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 program enables 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.
Interested in learning about diplomacy, exploring global issues, community activism and American culture? Then you should apply for the 2022 Benjamin Franklin Summer Institute at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. The fellowship takes place from June 25 to July 23, 2022, all costs will be paid for. The application deadline is February 19, 2022.
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Most Important 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.
Candidates nominated for this Fellowship will:
- be born between June 26, 2004, and June 26, 2006 (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 program;
- 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, co-ed 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.
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. They are expected to fully participate in the academic program and the follow-on activities in their home countries. They should attend all lectures and organized activities, complete assigned readings, and be ready to share their culture with Americans. They should be made aware that the program is very intensive and that there will be no time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program.
Participants will travel to the United States on J-1 visas, there should be no fees incurred for the J-1 visa application. Participants are not allowed to arrive in the U.S. prior to the start date of the program 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.
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.