What degree of English proficiency should a nominee have?
All participants must be fully proficient in English; throughout the Institute they will need to fully understand lectures, actively participate in discussions, and read and write assignments in English.
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.
Can we nominate an individual who is not a citizen of the nominating post country?
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 nominate someone who is not a citizen of the nominating country, please explain clearly on the application the reasons for the nomination.
My nominee has been to the U.S. before; would he/she be disqualified?
No. Nominees with some experience in the United States can be considered for the program. Please be sure to clearly indicate the purpose of the nominee’s prior visit(s) to the United States, the year, and the length of his/her stay as requested on the nomination form.
How much free time/time for independent research will a participant have during the program?
There will be some free time during the program as well as some time designated for independent research. However, nominees MUST understand that this is an intensive academic program and they are expected to participate in all lectures, activities, and scheduled events. Participants in Scholar Institutes may, at their own expense, opt to extend their stay in the U.S. after the close of their program to the extent allowed by visa regulations.
My nominee is not a college professor; can he/she be considered for the program?
Yes. ECA will consider nominees from a variety of professional backgrounds who are professors at all stages of their careers, practitioners in a designated field, college and university administrators, and community leaders, among others.
If a nominee has relatives in the U.S., would he/she have time to see them?
Because of the intensive nature of the Institutes, participants will not be able to leave the Institute to visit relatives or friends. Participants in Scholar Institutes may, at their own expense, opt to extend their stay in the United States after the close of their program to the extent allowed by visa regulations.
Can a relative travel and stay with the participant during the Institute?
No. Relatives are not permitted to travel or stay with a participant during the program. There are no exceptions to this rule. Participants in Scholar Institutes may, at their own expense, opt to extend their stay in the U.S. after the close of their program to the extent allowed by visa regulations.
If my nominee is chosen as an alternate, what are the chances that my nominee will participate in the program?
The Study of the U.S. Branch strives to have the best possible diversity and gender balance in each Institute. If a selected candidate is not able to participate, the Study of the U.S. Branch will choose a candidate from the alternate list, if time allows. Alternates are listed in alphabetical order (not rank) on the selection cables.
Can a participant arrive early/late for the Institute?
ECA/A/E/USS expects Post to arrange flight itineraries so that participants arrive on the Institute start date. Occasionally flight schedules necessitate that a participant to arrive a day early. These situations will be addressed on a case by case basis in consultation with the ECA program officer and the host institution. Post MUST first consult with ECA program officer about a possible early/late arrival.
Can a participant stay after the end of the Institute?
Yes. Under the terms of their J-1 Visas, participants have up to 30 days after the end of the program to depart from the U.S. However, the participant must be aware that he/she is responsible for all expenses after the end of the Institute and will no longer have ECA-sponsored health benefits.
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 a combination 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 by the host institution six weeks prior to the start of the Institute. Participants should bring their own spending money if they wish to purchase souvenirs or other items during their time in the United States. All participating scholars will receive a stipend to purchase books and research materials while in the U.S. as well as a certain amount to cover mailing costs.