Study of the U.S. Institutes for Student Leaders


Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSIs) for Student Leaders are five-to-six-week academic programs designed for foreign undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 25 to improve their understanding of the United States and to develop their leadership skills. Institutes include a four-week academic residency consisting of interactive classroom activities, discussions, lectures, readings, site visits, and workshops; a one week educational study tour to a different region of the United States; leadership skills building activities; community service; and opportunities to interact with their American peers on a college campus.  Each Institute includes approximately 20 participants from selected countries.  In 2016, the following themes will be offered for a total of 18 student leader programs:  

  • Civic Engagement
  • Global Environmental Issues
  • Journalism and New Media
  • Local, State, and Federal Public Policymaking
  • Religious Pluralism in the United States
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • U.S. History and Government
  • Women’s Leadership

Program Length

5-6 weeks

Eligibility and Application Overview

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be between the ages of 18 and 25 and have at least one semester left of college or university
  • Demonstrate leadership through academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities
  • Proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English
  • Have little or no prior travel or study experience in the United States
  • Not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Eligible to receive a United States J-1 Visa

Prospective participants should contact the Public Affairs Section of their local U.S. Embassy or Consulate for up-to-date information about 2016 Institutes. U.S. Embassies manage the nomination of candidates, as well as organize participants' visa interviews and international travel to the United States. In some countries, candidates may also be selected by a binational Fulbright Commission.

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