Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute

Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute

 Call for Proposals is now: OPEN

Deadline: January 15, 2020

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava are pleased to announce a four-week summer institute for young Europeans and Americans, called the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows (BFTF) Summer Institute. The institute aims to foster relationships among younger generations of Europeans and Americans to promote awareness of shared values in light of the global challenges of the 21st century.

As a participant in the BFTF Summer Institute you will experience an intensive, four-week exchange program in the United States that allows you to explore U.S. foreign policy priorities such as youth engagement, support for democracy and civil society, and economic prosperity.

The program will take place in June and July of 2020; exact dates will be communicated later. The institute will be hosted by Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

All costs of the program are fully covered by the State Department and the U.S. Embassy Bratislava.

Program Description

The program will consist of a series of lectures, seminar discussions and presentations, and a broad assortment of practical, faculty- and mentor-led workshops. The coursework and classroom activities will be complemented by community service activities, site visits, social and cultural activities, and homestays with American families to deepen participants’ experience of U.S. society during their exchange.

During the academic residency, participants also will have the opportunity to discuss other topics such as democratic practices, conflict resolution, problem solving, communication skills, critical thinking, tolerance and respect for diversity, youth leadership, team building, and the media. The institute will explore how freedom of expression provides rights to and imposes responsibilities on citizens.

Upon their return home, participants will implement service projects in their communities and present an alumni project plan to a youth-serving or youth-centered organization in their home country. These organizations may include the U.S. Mission Youth Councils, American Corners or American Spaces, and exchange alumni associations.

Candidate Qualifications

All candidates are expected to have a strong interest in learning about diplomacy, the transatlantic relationship, the role of a free press in a democratic society, and public or community service. They should have a strong demonstrated interest in communications, advocacy, debate, and/or civic participation. They should have the academic aptitude for a program of this intensity and the personal qualities needed to be successful, including

maturity, strong social skills, flexibility, and open-mindedness.

To apply for this unique opportunity, you should:

  • be born between June 22, 2002, and June 22, 2004 (i.e., be 16, 17, or 18 years of age at the time of the program start);
  • be highly proficient in English, as demonstrated in a personal interview or the results of a standardized test;
  • be committed to enrolling in high school or university in their home countries in fall 2019, following completion of the institute;
  • demonstrate strong leadership potential and interest in transatlantic relations and diplomacy;
  • indicate a serious interest in learning about the United States;
  • demonstrate a high level of academic achievement, as indicated by academic grades, awards, and teacher recommendations;
  • demonstrate a commitment to community and extracurricular activities;
  • have had little or no prior U.S. study or travel experience in the United States;
  • be mature, responsible, independent, confident, open-minded, tolerant, thoughtful and inquisitive;
  • be willing and able to fully participate in an intensive summer program, with community service and educational travel;
  • be comfortable with campus life, shared living accommodations, travel and interaction with a multinational, coed group of participants from across Europe and the United States;
  • be comfortable engaging with the Americans they meet in the host communities; and
  • be able to adjust to cultural and social practices different from those of their home countries.


U.S. Embassy Bratislava will follow up with the participants after the U.S. Institute and support them in alumni activities appropriate to the program goals.  The U.S. host institution will also provide long-distance support to alumni.

In order to apply, please submit by January 15, 2020 via e-mail to:

  • the completed Application form.
  • the EssayHow can youth help improve their community or country?

Please do not send documents in pdf!

A reference letter from a teacher, grades, awards are optional.