Benjamin Franklin Program

Video contest 2022 application deadline is February 25, 2022.

The U.S. Embassy Riga is pleased to invite candidates aged 16 to 18 years old to apply for the 2022 Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute. The Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship is an intensive four-week exchange program, created to build strong ties and promote shared values among young Europeans and Americans. The program will enable teenagers to explore U.S. foreign policy priorities such as youth engagement, support for democracy and civil society, and economic prosperity. This year the Institute will be hosted by Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, in June 25.

The U.S. Embassy Riga is pleased to invite candidates aged 16 to 18 years old to apply for the 2022 Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute. The Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship is an intensive four-week exchange program, created to build strong ties and promote shared values among young Europeans and Americans. The program will enable teenagers to explore U.S. foreign policy priorities such as youth engagement, support for democracy and civil society, and economic prosperity. This year the Institute will be hosted by Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, in June 25-July 25, 2022, contingent upon the feasibility and safety of in-person programming.

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 participants will also take part in community service activities, site visits, social and cultural activities, and homestays with American families to deepen their experience of U.S. society during the exchange.

Program participants also will have the opportunity to discuss other 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 institute will explore how freedom of expression provides rights to and imposes responsibilities on citizens.

Upon their return home, participants will implement service projects in their communities and present an alumni project plan to a youth-serving or youth-centered organization in their home country. These organizations may include the U.S. Mission Youth Councils, American Corners or American Spaces, and exchange alumni associations.

Application

Applicants are invited to make a video (up to one minute) in English about a community service or volunteering project idea they would like to implement in their community. The video should feature the author.

Applicants post their videos on Instagram, following and tagging @USEmbassyRiga and using the hashtag #exchangeourworld (for the judging committee to be able to find it).

Failure to use the tag and hashtag means that the applicant’s video will not be considered.
The U. S. Embassy judging committee will select finalists, who will be invited to submit their CVs and interview virtually with the Embassy. The winner of the contest will take part in the four-week program in June and July of 2022.

Candidate Qualifications
  • be highly proficient in English.
  • be committed to enrolling in high school or university in Latvia in fall 2022, following completion of the institute;
  • demonstrate strong leadership potential;
  • indicate a serious interest in learning about the United States, transatlantic relations and diplomacy;
  • demonstrate a high level of academic achievement, as indicated by academic grades, awards, and teacher recommendations;
  • 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; and be able to adjust to cultural and social practices different from those of their home country. July 25, 2022, contingent upon the feasibility and safety of in-person programming.

For further information regarding the program, please contact Natālija Oševerova at the U.S. Embassy’s Public Diplomacy Section, t. 2838 4463, OseverovaN@state.gov