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Do you want to take part in the prestigious BFTF exchange program in 2023?

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 1-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 2023!

Your video must respond to the following prompt:

For this program we are looking for a young leader with the potential to be a force multiplier: What makes you the best candidate for this program and how do you plan to become an engaged member of the BFTF community when you return to Belgium?

The 2023 Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship will last four weeks from June 24-July 22, 2023 at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana pending the availability of funds and contingent upon the feasibility and safety of in-person programming in summer 2023. All costs of the participants will be covered.

The Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship is an intensive short-term exchange program. 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. 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.

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.

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. The candidate should have a strong demonstrated interest in communications, advocacy, debate, and/or civic participation as well as an 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.

The candidate will:

  • be born between June 25, 2004, and June 24, 2007 (i.e., be between 16, 17, or 18 years of age at the time of the program start)
  • be committed to enrolling in high school or university in their home country in fall 2023, following completion of the program;
  • 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 he/she will meet in the host communities; and
  • be able to adjust to cultural and social practices different from those of his/her home country.

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 submissions and a final round of interviews that will take place on February 15, 2023. We anticipate notifying successful candidates on February 20, 2023.

The video must feature you speaking prominently in English on the topic. Do not be afraid to be to express yourself creatively!

Videos longer than 1 minute will not be accepted.

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

Videos must be received by midnight on Sunday, February 5 2023 to the following e-mail address: USPublicDiplomacyBE@state.gov with the subject line: “BFTF – Video 2023– [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.