The Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Summer Institute
09.01.2014

The application season for the 2014 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 Monday, February 24, 2014.

Applications should be emailed to usemb-essaycompetition@state.gov.

The 2014 Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Summer Institutes will last four-weeks, from June 28 – July 26, 2014.  The goals of the Institutes 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.
Two four-week Institutes, offered in summer 2014, will accommodate up to 90 Fellows total, ages 16 to 18. Each Institute will be designed for 35 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:

Successful candidates 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.  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.

Two principal and two alternate candidates will be chosen from Albania.

General Candidate Qualifications:

a. Between 16 and 18 years of age as of June 28, 2014;

b. Highly proficient in English, as demonstrated in a personal interview or the results of a standardized test;

c. Committed to enrolling in high school or university in their home countries in fall 2014, following completion of the Institute;

d. Demonstrate strong leadership potential and interest in transatlantic relations and diplomacy;

e. Indicate a serious interest in learning about the United States;

f. Sustained high level of academic achievement, as indicated by academic grades, awards, and teacher recommendations;

g. Demonstrate a commitment to community and extracurricular activities;

h. Have had little or no prior U.S. study or travel experience in the United States;

i. Be mature, responsible, independent, confident, open-minded, tolerant, thoughtful and  inquisitive;

j. Willing and able to fully participate in an intensive summer program, community service, and active educational travel program;

k. 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.

More information about the program can be found at the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Institute website: http://www.bftf.org/

Application Process

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

The personal statement should indicate why the candidate wishes to participate in the 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. Candidates should discuss one of the following four topics: (1) the importance of strong international relations between the United States and Europe or Albania, (2) the importance of a free press to a democracy, (3) the importance of public or community service, or (4) the importance of tolerance and inclusiveness in a democratic and free society. The essays and personal statements will be reviewed for grammar, spelling and structure.

Successful applicants will be notified by email of an in-person interview to be conducted at the U.S. Embassy in Tirana. The personal interview will last approximately 10-20 minutes.


Timeline:

Deadline for submission of application forms:                     February 24, 2014

Committee reviews application forms:                                   February 24-March 9, 2014

Finalists are notified of their status:                                         March 10, 2014

Finalists attend personal interviews:                                       March 17, 2014

Successful applicants are notified:                                            March 24, 2014