Benjamin Franklin Program

Video contest 2023 application deadline is February 20, 2023.

The U.S. Embassy Riga is pleased to invite candidates aged 16 to 18 years old to apply for the 2023 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, from June 24 – July 22, 2023, 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, disinformation, and the media. The program 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 project idea they would like to implement in their community in order to improve it. The video should feature the applicant.

Applicants should post their videos on Instagram, follow and tag @USEmbassyRiga and use the hashtag #exchangeourworld (for the judging committee to be able to find it) by February 20, 2023.

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 participate in a virtual interview with the Embassy representatives. The winner of the contest will take part in the four-week program from June 24 – July 22, 2023.

Candidate Qualifications:
  • leadership potential,
  • a commitment to or interest in civic action,
  • strong academic and social skills,
  • interest in community service,
  • strong English skills.

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