Do you want to take part in the prestigious BFTF exchange program in 2020?

We are looking for aspiring young leaders who want to work with American and other European youth to build a network that will lead to a lifetime of change!

Is this you? Then, send us a 2-minute video in English for your chance to take part in the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship exchange program in the United States during the summer of 2020!

Your video must respond to the following prompt:

If you had the chance of meeting any person in human history (either alive or deceased) for half an hour, who would you choose to meet? Why? And what would you discuss with that person?

The 2020 Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship will last four weeks in June and July 2020 (exact dates will be communicated later) at Purdue University pending availability of funds. All costs of the participants will be covered.

The goals of this exchange program are:

    • 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.
    • Upon his/her return home, the successful candidate is expected to implement service projects in his/her community and present an alumni project plan to a youth-serving or youth-centered organization in Belgium.

The four-week exchange program will accommodate up to 55 Fellows total, ages 16 to 18. The program will host 45 European students and 10 Americans.

The program will consist of a series of lectures, seminar discussions and presentations, and a broad assortment of practical, faculty- and mentor-led workshops, 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. Program activities include discussion about 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 program will explore how freedom of expression provides rights to and imposes responsibilities on citizens.

Recruitment/Candidate profile:

A successful candidate should 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. He/She should have a strong demonstrated interest in communications, advocacy, debate, and/or civic participation. He/She 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. These factors are particularly important given the diverse group atmosphere of the program. Demonstrate proficiency in English fluency is required.

This program is only open to Belgian citizens and legal permanent residents of Belgium. The U.S. Department of State covers the costs of the program through its overseas diplomatic missions and its partnership with Purdue University.

One principal and one alternate candidate will be selected based on their video submission and a final round of interviews that will take place on February 12 and February 19. We anticipate notifying successful candidates in April 2020.

The video must feature you speaking prominently in English on the topic although other visuals are acceptable so do not be afraid to be to express yourself creatively!

Videos longer than 2 minutes will not be accepted.

You may send your video via YouTube, Vimeo, WeTransfer, or Dropbox links. If you would like to send your file in a different format, please contact us at the following email address:

Videos must be received by Friday, January 17, 2020 to the following e-mail address: with the subject line: “BFTF – Video 2020– [Your First and Last Name]″
The body of your email must contain the following information:

  • First and Last Name
  • Age and Date of Birth
  • City and country of Birth
  • Home Address
  • Nationality/Citizenship
  • Phone Number
  • Email address
  • Name and address of your school
  • Your extracurricular activities

Emails with incomplete information will not be accepted.