Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSIs) for Student Leaders are intensive short-term academic programs whose purpose is to provide groups of undergraduate student leaders with a deeper understanding of the United States while simultaneously enhancing their leadership skills.  The five-week Institutes will consist of a balanced series of seminar discussions, readings, group presentations and lectures.  The coursework and classroom activities will be complemented by educational travel, site visits, leadership activities, and volunteer opportunities within the local community.  Each Institute will have 20 participants and will include a four-week academic residency component and a one-week integrated study tour to another region of the United States.  During the academic residency, participants will also have the opportunity to engage in educational and cultural activities outside of the classroom. The program will take place during the June to August time frame in 2019.

The themes of the 2020 summer Study of the U.S. for Student Leaders from Europe are

  • Civic Engagement,
  • Education and the Future of Work,
  • Entrepreneurship and Economic Development.

SUSI for Student Leaders from Europe on Civic Engagement

The Study of the U.S. Institute on Civic Engagement, hosted by the University of South Carolina, Columbia, will provide participants with an overview of how citizens have shaped U.S. history, government, and society both as individuals and groups.  The academic program will define civic engagement, examine its development in the United States, and explore topics such as citizenship, community building, economic development, grassroots activism, and volunteerism. The Institute also includes workshop sessions that will allow participants to develop skills for journalism, story-telling, and media literacy. The program will encourage students to develop innovative and practical plans to become engaged citizens in their own communities.   Study tours to Charleston, South Carolina; Williamsburg, Virginia; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will explore civic engagement through the unique perspective of different communities in the U.S.  The program will end in Washington, D.C. where participants from all four Institutes will come together for a closing forum.  During the closing forum, participants will have opportunities to network, discuss their action plans, and engage in conversations on relevant topics with local subject matter experts. Two students will be nominated for this institute.

The Study of the U.S. Institute on Education and the Future of Work, hosted by the University of Massachusetts-Boston, will explore how technology, the job economy, and skill based education are interconnected in the United States.  This Institute was previously named the SUSI for Student Leaders on Youth, Education, and Closing the Skills Gap.  The title has changed to better reflect the Institute content.  The Institute will expose participants to global issues in the context of the future of work by examining educational, social, and economic trends.  Using an interdisciplinary approach, the academic program will examine the role of U.S. educational institutions, particularly community colleges, in preparing Americans with the skills needed to succeed in multiple industries and sectors including business, technology, science, higher education, the creative arts, and other fields.  Topics will include, but are not limited to, communication, entrepreneurship, globalization and urbanization, innovation and technology, organizational development and management, skills development, and reskilling and retraining.  The program will also provide opportunities for participants to engage with educational and industry leaders through site visits around the greater Boston metropolitan area.  A study tour to a different region in the United States will explore the theme from a different perspective.  The Institute will end in Washington, D.C. where participants from all four Institutes will come together for a closing forum.  During the closing forum, participants will have opportunities to network, discuss their action plans, and engage in conversations on relevant topics with local subject matter experts. One student will be nominated for this institute.

The Study of the U.S. Institute on Entrepreneurship and Economic Development hosted by the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, will provide participants with an overview of entrepreneurial approaches by reviewing the development, history, challenges, and successes of U.S. entrepreneurial enterprises, including social enterprises, business leadership and women’s economic empowerment, in the United States and globally.  Topics will include, but are not limited to, business development in a global setting, diversity in the workforce, management strategies and techniques, and the relationship among businesses, governments and NGOs.  Academic activities will be supplemented by opportunities to engage with the local community, including meeting with local entrepreneurs, and a study tour to Atlanta, Georgia.  The Institute will end in Washington, D.C. where participants from all four Institutes will come together for a closing forum.  During the closing forum, participants will have opportunities to network, discuss their action plans, and engage in conversations on relevant topics with local subject matter experts. One student will be nominated for this institute.

OTHER ESSENTIAL PROGRAM INFORMATION

Program Funding

All participant costs are covered, including: program administration, international and domestic travel, visa, books, housing and subsistence.

Housing and Meal Arrangements

Housing will be in shared university dorms on campus with common bathrooms.  Male participants will be housed on one-floor and female participants on a separate floor.  Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own.  It is important that participants are aware of these arrangements and that they are comfortable with such accommodations. Care will be taken to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily worship, housing, and medical care are satisfied.

Health Benefits

All participants will receive the Department of State’s coverage of $100,000 with a $25 co-pay per medical visit and a $75 co-pay per emergency room visit, for the duration of the program.  Pre-existing conditions may be covered up to $100,000, subject to policy exclusions and limitations.  Information on the health benefit program may be found online at https://www.sevencorners.com/gov/usdos.

Program Requirements and Restrictions

Participants are expected to fully participate in the academic program.  They should attend all lectures and organized activities, and complete assigned readings.  Candidates should be aware that the Institute is very intensive and that there will be little time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program.

Under no circumstances are participants allowed to arrive in the United States prior to the start date of the Institute or remain in the United States after its end date.  Similarly, participants will not be permitted to leave the Institute to visit relatives or friends while in the United States.  If a relative or friend wishes to visit them, it will be considered on a case by case basis in consultation with the ECA program officer and the host institution.  Participants are required to return to their home countries immediately following the end of the Institute.

Violations of program rules, host institution rules, or local, state or federal laws can be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.  It is important that these requirements and restrictions are clear to all candidates.

English Language Ability

All candidates must be proficient in English so that they can actively participate in the academic program.  Host institutions will take into account that the level of comprehension and speaking ability of students may vary and will prepare lectures and discussions that meet the highest academic standards while using language appropriate for students where English is their second or third language.

CANDIDATE DESCRIPTION AND QUALIFICATIONS

The participants are expected to be highly motivated first through second year undergraduate students from colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher education, who demonstrate leadership through academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities.  Their fields of study will be varied and may include the sciences, social sciences, humanities, education, business, and other professional fields.  Candidates from non-elite backgrounds, from both rural and urban areas, and with little or no prior experience in the United States or elsewhere outside their home country are highly encouraged to apply.  In addition, candidates from historically underserved groups, disadvantaged groups, individuals with disabilities, members of the LGBTI community, and ethnic minority communities are also encouraged to apply.

Candidates nominated for this program will:

  • be proficient in English;
  • be interested in the Institute topic;
  • be between 18 and 25 years of age;
  • have at least one academic year left of their undergraduate studies, and therefore be committed to returning to their home universities following completion of the program;
  • demonstrate strong leadership qualities and potential in their university and community activities;
  • indicate a serious interest in learning about the United States;
  • have a sustained high level of academic achievement, as indicated by grades, awards, and teacher recommendations;
  • demonstrate commitment to community and extracurricular university activities;
  • have little or no prior study or travel experience in the United States or elsewhere outside of their home country;
  • be mature, responsible, independent, confident, open-minded, tolerant, thoughtful, and inquisitive;
  • be willing and able to fully participate in an intensive academic program, community service, and educational travel; and,
  • be comfortable with campus life, prepared to share living accommodations, and able to make adjustments to cultural and social practices different from those of their home country.

Application deadline

February 10th, 2020 (10:00 AM, Lisbon time)

Selection process

Only pre-selected candidates will be notified to submit two recommendation letters by February 21st and invited to an interview on February 26th. All candidates will be notified of application results until late March.

Application

Click here to access the application form.

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