Benjamin Franklin Fellowship 2018

The application season for the 2018 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 January 3, 2018.

Applications should be emailed to CultureandEducationTirana@state.gov

The 2018 Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Summer Institute will last four-weeks, from June to July, 2018 at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (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 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, 1999, and June 22, 2002 (i.e., be 16, 17, or 18 years of age at the time of the start of the program);
  • Highly proficient in English, as demonstrated in a personal interview or the results of a standardized test;
  • Committed to enrolling in high school or university in their home countries 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;
  • 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 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;
  • 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 United States, 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.
  • This program is not open to U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent Residents.

Application Process

To apply, candidates must complete the application form located here (link), including the biographical information and short personal statement, and including a short essay.

The personal statement should indicate why the applicant believes that he/she is the best candidate for Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Summer Institute Program.

The essay should be no less than 500 and no more than 750 words in length, and must clearly articulate a thesis. The subject of the essay should be one of the following topics: (1) What is the biggest problem facing my country and what can I do to help address it?  (2) What makes me a good leader in my community? (3) How can social media be used for positive change?

The essays and personal statements 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: January 3, 2018
  • Committee reviews application forms: January-February, 2018
  • Selected candidates are notified and invited for an interview: End February, 2018
  • Successful applicants are notified: Early March 2018

Applications should be emailed to CultureandEducationTirana@state.gov as one word document with Ben Franklin Application in the Subject line.

You can access the Benjamin Franklin Application Form by clicking here (PDF 235 KB).

Applications should be emailed to CultureandEducationTirana@state.gov