Benjamin Franklin Fellowship

FY 2022 Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship
Application deadline:  February 27, 2022

The U.S. Embassy Vilnius is pleased to invite 16-18 year candidates from all secondary schools and gymnasia for the 2022 Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute.  The four week institute will address U.S. foreign policy priorities such as youth engagement, democracy and civil society development, and economic prosperity.  The program will take place from June 25-July 23, 2022 at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Program Description:

The Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute is an intensive short term exchange program whose purpose is to foster relationships among young Europeans and Americans to build strong linkages and an awareness of shared values.  The four week program will enable teenagers, ages 16-18, to explore U.S. foreign policy priorities such as youth engagement, support for democracy and civil society, and economic prosperity.  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 will also 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 also 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 American Corner or exchange alumni associations.

Program Requirements and Restrictions:

Candidates must exhibit demonstrable interest in pursuing leadership opportunities in their home countries, and convey a genuine desire to learn about the United States and its people, society, and institutions.  Participants are not allowed to arrive in the U.S. prior to the start date of the Institute or to remain in the U.S. after its end date.  Violations of program rules, host institution rules, or local, state or federal laws can be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.  All costs will be covered by the U.S. Department of State.

English Language Ability:

All candidates must be proficient in English so that they can actively participate in the academic program.  No tests are required, but the English language teacher should evaluate the candidate’s proficiency.

Candidate Description and 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 nature and the personal qualities needed to be successful, including maturity, strong social skills, flexibility, and open-mindedness.

Candidates will:

– be born between June 26, 2003, and June 26, 2006 (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 2022, 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 teacher recommendations;
– demonstrate a commitment to community and extracurricular activities, as indicated by teacher recommendation;
– 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, community service, and active educational travel program;
– be comfortable with campus life, shared living accommodations, travel and interaction with a multinational, co-ed group of participants from across Europe and the United States;
– be comfortable with engaging various Americans in the broader community; and
– be able to adjust to cultural and social practices different from those of their home countries.

Nomination Format:  Please submit applications and a teacher’s recommendation letter by e-mail no later than February 27, 2022.  Please follow the application format as provided.

Application form can be found here or on the upper right corner under “Additional Resources”.