Ben Franklin: Free 4-week summer program in the U.S. for 16-18 year olds

group of youth (Photo: Anita Skarpås, BFTF 2014)
You’ll get to meet youth from europe and the U.S. and make friends for life

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and the U.S. Embassy in Oslo are pleased to announce two four-week Summer Institutes – the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship (BFTF), for up to 90 young Europeans and Americans. The institutes 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.

Each Institute, one at Wake Forest University in North Carolina and the other at Purdue University in Indiana, will be designed for 35 European students and 10 Americans, ages 16 to 18 as of June 27, 2015. Both Institutes will take place from June 27-July 25, 2015.

group in front of Capitol Building (Photo: BFTF 2013)
The BFTF participants always visit Washington DC

The Summer Institutes will enable teenagers to participate in an intensive, four-week exchange program in the United States that focuses on global issues facing both European and American youth. The Institutes will focus primarily on an exploration of issues through interactive activities, practical experiences, and other hands-on opportunities.

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

Find more details about the BFTF 2015 program in this document (PDF 136 KB – Get Adobe Reader)

Application requirements:

  • 16-18 years old as of June 27, 2015
  • Highly proficient in English
  • Committed to enrolling in high school/university in Norway in fall of 2015
  • Demonstrate strong leadership potential and interest in transatlantic relations and the United States
  • Sustained high level of academic achievement (attach preliminary high school grades)
  • Demonstrate a commitment to community and extracurricular activities (attach CV)
  • Have had little or no prior U.S. study or travel experience
  • Be mature, responsible, independent, confident, open-minded, tolerant, thoughtful and inquisitive
  • Willing and able to fully participate in an intensive summer program
  • Comfortable with campus life, shared living accommodations, travel and interaction with a multinational group of participants from Europe and the United states

How to apply:
Send an e-mail to, where you include the application form, (PDF 124 KB – Get Adobe Reader) a copy of your preliminary high school grades, a CV, and a statement of motivation where you answer the following question in English (max 400 words altogether):

Pick one American from history or fiction to converse with for an hour and explain your choice. What would you talk about?

We may have follow-up questions as part of stage two of the application process.

Deadline for applications: March 1, 2015.