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Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSIs) for Student Leaders 2021 – Application deadline: 01/20-2021
December 14, 2020

Seal of the United States Embassy CopenhagenPROGRAM DESCRIPTION:

Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSIs) for Student Leaders are intensive short-term 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 Institutes 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, site visits, leadership activities, and volunteer opportunities within the local community.  Each Institute typically has 20 participants and includes an academic residency component and, if the program is conducted in-person, an integrated study tour.  During the academic residency, participants will also have the opportunity to engage in educational and cultural activities outside of the classroom (in-person or virtual).


The Study of the U.S. Institute on Civic Engagement, hosted by the University of South Carolina, will provide participants with an overview of how citizens have shaped U.S. history, government, and society both as individuals and groups.  The academic program will define civic engagement, examine its development in the United States, and explore topics such as citizenship, community building, economic development, grassroots activism, media literacy, and volunteerism. The program will encourage students to develop innovative and practical plans to become engaged citizens in their own communities.   If conducted in-person, the study tour will explore civic engagement through the unique perspective of different communities in the United States.

The Study of the U.S. Institute on Education and the Future of Work, hosted by the University of Massachusetts-Boston, will explore how technology, the job economy, and skills-based education are interconnected in the United States.  The Institute will expose participants to global issues in the context of the future of work by examining educational, social, and economic trends.  Using an interdisciplinary approach, the academic program will examine the role of U.S. educational institutions, particularly community colleges, in preparing Americans with the skills needed to succeed in multiple industries and sectors including business, technology, science, higher education, the creative arts, and other fields.  Topics will include, but are not limited to, communication, entrepreneurship, globalization and urbanization, innovation and technology, organizational development and management, skills development, and re-skilling and retraining.  The program will also provide opportunities for participants to engage with educational and industry leaders through site visits around the greater Boston metropolitan area.

The Study of the U.S. Institute on Entrepreneurship and Economic Development hosted by the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, will provide participants with an overview of entrepreneurial approaches by reviewing the development, history, challenges, and successes of U.S. entrepreneurial enterprises, including social enterprises, business leadership and women’s economic empowerment, in the United States and globally.  Topics will include, but are not limited to, business development in a global setting, diversity in the workforce, management strategies and techniques, and the relationship among businesses, governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).  Academic activities will be supplemented by opportunities to engage with the local community, including meeting with local entrepreneurs, and, if conducted in-person, a study tour to another U.S. community.


Program Requirements and Restrictions: Participants are expected to fully participate in the academic program, whether in-person or remotely.  They should attend all lectures and organized activities, and complete assignments and 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 if the program takes place in-person.

English Language Ability: All candidates must be proficient in English so that they can actively participate in the academic program.  Host institutions will take into account that the level of comprehension and speaking ability of students may vary and will prepare lectures and discussions that meet the highest academic standards while using language appropriate for students where English is their second or third language.  Posts must indicate the level of English language fluency in the nomination form.

If the Institute is conducted as a traditional in-person program:

Housing and Meal Arrangements: Housing will be in shared or single university dorms on campus with common bathrooms.  Male participants will be housed on one floor and female participants on a separate floor.  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.

Under no circumstances are participants allowed to arrive in the United States prior to the start date of the Institute or remain in the United States after its end date.  Similarly, participants will not be permitted to leave the Institute to visit relatives or friends while in the United States.   Participants are required to return to their home countries immediately following the end of the Institute(s).

Violations of program rules, host institution rules, or local, state or federal laws can be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.


Candidates applying for this program will:

  • be proficient in English;
  • be interested in the Institute topic;
  • be between 18 and 25 years of age;
  • have at least one semester left of their undergraduate studies, and therefore, if the program is conducted in-person, be committed to returning to their home universities following completion of the program;
  • demonstrate strong leadership qualities and potential in their university and community activities;
  • indicate a serious interest in learning about the United States;
  • have a sustained high level of academic achievement, as indicated by grades, awards, and teacher recommendations;
  • demonstrate commitment to community and extracurricular university activities;
  • have 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;
  • if the program is conducted in-person, 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.

Complete the application form and send it to CopenhagenIRC@State.Gov no later than January 20, 2021.