Advanced Foreign Service Program

About Advanced Foreign Service Program

As a young, developing democracy, Azerbaijan faces an urgent need for strong people who can represent the country across the world. Azerbaijan has one of the world’s fastest growing and reforming economies; the country is booming and human capacity needs to catch up. Today, the development of civil servants and Foreign Service officers is of utmost importance. Our Advanced Foreign Service Program (AFSP) helps meet that need by providing officers with the specific training they require to meet the country’s requirements.

Entry-, mid- and senior-level officers all benefit from the program’s curriculum, which allows them to choose their fields of study in developing their particular management and diplomatic leadership skills. They also benefit from learning crucial skills needed for interagency dialogue and collaboration.

To ensure maximum interaction and personalized attention, no class size exceeds 30 students at one time. Two-thirds of the AFSP class is composed of Foreign Service officers, while one-third attracts civil servants from other agencies of the Azerbaijani Government.

AFSP is designed for Foreign Service officers and other civil servants working in the realm of international affairs. Civil servants get a unique chance to update their skills in international relations and other fields of study that could come in handy in their profession. They get to communicate with distinguished professors and trainers from prestigious universities, international organizations and think tanks of Europe, Asia, the United States and the Middle East. They also benefit from the ADA University faculty and guest speakers from the MFA and other government agencies. 

The language of instruction in AFSP is English. Some public events are held in the Azerbaijani language. Participants receive an exceptional opportunity to enhance their skills of writing and speaking English.

AFSP holds two semesters per year, in the fall and spring. Enrollment starts two months prior to the start of a semester. Applicants should work in the field of international affairs and have an upper-intermediate or advanced level of English language proficiency.

AFSP lasts six months for entry-level civil servants. For mid-career civil servants, AFSP offers a three to four month, module-based program.

Fields of Study

The six areas of study in the AFSP include:


The Consular Affairs field of study offers short-term training courses, where students learn how to protect the interests of Azerbaijani citizens abroad. Some of the training includes learning how to assist victims of crime, and how to conduct visa application interviews. Students also learn best practices in addressing policy and procedural issues as well as how to interpret consular law and regulations. Students are given the opportunity to practice the leadership skills they need to carry out consular procedures and guide the day-to-day business of a consular section effectively. Our teaching methods include solving case studies and participating in mock scenarios followed by analytical discussions.
The International Politics, Law and Organizations field offers short-term training courses, where students learn about paradigms and models of national and international politics and the differences between bilateral and multilateral reporting and negotiating. Students master effective interviewing strategies and learn how to prepare memoranda and other written materials. This field includes the study of examples of successful political representation and gives students the chance to participate in simulations of actual cases. Topics of study and training include and are not limited to: national security interests of Azerbaijan, current global issues, human rights in the foreign policy making process, arms control and non-proliferation, the combating of terrorism, and international negotiation skills.
The Economic Affairs field offers short-term training courses, where students learn to integrate political issues with economic issues while enhancing their skills in negotiating economic questions. Topics of study and training include: international trade relations and diplomacy; World Trade Organization history and principles; the petroleum and gas industry; tourism, banking and finance, investments promotion, customs, and taxes. The courses from this area of study are designed to provide the analytical and policy tools required by economic officers. There will be an emphasis on international oil and petroleum markets and building familiarity with the dispute resolution mechanisms for bilateral and multilateral agreements to which Azerbaijan is a party. Students will practice new skills through case studies and in-depth class discussions.
Courses in the Public Diplomacy field of study will help students understand how best to reach out to the Diaspora and tell the Azerbaijani story to foreign audiences. Classes will look closely at the trends of public diplomacy and the role that civil society plays in diplomacy. Students will also look at how foreign culture intersects with foreign policy. The Public Diplomacy field focuses on developing strategies for handling the most difficult public diplomacy issues and situations. Exchange programs are also studied as part of this field.
The Leadership Development field is primarily offered to build and enhance the leadership and management skills of Foreign Service officers and civil servants. It is designed to improve the functioning of the Azerbaijani government in the area of international affairs and its sub-disciplines. A major objective of the program is also to advance interagency dialogue and collaboration within the government. Courses range from team building to effective communications to organizational development and change management.
Courses in Area Studies provide knowledge about a region or country and study Azerbaijan’s interests and policies related to that area. Area Studies covers the history, politics, economics, religion, society and culture of a specific country or region. Course instructors will be acknowledged experts in these areas and will provide students not only with academic expertise, but also real life advice on how to work effectively in the societies involved.