Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute 2018

The U.S. Embassy in Minsk announces the application season for the 2018 Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute, an intensive four-week exchange program for young people aged 16-18 years that focuses on the global issues faced by European and American youth on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Deadline for applications is January 31, 2018.

The initiative is named after the legendary American statesman and diplomat Benjamin Franklin. His interests, studies and life took him back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean, bringing Americans and Europeans closer in understanding. Even 300 years after his birth, Franklin’s life offers inspiration to young citizens of today in the effort to bridge the Atlantic. As a diplomat and a printer, he leveraged the powers of diplomacy and of the media to explore how Americans and Europeans see each other and the world.

The goals of the Institute are to develop a commitment to transatlantic cooperation, to foster relationships between American and European youth from different ethnic, religious, and national groups, and to develop a cadre of youth leaders who will share their knowledge and skills with their peers through positive action.

The four-week Institute, offered in June and July of 2018, will accommodate up to 45 Fellows. It will be hosted by Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

One principal and one alternate candidate will be chosen from Belarus.

The Institute will focus primarily on an exploration of issues through interactive activities, practical experiences, and other hands-on opportunities.  Participants will learn more about volunteer service, 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 both provides rights to and imposes responsibilities on citizens.  Fellows will participate in a variety of activities such as training sessions, workshops, community-based programs, study tours, and cultural events.

Eligibility Requirements

Successful candidates must:

– be born between June 22, 1999, and June 22, 2002 (i.e., be 16, 17, or 18 years of age at the time of the program start);
– be highly proficient in English;
– 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.


Please send your completed application form to with the subject line “BFTF” by 23:59 (Minsk time) on January 31, 2018.