Summer Institute for Youth, All Expenses Paid

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm are pleased to announce a four-week Summer Institute for young Europeans and Americans. The institute intend to foster relationships among the younger generations of Europeans and Americans to promote awareness of shared values in light of the global challenges of the 21st Century.

The program will take place in June and July of 2018. Exact dates will be communicated at a later time. The institute will be hosted by Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

As a participant in the Summer Institute you will experience an intensive, four-week exchange program in the United States that allows you 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 your experience of U.S. society during your exchange.

All costs will be covered by the U.S. Embassy Stockholm and Department of State.

To apply for this unique opportunity, you should:

  • be born between June 22, 1999, and June 22, 2002
  • be highly proficient in English
  • 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
  • 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
  • be able to adjust to cultural and social practices different from those of their home countries
  • be committed to enrolling in high school or university in fall 2018

Frequently Asked Questions

a. What degree of English proficiency should I have?  All participants must be highly proficient in English; throughout the institute they will need to fully understand lectures, actively participate in discussions, and read and write assignments in English.

b. Can I apply if I am not a citizen of the nominating post country?  Yes.  However, the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship is a program designed to further mutual understanding between U.S. citizens and Europeans.  If you wish to nominate someone who is not a citizen of the nominating country, please explain clearly on the application the reasons for the nomination.

c. I have been to the U.S. before; am I disqualified?

No.  Nominees with very minimal experience in the United States may be considered for the program.  However, priority should be given to nominees with no previous experience in the United States.  If you find it necessary to nominate a candidate with previous U.S. experience, please be sure to clearly indicate the purpose of the nominee’s visit to the U.S., the year it occurred, and the length of his/her stay, as requested on the nomination form.

d. I will be fasting during Ramadan.  How will this impact my participation in the program?  Participants who will be fasting during Ramadan are still expected to fully participate in the program.  Participants must be aware of the rigorous nature of the program and the expectation of full participation in planned activities.  Some activities such as community service and site visits may take place outdoors in high temperatures and humidity.  Participants should be aware of the challenging nature of the program, especially in locations that experience long hours of sunlight.  For example, in the northern United States, the sun rises around 5:30 am and sets around 9:30 pm.

e. How much free time will I 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.

f. If I have relatives in the U.S., would I have time to see them?  Participants will NOT be allowed to leave the institute to visit relatives or friends. Occasionally it is possible for a relative or friend to visit the participant 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.

g. How important is it that the group is gender-balanced?  Very important! We strive to have the best possible diversity and gender balance in the institute.

h. Can I arrive early/late or stay after the Institute?  No.  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 institute.

i. Can I miss one part or component of the Institute?  No.  All participants are expected to participate in all scheduled lectures, events, site visits, trips, and activities.

j. How much money will I 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 institute.  Participants should not expect to receive any spending money from the institute.  Participants should bring their own spending money if they wish to purchase souvenirs or other items during their time in the United States.

k. Will applicants with disabilities be considered?  Yes, the Youth Programs Division welcomes nominations for individuals with disabilities.  We are committed to working with WFU 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 WFU to ensure appropriate accommodations.

How to apply

Send an e-mail to , where you attach:

  • the application form (PDF 88 KB)
  • a copy of your preliminary high school grades
  • your CV
  • a document with three short texts where you answer these questions:


  1. Why would you be the perfect BFTF 2018 participant? (max 200 words)
  2. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? (max 200 words)
  3. Which three Americans, from history or fiction, would you invite for dinner and a conversation, and why? Be creative! (max 200 words)

Please submit your application to by Sunday April 8. Only selected applicants will be notified.