Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute for High School Students - Summer 2017

Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute for High School Students - Summer 2017

The U.S. Embassy Budapest is soliciting applications for the 2017 Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute. The Institute will take place in June and July, 2017 at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  All costs, including domestic and international travel, will be covered by the U.S. Embassy Budapest. Only students born between June 24, 1999 and June 24, 2001 are eligible for participation in the program. Only Hungarian citizens residing in Hungary are eligible to apply. The application deadline is March 10, 2017.

The Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute

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 four week program will enable teenagers, ages 16-18, to explore themes 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. 

Applicant 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 including maturity, strong social skills, flexibility, and open-mindedness. Applicants must also 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, applicants 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.

During the academic residency, participants will also 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, and the media. Upon their return home, participants will implement service projects in their communities and present an alumni project plan to a youth-serving or youth-centered organization in their home country. 

Applicant Qualifications 

Applicants 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. 

Students applying for this Fellowship will:

  • be born between June 24, 1999, and June 24, 2001 (i.e., be 16, 17, or 18 years of age at the time of the program start).       
  • be highly proficient in English; be committed to enrolling in high school or university in Hungary in fall 2017, following completion of the Institute;
  • 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, community service, and active educational travel   program;
  • 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 with engaging various Americans in the broader community; and
  • be able to adjust to cultural and social practices different from those of their home countries.

The Application Process

The application process is very competitive; we received over eight hundred applications last year.

Applicants should have one of their teachers write a recommendation in English attesting to their academic merits and personal skills and upload/copy the recommendation into Google Form before submitting their application. Recommendations submitted in any other way will not be considered.

The application deadline is March 10, 2017. Applications received after the March 10, 2017 deadline will not be considered.  Applications will be reviewed after the submission deadline and students will be shortlisted based on the merit of their application. Applicants who have little or no prior U.S. study or travel experience will be given priority.

Applicants who are not shortlisted will be notified before March 30 that they have not advanced to the next round. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an in-person interview in Budapest and will be notified about the result of the interview before April 10, 2017. The U.S. Embassy will select one primary and one secondary candidate.

Please click on the following link to apply for the program: