BFTF at Wake Forest University

The Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute for Youth (or BFTF for short)! BFTF is a unique and exciting program initiated and funded by the U.S. Department of State, and hosted by Wake Forest University. As you enjoy your stay in the U.S. and explore American culture and politics you will learn about the opportunities and challenges of civil society. You will gain insight and the knowledge that, combined with your own experiences, will equip you well for leadership and activist roles. We have a web site that features orientation material, information on planning your trip, what you need to bring with you, pictures of the BFTF staff and other information you can use before you leave and after you return home

Where Will You Be?

You will be housed in North Apartments at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Winston-Salem is a community of 200,000, approximately five hours from Washington DC, nestled between the mountains to the west and 3 hours to the beach in the east.

During the program you will have a chance to interact with over 45 other students from over 30 countries in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Eurasia and the U.S. For ten days you will be staying at the home of an American family, which will provide you with a great opportunity to experience American culture up-close.

What Will You Do?

Many different activities and workshops have been planned, but it certainly won’t be all work and no play. You will have time to explore or just chill out, however, everyone is expected to participate in all of the planned activities. Our schedule will be full. There will be classes and dialogues around certain topics as well as several small group intensive projects and exciting trips to several great locations, including Washington DC and Philadelphia, PA. There will also be opportunity for the students in North Carolina to experience some local culture as well. There will be local trips to baseball games, music concerts and parks.

What are BFTF’s Goals for You?

  • Interact with other students and staff in the program
  • Explore American culture and politics
  • Cooperate with your peers in order to solve problems, including transatlantic misunderstandings
  • Understand how young people interact with the media, both as consumers and producers of information
  • Understand how freedom of expression imposes both rights and responsibilities on citizens
  • Take a leadership role as community activists with an increased sense of self-worth and confidence in your ability to effect positive change
  • Develop your skills of advocacy, negotiation, critical thinking and leadership

How Will You Do This?

In order to allow you maximum choice in pursuing your interests, several different programs have been created. You will have the opportunity to participate in at least three different programs during the course of your visit, including a program on public advocacy.

So What Will You Do With This When You Get Home?

You won’t be left wondering what all this has to do with your life back home. That’s the whole point really, for you to be able to apply your experiences and gained knowledge when you go back home. During the Institute there will be discussions focusing on follow-on projects and a continuing discussion from your fellows when you return home. You can assume your role as a youth leader, as soon as you step off the plane!

” Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”