Program Overview


The Benjamin Franklin Summer Institute with South and Central Asia (BFSI) will be held June 24 – July 20, 2012 for forty-five teenagers ages 16-18 from India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and the United States at George Mason University Fairfax campus. The BFSI is an innovative and interactive program designed to help (1) the student develop global perspectives and a sense of civic responsibility; (2) develop relationships among youth from different ethnic, religious, and national groups; (3) promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries; and (4) develop a cadre of young leaders who will share their knowledge and skills with their peers through positive action.

American statesman and diplomat, Benjamin Franklin, is the inspiration for this program. He was a man that prized religious tolerance over intolerance and social mobility over class privilege, and was a firm believer in free speech. The BFSI will advance the goals established and followed by Mr. Franklin in his lifetime.

A Program Sponsored by the Youth Programs Division, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State and the Public Affairs Sections of the U.S. Embassies. Administered by the School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution (S-CAR) at George Mason University (Mason), a widely recognized pioneer and leader within the field of conflict resolution, and its partner, the Alliance for Conflict Transformation (ACT), a non-profit organization with significant experience with international youth exchange programs.

Note: We only accept applications from U.S. students. All students from other participating countries are selected by the U.S. embassy/consulate in that country.