HYBRID Winter 2022 Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) for Student Leaders on Social Entrepreneurship
Deadline for candidate applications: Monday, October 11, 2021.
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. This will be a HYBRID 2022 institute for Student Leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay on the theme of Social Entrepreneurship. It will consist of a three-week virtual component in January and February 2022, offering both synchronous and asynchronous activities, and a two-week in-person component tentatively scheduled for spring 2022, contingent upon health, safety, and travel conditions related to the pandemic. Exact dates for both components will be communicated at the time of selection in November. Both components will be conducted in English, and will be hosted by the Institute for Training and Development (ITD), in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Deadline for candidate applications: Monday, October 11, 2021.
Complete your application HERE.
Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSIs) for Student Leaders are intensive short-term academic programs. Due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, Institutes have converted to a hybrid format with virtual and in-person components. Each Institute will include a virtual academic residency and an integrated in-person experience of approximately two weeks at the host institution in the United States. The U.S. component will be organized taking into consideration all necessary safety guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state, local, and campus authorities.
The program will provide 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. 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. Participants will also be challenged to create follow-up community projects to implement in their home communities upon return.
The institute will conclude with a virtual closing forum where participants will come together and engage in conversations on relevant topics. During the forum, participants will have the opportunity to meet with their peers from Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Peru who are participating in the other Institute.
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, and a technology stipend to offset costs associated with participation in the virtual program component.
Participants will receive the Department of State’s Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE) health benefit during the U.S.-based in-person component, which provides coverage of up to $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. ASPE also covers up to $500 for routine COVID-19 testing requirements in the United States. COVID-19 is treated like any other illness under the ASPE policy. Information on the health benefit program may be found online at https://www.sevencorners.com/gov/usdos.
Program Requirements and Restrictions
Participants must fully complete the virtual program to be eligible for the in-person U.S. component. Candidates should be made aware that they are applying for an intensive, rigorous, academic program and are expected to fully participate in all aspects of the program. Participants must attend all lectures, participate in all required organized activities, and complete all assignments. Family members and/or friends may not accompany or join participants for any part of the program. Participants will not be allowed to arrive or leave the institute to visit relatives or friends while in the U.S.
The virtual program will consist of a minimum of 36 hours of required programming and will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning. To the extent possible, the virtual programming will include lectures, small group discussions, videos, readings, panels, site visits, assignments, and individual and group activities. Participants are required to fully participate in the entire virtual program. Participants must complete the virtual program to be eligible for the in-person program in the United States. However, if a participant is not able to participate in the in-person U.S. component, they will still receive ECA alumni status and be eligible for all ECA alumni benefits after completion of the virtual program.
In order to successfully participate in the initial virtual program component in their home country, participants must have access to a computer and a stable internet connection. If a participant does not have a computer or adequate internet access ITD will work with the participant to facilitate access on an as-needed basis. For the in-person component of the program, the host institutions will provide participants with access to a computer and internet.
Participants will be expected to actively engage in all program activities, and therefore, they should notify immediately the host institution of any issues with their online access during the duration of the program as well as any difficulties affecting their participation.
Housing and Meal Arrangements for the In-Person Component
During the in-person component, housing will be in shared university dorms on campus with common bathrooms or a full-service hotel on or near campus. 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 nominees 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.
English Language Ability
English Language knowledge and/or proficiency are required to participate in this program. All candidates must be proficient in English so that they can actively participate in the academic program. Therefore, candidate interviews will be conducted in English.
Candidate Description and Qualifications
The participants are expected to be highly motivated first through third year undergraduate students from colleges, universities, and ANEP institutions of higher education, who demonstrate leadership through academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities. Fields of study will be varied and may include the sciences, social sciences, humanities, education, business and other professional fields.
- We will put a special emphasis on recruiting participants:
- from diverse social and ethnic backgrounds with an emphasis on underserved and disadvantaged groups, Afro-Latinos, indigenous and minority communities,
- with disabilities
- with little or no prior experience in the United States or elsewhere outside their home country
- who have had one year of studies and/or who still have at least one more year to finish their bachelor’s degree.
Candidate Description and Qualifications
- Be between 18-25 years old,
- 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,
- Indicate a serious interest in learning about the United States and about U.S. history and government,
- Be willing and able to fully participate in an intensive virtual academic program (note that participation in the in-person program, component of the Institute is expected and encouraged but not required); and,
- During the in-person component, be comfortable with campus life, prepared to share living accommodations, and able to adjust 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 in the U.S.? There will be some free time during the in-person 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 both virtual and in-person program, and all scheduled lectures, events, 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 prior to the start of the in-person 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.