Flag

An official website of the United States government

Do you want to take part in the prestigious BFTF exchange program in 2024?
9 MINUTE READ

We want to choose a candidate for this program who is a young leader with the potential to be a force multiplier – in other words, to have an impact on their family, their peers, their community, and their society.

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 2024!

The deadline to apply is February 4, 2024 at midnight.

Your video must respond to one of the following prompts:

  • How is climate change affecting youth?  What actions are you taking to make a difference on this issue? What do you think the government should do about this issue?
  • In 2024, the United States and Belgium will commemorate the 80th anniversary of World War II’s Battle of the Bulge. Why is it important for young people to study history and reflect upon the events of the past? 
  • Why is it important for Belgium to improve social cohesion and foster dialogue around diversity and inclusion?

The 2024 Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship will last four weeks from June 22 to July 20, 2024.  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. All costs of the participants will be fully covered by the U.S. Embassy in Brussels.

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 an 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.

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 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 2024, 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. This program is NOT open to U.S. citizens and direct family members of U.S. Embassy staff.

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 28, 2024. We anticipate notifying successful candidates on February 29, 2024.

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 4 2024 to the following e-mail address: USPublicDiplomacyBE@state.gov with the subject line: “BFTF – Video 2024– [Your First and Last Name + chosen topic]″

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

How did you hear about the BFTF Summer Program?

  • Via Facebook
  • Via Instagram
  • Via X (former Twitter)
  • I heard from a friend/relative
  • I heard from someone who previously participated in the program
  • I heard from my teacher
  • Other

Emails with incomplete information will not be accepted.