Benjamin Franklin Fellowship 2020

The application season for the 2020 Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Summer Institutes in the United States is now open.  Please email your completed application form to the U.S. Embassy in Tirana by December 16, 2019.


Applications should be emailed to CultureandEducationTirana@state.gov

The 2020 Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Summer Institute will last four-weeks, from June to July, 2020 at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, (pending availability of funds).  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;
  • to promote mutual understanding between the United States and Europe;
  • to develop a cadre of youth leaders who will share their knowledge and skills with their peers through positive action.

The four-week Institute will accommodate up to 55 Fellows total, ages 16 to 18. The Institute will host 45 European students and 10 Americans.  Institute activities include discussion of global issues of common interest, leadership and media training, collaborative project development, community service, educational travel, and plans for follow-on activities. 

Recruitment/Candidate profile:

The successful candidate should have a strong interest in learning more about the transatlantic relationship, the role of a free press in a democracy, and an interest in public or community service.  He/She should have a strong demonstrated interest in communications, advocacy, debate, or civic participation.

He/She should have the academic aptitude for a program of this nature and the 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.

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

General Candidate Qualifications:
  • be born between June 22, 2002, and June 22, 2004 (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 2020, 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, 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.
Application Process

To apply, candidates must complete the application form located here. The essays and personal statements in the application will be evaluated based on content, grammar, spelling and structure.

Successful applicants will be contacted via email to schedule an interview at the U.S. Embassy in Tirana.

  • Deadline for submission of application forms: December 16, 2019
  • Committee reviews application forms: January-February, 2020
  • Selected candidates are notified and invited for an interview: February, 2020
  • Successful applicants are notified: February 2020

Applications should be emailed to CultureandEducationTirana@state.gov as one word document. Only applications submitted in the required format and marked with the subject line 2020 Ben Franklin Application will be reviewed.