Study of the United States Institutes for Student Leaders 2020 (SUSI) on Social Entrepreneurship

Study of the United States Institutes for Student Leaders 2020 on Social Entrepreneurship

Study of the United States Institutes for Student Leaders Program was designed for participants from Argentina, Brasil, Chile and Uruguay, to provide undergraduate student leaders with a deeper understanding of the United States while simultaneously enhancing their leadership skills. The institute will be conducted in English with a special focus on Social Entrepreneurship, and it will take place from January 11 until February 15, 2020 at the Institute for Training and Development (ITD), in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Deadline for candidate applications: Sunday, September 29, 2019.

Program Description:

Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSIs) for Student Leaders are intensive short-term academic programs. The five-week Institutes consist of a balanced series of seminar discussions, readings, group presentations, and lectures.  The coursework and classroom activities are complemented by educational travel, site visits, leadership activities, and volunteer opportunities within the local community. The Institutes include an academic residency component of approximately four weeks and a domestic study tour of approximately one week.

During the academic residency, participants also can engage in educational and cultural activities outside of the classroom.
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.

  • 4-week academic residency providing participants with an overview of how entrepreneurial skills can address social issues.  The Institute will review the development, history, challenges, and successes of social enterprises and community leaders, in the United States and globally.  The program will give participants a foundation in how to employ entrepreneurial skills to address social issues and will provide unique opportunities to meet with diverse community leaders and social entrepreneurs.  It will address topics such as organizational development and management, business ethics, negotiations, emerging markets and risk analysis, microfinance, corporate social responsibility, strategic business planning and innovation, and women and minorities in entrepreneurship.,
  • 1-week educational tour that will take participants to another area of the U.S.

Throughout the Institute, participants will meet with local, state, private, and not-for-profit organizations working in the field.  They will also be challenged to create follow up community projects to implement in their home communities upon returning to their countries of origin.

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 per medical visit and $75 co-pay for emergency room visit for the duration of the program. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Information on the health benefit program may be found online at

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. All candidates must be proficient in English so that they can actively participate in the academic program. 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. Fields of study may include the sciences, social sciences, humanities, education, business and other professional fields.

*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 2019)
  • be studying at an Uruguayan university (public or private), or tertiary level career such as those offered by IPA, IFD, CERP or Magisterio
  • be interested in the topic of Social Entrepreneurship
  • 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 – the examination certificate is NOT required)
  • 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 briefly 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? No.  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? No.  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.
  • Can we nominate an individual who is not a citizen of the nominating post country? Yes. However, Study of the U.S. Institutes are programs designed to further mutual understanding between U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries.  If you wish to submit a nominate and you are not a citizen of the nominating country, please explain clearly on the application the reasons for the nomination.
  • 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 he/she 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? No.  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? No. Study of the U.S. Institutes are designed exclusively for undergraduate students.
  • 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.
  • 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. We recommend that you check it out first and make sure that you do not need a password to view the video.
  • Will applicants with disabilities be considered?  Yes, the Study of the U.S. Branch welcomes nominations for individuals with disabilities.  We are committed to working with our Institute hosts to arrange reasonable accommodations for all participants.  While notification of a disability will not negatively impact selection, we ask that you identify disabilities during the nomination process so that we can begin working with our Institute hosts to ensure appropriate accommodations.
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