The Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Summer Institute

Summer Scholarship Opportunity:  Apply for the Benjamin Franklin Summer Institute

The application season for the 2019 Benjamin Franklin Summer Institute in the United States is now open.

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 2019 Institute, a fully-funded scholarship program for students aged 16-18, will take place for four  in June/July 2019 (exact dates will be communicated later) on a U.S. college campus. Participants in the program from the U.S. and a wide range of other countries engage in discussions of global issues of common interest, leadership and media training, collaborative project development, community service, and educational travel and plans for follow-on activities.

For details on eligibility and application instructions please see below.

The Public Affairs Section of the United States Embassy in Bern is pleased to announce the exceptional opportunity to participate in the 2019 Transatlantic Summer Institute June / July 2019.  All costs will be paid for, deadline for application is March 8, 2019.

How to apply

The following information should be sent to bernpa@state.gov at the latest by March 8, 2019

  • Answers to questions in the attached form (PDF 180 KB)
  • Letter of motivation by the student
  • Recommendation letter of the main teacher and/or English teacher

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact bernpa@state.gov

The Summer Institutes will enable 1 teenager from Switzerland, aged 16-18, to participate in an intensive, four-week exchange program in the United States. The program focuses on the global issues that both European and American youth face, through interactive activities, practical experiences, and other hands-on opportunities.

 

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.

Program Host:  Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, will host the 2019 Institute.

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.

  • Be 16, 17, or 18 years of age at the time of the program start ;
  • Have the Swiss Nationality or holder of C-permit; when you have the American citizenship you are not eligible to apply;
  • 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 2018, 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, 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.

 

Candidate Profile
Nominees should have a strong interest in learning more about diplomacy, the transatlantic relationship, the role of a free press in a democracy, and public or community service.  They should have a strong demonstrated interest in communications, advocacy, debate, or civic participation. They should have the academic aptitude for a program of this nature and personal qualities needed to be successful participants, including maturity, strong social skills, flexibility, and open-mindedness. These factors are particularly important given the diverse group atmosphere of the Institute.  English fluency is required.

Nominees must exhibit serious interest in pursuing leadership opportunities in their home countries, and demonstrate a genuine desire to learn first-hand about the United States and its people, society, and institutions.  Nominees must also understand that, if selected, they will be expected to fully and seriously participate in all program components during the month, as well as in follow-up activities afterward in their home countries.  In addition, Fellows should be ready to inform and educate Americans about the cultures and societies of their home countries in non-structured gatherings and in public presentations.

Selected participants will travel to the United States on J-1 visas under the International Visitor government designation held by ECA’s Youth Programs Division (ECA/PE/C/PY), which will issue the DS-2019 forms.  There should be no fees incurred for the visa application or for SEVIS.  ECA will also provide travel health benefits through its Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE).

Since many participants will be minors and will be traveling from their home country alone, the U.S. host institutions will provide adult chaperones who will accompany participants on flights between one or two European airports to the United States and back.