The U.S. Embassy in Türkiye is pleased to announce the 2024 Study of the United States Institute (SUSI) for Student Leaders: Civic Engagement.
U.S. Embassy in Turkiye is pleased to invite student leaders for a summer 2024 Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) for Student Leaders. Students will be selected from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, and Turkiye interested in the topic of Civic Engagement. The five-week program will be hosted by the Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS) at the University of Washington in Seattle. The tentative dates are June 22 to July 25, 2024, and any changes will be shared at the time of selection.
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. Each Institute hosts 20 participants. The Institutes consist of a four-week academic residency with a balanced series of seminar discussions, readings, group presentations and lectures. Site visits, leadership development, cultural activities, and community service complement the coursework and academic sessions. If conditions allow, the Institutes will include a one-week integrated study tour in the United States. Note that if the program must take place virtually, participants would engage in similar activities online from their home countries.
The SUSI on Civic Engagement will enhance participants’ knowledge of U.S. history, government, institutions, society, and culture within the context of the theme. Participants may also explore the responsibilities of citizens in a democracy; civil rights movements; social justice; gender equity; community-building; grassroots and youth activism; strengthening democracy while defending against authoritarianism; addressing and fighting corruption; promoting respect for human rights; media literacy and countering disinformation; and the role of volunteerism in society. The Institute will incorporate a focus on U.S. historical events as well as contemporary American life, including current political, social, and economic debates in a pluralistic society. Specific program elements may include sessions with city officials, a service project at a local park or natural area with Earth Corps, a meeting with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and a day trip to Bainbridge Island to learn about the practice of Japanese-American internment during World War II. Participants will learn skills such as community asset mapping, budgeting, fundraising, goal setting, and volunteer management, in addition to a dedicated leadership development curriculum designed for aspiring civic leaders. A study tour to Kansas City, Missouri, will conclude the program.
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. Their fields of study will be varied and may include the sciences, social sciences, humanities, education, business, and other professional fields.
Candidates nominated for this program will:
- demonstrate English language proficiency (speaking, reading, writing, listening);
- demonstrate interest in the topic of Civic Engagement;
- be between 18 and 25 years of age;
- have at least one semester left of their undergraduate studies, and 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 service 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 to respectfully engage with fellow participants representing different backgrounds and different points of view;
- be willing and able to fully participate in an intensive academic program, community service, and educational travel; and
- 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.
Program Funding: Department of State will cover all participant costs, including program administration; international and visa travel, travel allowances, domestic travel and ground transportation; book, cultural, mailing and incidental allowances; and housing and subsistence as well as arrange and pay for participants’ international and visa travel costs and travel allowances within set limits and in coordination with posts.
Program Requirements and Restrictions: Candidates should be made aware that they are applying for an intensive and rigorous academic Institute 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. Due to the intensive nature of the program, participants should not expect to fulfill professional or academic obligations, including remote work for jobs or internships, classwork, or examinations for their home university, while in the United States. Doing so will count as an unexcused absence from program activities. Family members and/or friends may not accompany or join participants for any part of the program.
English Language Ability: English Language proficiency is required to participate in this program. All candidates must be proficient in English so that they can actively participate in the academic program. Host institutions 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.
Housing and Meal Arrangements: Housing will be in shared or single university dorms on campus or full-service hotels within walking distance of most classroom activities. Male and female participants will be housed in separate quarters. In addition to regular group meals and a university meal plan, participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own. All participants will be expected to respectfully share communal spaces and any necessary responsibilities.
Special Accommodations: Care will be taken to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily worship, housing, and medical care are satisfied. Special accommodations will be made available to the greatest extent possible. Should a participant need to quarantine due to health and safety concerns, accommodations will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and host institution guidelines.
Health Benefits: All 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.
Travel Policy: Participants are not allowed to arrive in the United States prior to the start date of the SUSI or remain in the United States after the end date. To avoid the logistical difficulties of delayed arrivals, participants will be expected to make accommodations with their university and exam schedules to be able to arrive on the scheduled arrival day. Similarly, participants will not be permitted to leave the SUSI 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.
Grounds for Program Dismissal: Violations of program rules, host institution rules, or local, state, or federal laws can be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.
Virtual Program Contingency: Should health, safety, and travel conditions pose significant challenges to the program, the SUSIs will pivot to a virtual format. The virtual program will consist of at least 36 hours of required programming and include both synchronous and asynchronous learning. Virtual programming may include lectures, small group discussions, videos, readings, panels, individual assignments, and group activities. Participants would be required to fully participate in the entire virtual program from their locations.
Connectivity: Should the program need to pivot to a virtual format, participants would need access to a computer and a stable internet connection. Participants would be expected to actively engage in all program activities, and, therefore, they should immediately notify the Embassy of any issues with their online access during the duration of the program as well as any difficulties affecting their participation.
Applications closed on November 26, 2023.
Only short-listed candidates will be notified.
Due to the heavy workload, we are not able to accept telephone inquiries or emails.