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Educational Exchange Programs

Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute June - July 2017

Deadline for submitting the Application Form is March 1, 2017

Program Background

The initiative is named after the legendary American statesman and diplomat Benjamin Franklin.  In today's terms, Franklin could be called a transatlantic man, someone whose career, interests, studies and life took him back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean, bringing Americans and Europeans closer in understanding.  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.

 Goals of the Institute

  • to develop a commitment to transatlantic cooperation;
  • to foster relationships between American and European youth from different ethnic, religious, and national groups;
  • to promote mutual understanding between the United States and Europe/Eurasia;
  • to develop a cadre of youth leaders who will share their knowledge and skills with their peers through positive action.

The four-week Benjamin Franklin Summer Institute enables 16-18 year old secondary school or gymnasium students (born between June 24, 1998 and June 24, 2001) to participate in intensive activities such as training sessions, workshops, community-based programs, study tours, and cultural events. Participants will work together on a joint project that presents and promotes the stated goals and objectives of the Institute.

Before and during the Institute, students will gather information on young adults' views about one or two areas of common or global interest, such as sustainable development, inter-ethnic cooperation, or human rights.  The program will also provide the participants with a new perspective on mass media and how they learn about each other and the communities they live in, and the broader media culture.  This will include training on the critical reading of printed, broadcast, and electronic media and the ability to judge the content and accuracy for themselves.  Training will cover communication and presentation skills, problem solving, and team building.  Community service activities, social and cultural activities, and home stays with American families will deepen the participants' experience of U.S. society during their exchange.

 Recruitment/Candidate Profile
Applicants 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.

It is important that applicants have exhibited serious interest in pursuing leadership opportunities in their home countries, and demonstrate a genuine desire to learn first-hand about the United States, its people, society, and institutions. It is also very important that nominees 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, participants 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.

Candidate Qualifications

  • Between 16 and 18 years of age as of June 24 in the program year;
  • Highly proficient in English to be demonstrated in a personal interview ;
  • Committed to enrolling in high school or university in their home countries;
  • Demonstrate strong leadership potential and interest in transatlantic relations and diplomacy;
  • Indicate a serious interest in learning about the United States;
  • Sustained high level of academic achievement, as indicated by academic grades, awards, and teacher recommendations;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to community and extracurricular activities;
  • Have had no prior U.S. study or travel experience in the United States;
  • Mature, responsible, independent, confident, open-minded, tolerant, thoughtful and inquisitive;
  • Willing and able to fully participate in an intensive summer program, community service, and active educational travel program;
  • Comfortable with campus life, shared living accommodations, travel and interaction with a multinational, coed group of participants from across Europe and the U.S., and comfortable with engaging various Americans in the broader community; able to adjust to cultural and social practices different from those of their home countries.


Costs for all U.S.-based activities will be covered by the organizers and hosts in the U.S.

International travel and pre-departure costs will be covered by the U.S. Embassy or home country partners and /or sponsors secured by the embassy.

All embassies will provide a pre-departure orientation to the accepted Fellow(s) to review the details of the program, cross-cultural issues, travel and financial matters.  Since many participants will be minors and will be traveling from their home country alone, the U.S. grantee organization will provide adult chaperones who will accompany participants on flights between one or two European airports to the location of Summer Institute and back.

Deadline for submitting the APPLICATION FORM is MARCH 1 2017

via e-mail at





  Please read the following before filling out the APPLICATION FORM:

 The form must include complete biographical data in the precise alphabetical order provided below without deleting the text in the form. Please take your time and elaborate on your background and interest in the program. Remember, the U.S Embassy committee will get acquainted with you through the information you provide in writing. It is not just a CV, but in many ways your letter of motivation to become a Franklin Fellow representing the Republic of Estonia. Your personal application, items A – U, should not exceed three pages. Please submit the Application Form as a Word document by March 1, 2017. 

The subject line of your e-mail with the Application Form must include the following:

2017 BFTF [name of the applicant]


A.  Last (family) name as on passport:

B.  First name as on passport:

C.  Middle name(s) as on passport:

D.  Date of birth (month/day/year):

E.  City of birth:

F.  Country of birth:

G.  Country of residence:

H.  Country of citizenship:

I.   Gender (male /female):

J.   Position and class/course year (e.g. "Secondary School Student, Year 10"’):

K.  Nominee's full postal address (incl. postal code):

L.  Telephone number:

M.  E-mail address:

N.  Medical, physical, dietary, or other personal considerations (at this time, no physical examination is required to participate in the program although the U.S. host institution may have specific requirements):

O.  Where do you study? Name of high school or college:

P.  Your field of study (if you major in a subject). Sample: English language, art, science, etc.

Q.  Any other relevant educational, academic and professional experience or training you have had:

R.  Active memberships, special interests, or extracurricular activities you like to attend:

S.  Previous travel and study experience in the United States (if applicable).  Please include dates and indicate whether such travel was supported by the U.S. government funds

T.  Evidence of competence in written and oral English (a school report, teacher’s evaluation) can be provided as an attachment to the application.

U.  Your future study or career plans: 



V.  IMPORTANT: Statement from home institution (a school administrator, teacher or coach) justifying the selection of the nominee for the program. This support letter should focus on the candidate’s  qualifications (see program overview), and has to include the contact data of the supporter (name, title, e-mail).

It is preferred that the STATEMENT is submitted together with the application.


Deadline for submitting the 2017 APPLICATION FORM is March 1, 2017

via e-mail at







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