For Prospective Fellows

Ben Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute

Welcome to BFTF 2021

Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute (BFTF) to be held June 26-July 31, 2021 on the campus of Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.

10 U.S. Fellows (aged 16 to 18) will join 45 international Fellows from Europe to take classes in International Diplomacy, Media and Journalism, Global Problems, Democracy, and Civic Education. Over the course of the institute, fellows will meet with US politicians, scholars, and journalists. Fellows will participate in debates, practical workshops, and seminars. They will also learn how to organize and participate in community service activities.

The Institute cultural program includes trips to Indianapolis, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington. The program also includes an International Culture Night, talent show, 4th of July picnic, shows and concerts, movie nights and sporting events.

*Note: (The in-person on-campus  exchange is contingent upon the safety and feasibility of in-person programing and travel. A virtual program option may be available if in-person programing is not possible due to the global health pandemic).

Scholarships Cover BFTF Expenses

*note all fellows receive these

  • Institute tuition
  • Transportation
  • Meals and incidentals
  • Books and study materials
  • Admission to museums and shows
  • All trips that are included in the Institute program

*International applicants, please contact the US Embassy/Consulate in your respective country to apply*

BFTF Application Packet (for US Citizens)

  • Application (onlineWord)
  • Resume or list of activities, projects, or experiences
  • Two essays (2-3 paragraphs each, single-spaced)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • ANY additional evidence that demonstrates your interest and willingness to participate in the Institute. Such evidence may include but not limited to diplomas, certificates, letters of support, articles in newspapers, letters from peers or superiors, etc.

Selection Criteria

  • Demonstrated leadership potential
  • Interest in diplomacy, international relations, and public policy
  • Maturity, open-mindedness, and independent thinking
  • Sustained high level of academic achievement
  • Demonstrated interest in volunteering and community work
  • Commitment to apply new knowledge and skills in his/her community
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Responsibility
  • Tolerance and willingness to collaborate with peers with different cultural backgrounds

Application deadline – March 14, 2021. All 16-18 years old U.S. citizens may apply.

“BFTF has taught me that no matter where we come from or what we look like, we are still all the same and we all deserve respect. I have friends now on other continents, with other religions or another skin color. BFTF created friendships that go beyond borders. BFTF has really changed me, It made me feel like I am a citizen of the world rather than a citizen of Belgium. BFTF has given me the desire and the courage to change something in this world and to make a difference.

Begin your Journey (US Citizens Only)

Start Application

Mail or send electronically the full package by March 14, 2021 to:
Dr. Anatoli Rapoport or Dr. Jeff Spanke

Additional Documentation


All BFTF Fellows (European and U.S.) will have to submit these forms by June 1st, 2020

Forms must be emailed to Dr. Jeff Spanke  or faxed at +1(765)496-2210 (attn: BFTF) by June 5th, 2021.

Contact the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute
(765) 496-3029 or
Beering Hall of Liberal Arts and Education
100 N. University Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2098
Room 4176