The U.S Embassy in Tbilisi is pleased to announce the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Summer Institute for the summer of 2022. The program is scheduled to take place in person from June 25-July 23, 2022, contingent upon the feasibility and safety of in-person programming. The four-week program addresses U.S. foreign policy priorities such as youth engagement, democracy, and civil society development, and economic prosperity. The program will be hosted by Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
The Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship is an intensive short-term exchange program, created to foster relationships among young Europeans and Americans to build strong linkages and awareness of shared values. The four-week program will enable students, ages 16-18, to explore U.S. foreign policy priorities 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.
During the program, participants also will 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, disinformation, and the media. The program will explore how freedom of expression provides rights to and imposes responsibilities on citizens. 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. These organizations may include U.S. Mission Youth Councils, American Spaces, and exchange alumni associations.
Candidates 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. They are expected to fully participate in the academic program and the follow-on activities afterward in their home countries. They should attend all lectures and organized activities, complete assigned readings, and be ready to share their culture with Americans.
All candidates are expected to have a strong interest in learning about diplomacy, the transatlantic relationship, the role of a free press in a democratic society, and public or community service. They should have a strong demonstrated interest in communications, advocacy, debate, and/or civic participation. They should have the academic aptitude for a program of this intensity and the personal qualities needed to be successful, including maturity, strong social skills, flexibility, and open-mindedness.
Candidates nominated for this Fellowship will:
– be born between June 26, 2004, and June 26, 2006 (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 2022, following completion of the program;
– 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.
Please send an application package with the following documents included as three attachments in one email with the subject line “2022 Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Summer Institute” to TbilisiExchanges@state.gov:
- Completed application form, including two essays – as one document, PDF or Word Document format;
- One recommendation letter in English language by your current high school teacher or university professor scanned as one document in PDF or JPG format;
- An original copy of school/university grades for the fall semester of the 2021 year, in Georgian or English, scanned as one document in PDF or JPG format.
The submission deadline for the applications is 18:00 (local Georgian time) February 18, 2022.
Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in March 2022; final selection and placement will be made in spring 2022.