Study of the United States Institutes for Student Leaders 2018 (SUSI) on U.S. History and Government

Study of the United States Institutes for Student Leaders Program was designed for participants from Argentina, Brasil, Chile and Uruguay interested in the topic U.S. History and Government.

The institute will host a group of up to 20 students and will be conducted in English. It will take place over the course of five weeks, from January 13 to February 17, 2018 at the Institute for Training and Development (ITD), in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Program Description:

Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders are intensive 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 institute will consist of a balanced series of seminar discussions, readings, group presentations, and lectures. Educational travel, local site visits, and volunteer opportunities will complement the classroom activities and coursework.

The institute will include: 4 weeks of academic residency component and 1 week of a domestic travel component and will be will be conducted entirely in English.

This Institute will be held at the Institute for Training and Development and will focus on contemporary American life, as it is shaped by historical and/or current political, social, and economic issues and debates. Students will be provided with an overview of the foundations of democracy as they learn about the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, the federal system of government, elections, the court system, etc. Students will explore the various complex historical and contemporary issues associated with identity throughout the Americas, including race, ethnicity, and color, and will discuss topics related to immigration and the Latino experience in the U.S..

Participants will travel to New York City to visit cultural and historic sites. During their study tour they will take a five-day trip to Arizona where topics in immigration will be revisited along with a discussion of the Native-American experience. The program will conclude with three days in Washington, DC where students will meet participants from Bolivia, Paraguay, and Peru, who will be participating in the concurrent institute at the University of Arizona.

Other core components of the Institute include leadership development, community service, and fostering cross-cultural understanding. Participants will engage with Americans on campus and will also participate in a weekend homestay.

Program Funding

The Department of State will cover all participant costs, including: program administration, international and domestic travel, ground transportation, book, cultural, mailing and incidental allowances, housing and subsistence. Participants will reside at college or university owned housing. Participants will share rooms and bathrooms with another student of the same gender. Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own. They will also receive a stipend that they can use to dine at local restaurants.

Health Insurance

Participants will receive the Department of State’s coverage of $100,000 with a $25 co-pay for the duration of the program. Pre-existing conditions are not covered.

Program Requirements and Restrictions

Participants are expected to participate fully in the academic program. They are expected to attend all lectures and organized activities, and complete assigned readings. Candidates 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 not be allowed to leave the institute to visit relatives or friends while in the U.S. Candidates should be advised that they will NOT be allowed to arrive in the U.S. prior to the start date of the institute or remain in the U.S. after its end date.  Similarly, participants will not be allowed to leave the institute to visit relatives or friends while in the U.S.

English Language Ability

English language proficiency is a requirement to participate in this program. The program will be conducted in English. The Institute is a rigorous and demanding program; participants will be expected to handle short reading assignments in English and to be full and active participants in all seminar and panel discussions.

Candidate Description and Qualifications*

The participants are expected to be highly motivated first through third year undergraduate students from colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher education, who demonstrate leadership through academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities.

*We will put a special emphasis on recruiting participants with little or no prior experience in the United States or elsewhere outside their home country and who have had one year of studies and still have at least one more year to finish their bachelor’s degree.

Candidates nominated for this program will:

  • be between 18-25 years old (in 2017)
  • be studying at a Uruguayan university, CLAEH, IPA, IFD, CERP or Magisterio
  • have at least one semester left of their undergraduate studies, and, therefore, be committed to returning to their home universities following completion of their institute program
  • demonstrate strong leadership qualities and potential in their university and community activities
  • demonstrate very good level of English (First Certificate level minimum)
  • have a sustained high level of academic achievement, as indicated in grades, awards, and teacher recommendations
  • have demonstrated commitment to community and extracurricular university activities
  • have had 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 program
  • indicate a serious interest in learning about the United States and about U.S. history and government
  • 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

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What degree of English proficiency should a nominee have?
    All participants must be fully proficient in English but it is not mandatory to have taken an international examination to apply to this program. Participants will need to prove their command of the language during the personal interview and breifly explain it in the application form.
  • Can a nominee who is a dual citizen (U.S. and country of origin) participate in Study of the U.S. Institutes?
    U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) are 
    NOT eligible to participate in this program.
  • I have been to the U.S. before; would I be disqualified?
    Nominees with little experience in the United States can be considered for the program.  Please be sure to clearly indicate the purpose of the nominee’s visit to the U.S., the year, and the length of his/her stay and if it was under any type of scholarships, as requested on the nomination form.
  • How much free time will a participant have during the program?
    There will be some 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, and scheduled events.
  • If a nominee has relatives in the U.S., would s/he have time to see them?
    Participants will NOT be allowed to leave the Institute to visit relatives or friends.
  • Can a participant arrive early/late or stay after the Institute?
    Participants who choose to travel to the United States on a Study of the U.S. program are required to abide by the terms and conditions of the program.  These terms state clearly that student leaders may NOT arrive in the United States before the program start date or remain in the country after the close of the institute.
  • Can a graduate student participate in this Institute?
    Study of the U.S. Institutes are designed exclusively for undergraduate students.
  • Can a participant miss one part or component of the Institute?
    All participants are expected to participate in all scheduled lectures, events, site visits, trips, and activities.
  • How much money will participants need to bring for the program?
    The Study of the U.S. Institutes cover all costs of an individual’s participation including transportation, lodging, and meals.  Generally, host institutions provide for meals through acombination of a cafeteria meal plan and cash allowance to permit participants to cook or eat at local restaurants.  Information on housing and meal arrangements will be provided prior to the start of the Institute.  Participants should bring their own spending money only if they wish to purchase souvenirs or other items during their time in the United States.
  • Nominee participated in the English Access Microscholarship Program; can he/she participate in this Institute?
    Yes indeed.
  • What happens if my video was unable to be watched or my application form was incomplete?
    Your nomination will NOT be considered