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Press Releases 2012

2013 Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute for High School Students

The American Embassy is soliciting applications for the 2013 Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institutes.  There will be two Institutes, which will last three to four weeks in the summer of 2013. 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.  Specific Institute dates and locations will be determined at a later time.

All costs, including domestic and international travel, will be covered by the American Embassy.

You must be between 16 and 18 years of age as of July 1, 2013 to be eligible for participation in the program.

The goals of the Institute are (1) to develop a commitment to transatlantic cooperation; (2) to foster relationships between American and European youth from different ethnic, religious, and national groups; (3) to promote mutual understanding between the United States and Europe, and (4) to develop a cadre of youth leaders who will share their knowledge and skills with their peers through positive action.

The Summer Institutes will enable teenagers   to participate in an intensive exchange program in the United States that focuses on the global issues that both European and American youth face.  The Institutes will focus primarily on the exploration of global issues through interactive activities, practical experiences, and other hands-on opportunities.  Participants will learn more about democratic practices, volunteer service, conflict resolution, problem solving, communication skills, critical thinking, tolerance and respect for diversity, youth leadership, team building, and the media.  The Institutes also explore how young people interact with media, both as consumers and producers of information, and how the freedom of expression both provides rights to and imposes responsibilities on citizens.  Students will participate in a variety of activities such as training sessions, workshops, community-based programs, study tours, and cultural events.

Community service activities, social and cultural activities, and homestays with American families will deepen the students’ experience of U.S. society during their exchange. After the Institute, in addition to implementing service projects in their home communities, the students will present what they have learned as well as an alumni project plan to a youth-serving or youth-centered organization in their home country. These may include U.S. Embassy Youth Councils, American Corners or American Spaces, and exchange alumni associations.

Applicant profile

Applicants should have a strong interest in learning more about diplomacy, the transatlantic relationship, the role of a free press in a democracy, and public or community service.  They should have a strong demonstrated interest in communications, advocacy, debate, or civic participation.  They should have the personal qualities needed to be successful participants, including maturity, strong social skills, flexibility, and open-mindedness. English fluency is required.

Applicants should be able to exhibit serious interest in pursuing leadership opportunities in Hungary, and demonstrate a genuine desire to learn first-hand about the United States, its people, society, and its institutions. It is also very important that applicants understand that they will be expected to fully and seriously participate in all program components during the month, as well as in follow-up activities afterward in Hungary.  In addition, participants should be ready to inform and educate Americans about the cultures and societies of their home countries in non-structured gatherings and in public presentations.

To apply please send answers for the questions below to vizsyl@state.gov by Friday, February 15, 2013.

  • Name
  • How old will you be on July 1, 2013?
  • Name and address of your school
  • Your cell phone number
  • Your email address
  • How long have you been learning English? How many English classes do you have a week?
  • Please have a teacher in your school attest to your academic achievement in writing.
  • What is your main field of interest?
  • Why are you interested in transatlantic relations and diplomacy?
  • Why are you interested in learning about the United States?
  • Have you had any prior study or travel experience in the United States? If yes, when and how long?
  • Have you ever done community work or extracurricular activities? If yes, please describe.
  • Have you ever been in a leadership position in your school or community? If not, do you plan to assume such a role in the future?
  • Do you have international experience? (e.g. travel, study, exchange program)
  • Please describe your career plans for the future. (short-term, mid-term, long-term)
  • Are you willing and able to fully participate in an intensive summer program, community service, and active educational travel program?

Personal Account of a 2012 Fellow