Testimonials Benjamin Franklin Summer Institute

Swiss Students are Inspired and Empowered by the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Summer Institute

Every year, the U.S. Embassy sends a Swiss student to the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute.  The Benjamin Franklin program is a fully-funded scholarship program in the U.S., during which participants learn about the opportunities and challenges of civil society.  Read the testimonials from former Swiss participants and learn about how being a fellow impacted their lives!


Sonja Bamert, Fellow 2019

“BFTF was about debating, conflicting ideas and views, about circumspection and insight into different cultures. Furthermore, it was a unique opportunity to get to know amazing and thoughtful people from all over Europe and America. The program encouraged me to find and open new doors and empowered me to make a change in my community. In short, we learned a lot, laughed even more and had a great time exploring America together.”

Dominik Schmidli, Fellow 2018

“The Benjamin Franklin Summer Institute was a unique experience to me. I met many new persons from many different countries. I learned a lot about diplomacy and American politics. In short, I would say that The Benjamin Franklin Summer Institute makes you a world citizen, and connects you with friends around the whole world.”

Evan Constantin, Fellow 2017

“My life has completely changed thanks to the Benjamin Franklin Summer Institute. I have made lifelong friendships with bright students from all around Europe and the United States, and have set a clear path concerning projects I’m currently working on and fields I would like to study after high school.”

Carole Marullaz, Fellow 2014

“The Benjamin Franklin Summer Institute is meeting life-long friends. It is empowering. It is opening your mind. It is learning a lot, and laughing even more. It is seeing a country from the inside, and hearing about it from locals. But most of all, it gives every fellow the confidence they need to believe in their ability to do everything they want.”

Olivia Winiger, Fellow 2013

“The most inspiring thing about the Benjamin Franklin Summer Institute experience was meeting the other fellows. They gave me an example of how to take responsibility for your own life and stand up for your values in each moment. This is how we can change the world – by starting where we currently are.”

Shrine Rositta Arulanantham, Fellow 2013

“The Benjamin Franklin Summer Institute is a unique experience to meet amazing people. The people I met there had and have, even now, a real impact on my personal life as well as on my student life (4th year of medicine). This stay allowed me to open myself, to become more tolerant and develop a critical mind. It’s an unforgettable experience any way you look at it.”

Baptiste Pasquier, Fellow 2011

“In 2011 I was given the opportunity to spend 1 month at the Wake Forest University with over 60 other participants from all over Europe and the United States. On the program: Classes on diplomacy, debating, social movements and media, a trip to Philadelphia and Williamsburg to discover U.S. history, a meeting with diplomats from the State Department in Washington. Having had the chance to be part of such a cultural exchange program has taught me a lot about myself, about tolerance and about what can be accomplished with motivation and open-mindedness. I encourage everyone to apply for this project.”