Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute 2022

The U.S. Embassy in Minsk is pleased to announce the open competition for the 2022 Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship.

The program is scheduled to take place in-person from June 25-July 23, 2022, contingent upon the feasibility and safety of in-person programming.

About the Program:

The four-week program hosted by Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, is an intensive short-term exchange program, created to foster relationships among young Europeans and Americans to build strong linkages and awareness of shared values. The program will enable students, 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 program, 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, disinformation, and the media.  The program will explore how freedom of expression provides rights to and imposes responsibilities on citizens.

Eligibility criteria:

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.

  • English Language Ability:  All candidates must be proficient in English so that they can actively participate in the program.

Candidates nominated for this Fellowship will:

  • be born between June 26, 2004, 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 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.

Participants will travel to the United States on J-1 visas.  There is no fees 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.

If you have any questions about Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship application process, please contact Public Diplomacy Section of the U.S. Embassy in Minsk:

Applications are due by email to no later than February 25, 6:00 p.m.(Minsk time), with a subject line “BFTF”.

A complete application package includes: