Program: Study of the United States Institutes for Student Leaders 2016 (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 9 to February 13, 2016 at the Institute for Training and Development (ITD), in Amherst, Massachusetts.

  • Deadline for candidate applications: Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 5:00 PM.
  • Submit your application now
Participants of the 2015 edition of the SUSI Program in the US
Participants of the 2015 edition of the SUSI Program in the US

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. The coursework and classroom activities will be complemented by educational travel, local site visits, and volunteer opportunities. The institute will include an academic residency component of approximately four weeks and a domestic travel component of approximately one week.

The program will conclude with three days in Washington, DC where students will meet fellow participants from Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Peru, who participated in concurrent institutes at other U.S. Universities.

This program to be held at the Institute for Training and Development will be conducted in English, 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.

Participants will discuss topics related to immigration and the Latino experience in the U.S.; and 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. 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. Housing will typically be in college or university owned housing. Participants may be expected to share a room and bathroom 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.

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 the degree.

Candidates nominated for this program will:

  • be between 18-25 years old (in 2015)
  • 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