Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship Summer 2023
U.S. Embassy Baku is pleased to announce the call for 2023 The Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship. 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, scheduled to take place in-person from June 25-July 23, 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.
Candidates must demonstrate 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 in their home countries. They should attend all lectures and organized activities, complete assigned readings, and be ready to share their culture with Americans. They should be made aware that the program is very intensive and that there will be no time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program.
The program includes a strong emphasis on follow-on projects. Participants will be taught to develop plans for follow-on activities and are expected to implement them in their schools and communities upon return home.
During the academic residency, participants also 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. The institute 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.
- be born between June 25, 2004, and June 24, 2007 (i.e., be 16, 17, or 18 years of age at the time of the program start).
- Be current or former participant of Embassy-initiated projects in the regions and Baku.
- 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 2023, 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.
To apply, please fill in this
before 11:59 am on February 15, 2023
Frequently Asked Questions for applicant:
- If the candidate has not participated in Embassy-funded projects or programs, can she/he still apply? Unfortunately, no. For summer 2023, the U.S. Embassy will be recruiting alumni and participants of Embassy-funded regional projects only. Priority will be given to high school students. Other candidates will not be considered for the interview stage.
- Will COVID19 vaccinations be required to participate in the program? Yes, COVID vaccinations will be required due to vaccination requirements in multiple cities that will host BFTF programming, including Washington DC, Chicago, and Philadelphia. More information will follow regarding this requirement.
- How many candidates will be nominated from Azerbaijan? S. Embassy will nominate two candidates from Azerbaijan: one finalist and one alternate.
- What degree of English proficiency should a nominee have? All participants must be highly proficient in English; throughout the program they will need to fully understand lectures, actively participate in discussions, and read and write assignments in English.
- How much free time will a participant have during the program? There will be some limited free time during the program. However, nominees MUST understand that this is an intensive academic program and they are expected to fully participate in all lectures, activities, site visits, and scheduled events.
- If a nominee has relatives in the U.S., would they have time to see them? Participants will NOT be allowed to leave the program to visit relatives or friends. Occasionally it is possible for a pre-approved visit on a specific day designated by the host institution, if the schedule permits. These situations will be addressed on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the ECA program officer and the host institution.
- Can a participant arrive early/late or stay after the program? Participants who choose to travel to the United States on a Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship are required to abide by the J-1 visa rules. Participants may NOT arrive in the United States before the program start date or remain in the country after the close of the program.
- Can a participant miss one part or component of the program? All participants are expected to participate in all scheduled lectures, events, site visits, trips, and activities.
- How much money will participants need to bring for the program? ECA will cover all basic costs of an individual’s participation in the U.S.-based exchange. Generally, the host institution will provide meals through a combination of a cafeteria meal plan and a pre-loaded debit card for use at local restaurants. Information on housing and meal arrangements will be provided by the host institution prior to the start of the program. Participants should not expect to receive any spending money from the program. Participants should bring their own spending money if they wish to purchase souvenirs or other items during their time in the United States.
- One of our BFTF alumni has a sibling who would like to apply for the BFTF program. Can they apply? Priority will be given to nominees who are unrelated to past BFTF participants. Posts should make every effort to recruit and nominate candidates from widely diverse areas and backgrounds.
- Will applicants with disabilities be considered? Yes, the Youth Programs Division welcomes nominations for individuals with disabilities. We are committed to working with Purdue University to arrange reasonable accommodations for all participants. Notification of a disability will not negatively impact selection. We ask that you identify disabilities during the nomination process so that we can begin working with Purdue University to ensure appropriate accommodations.