio portion of the course.

FSI has three general types of courses: (1) Basic, (2) FAST, and (3) Headstart.  The Basic courses are intended to be intensive 6-month training programs that help students master both formal and informal conversation in the foreign langauge.  The FAST courses are designed as a Familiarization and Short-term Training course, which require substantially less to time to complete that the basic course.  Finally, the Headstart courses are intended to provide an orientation to the foreign language and culture, enabling the student to communicate with natives in several basic situations.

Each course is delivered on a DVD containing both the MP3 audio lessons and the student handbook in PDF format, which allows for easy printing and searching.  The audio lessons can also be transferred to your iPod or MP3 player for easy listening on the go.