AMBASADA SUA - ANUNT - cursuri de vara in SUA pentru elevi de liceu

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Cu deosebita consideratie,

Isabella Alexandrescu

Cultural Programs Coordinator

US Embassy, Bucharest

Public Diplomacy Office

Phone: 40-21-200-3684

Fax: 40-21-200-3723

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Call for Nominations: FY 2020 Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship

Deadline: Tuesday, February 25, 2020.


Summary: The Youth Programs Division of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs – U.S. Department of State is pleased to invite candidate nominations for the 2020 Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship. The four-week institute addresses youth engagement, democracy and civil society development, and economic prosperity. The program will take place in June and July of 2020; exact dates will be communicated at a later time. The institute will be hosted by Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. The deadline for candidate nominations to be received is on Tuesday, February 25, 2020.


1. Program Description:


The Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship is an intensive short-term exchange program, created to foster relationships among young Europeans and Americans to build strong linkages and awareness of shared values. The four week program will enable teenagers, ages 16-18, 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 participants’ experience of U.S. society during their exchange.


During the academic residency, 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.


2. Other Essential Program Information:


A. Post Responsibilities:

i. In-country and international travel expenses will be covered for participants. These expenses include domestic travel in the home country, including a visit to post for a visa interview; round trip international travel to the United States; a travel allowance.


ii. Travel arrangements and international airline tickets for participants to fly round-trip to Indianapolis airport in Indiana in the United States will be provided. Purdue University will provide adult chaperones to accompany participants on flights between one or two selected European airports to the United States and back.


B. Health Benefits: Participants will be covered by ECA’s Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE) health benefits program. Purdue University is responsible for enrolling participants. ASPE is a limited, health benefit program (not insurance) that covers medical expenses associated with each illness or accident up to $100,000 per occurrence. ASPE does not cover routine examinations or pre-existing conditions. ASPE information is available at Participants are encouraged to read the ASPE benefit guide in its entirety, to obtain a full understanding of health benefits, coverage, and limitations.


C. Program Requirements and Restrictions: Candidates must exhibit demonstrable interest in pursuing leadership opportunities in their home countries and convey a genuine desire to learn about the United States and its people, society, and institutions. They are expected to fully participate in the academic program and the follow-on activities afterward in their home countries. They should attend all lectures and organized activities, complete assigned readings, and be ready to share their culture with Americans. They should be made aware that the institute is very intensive and that there will be little time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program. Participants will travel to the United States on J-1 visas. Participants are not allowed to arrive in the U.S. prior to the start date of the institute or to remain in the U.S. after its end date. Violations of program rules, host institution rules, or local, state or federal laws can be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.


D. English Language Ability: All candidates must be proficient in English so that they can actively participate in the academic program.


3. Candidate Description and Qualifications: All candidates are expected to have a strong interest in learning about diplomacy, the transatlantic relationship, the role of a free press in a democratic society, and public or community service. They should have a strong demonstrated interest in communications, advocacy, debate, and/or civic participation. They should have the academic aptitude for a program of this intensity and the personal qualities needed to be successful, including maturity, strong social skills, flexibility, and open-mindedness.


Candidates nominated for this Fellowship will:

- be born between June 22, 2002, and June 22, 2004 (i.e., be 16, 17, or 18 years of age at the time of the program start);

- be highly proficient in English

- be committed to enrolling in high school or university in their home countries in fall 2020, following completion of the institute;

- 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, 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 countries.


4. Frequently Asked Questions:


a. What degree of English proficiency should a nominee 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. My nominee has been to the U.S. before; would he/she be disqualified?

No. Nominees with very minimal experience in the United States may be considered for the program.

d. How much free time will a participant 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.

e. If a nominee has relatives in the U.S., would he/she 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 pre-approved visit 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 host institution.

f. Can a participant 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.

h. Can a participant 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.

i. How much money will participants 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.

j. Will applicants with disabilities be considered? Yes, the Youth Programs Division welcomes nominations for individuals with disabilities. We are committed to working with Purdue University to arrange reasonable accommodations for all participants. Notification of a disability will not negatively impact selection.