Study of the U.S. Institutes
(SUSIs) for Student Leaders

Study of the U.S. Institutes for Student Leaders (SUSIs) are intensive five-week 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 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 will have 20 participants and will include an academic residency component and, if the program is conducted in-person, a one-week integrated study tour. During the academic residency, participants will also have the opportunity to engage in educational and cultural activities outside of the classroom.

The Study of the U.S. Institute on Civic Engagement, hosted by the Michigan State University, 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 Institute will focus on specific themes such as civil rights and protections; diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; citizen journalism, social movements, education, governance, minority communities, leadership, and media. The program will encourage students to develop innovative and practical plans to become engaged citizens in their own communities. Program components may include a tour of the Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, meeting with representatives of the Michigan State University Law Clinic, and volunteering with the Refugee Development Center.

Eligibility criteria

Factors affecting selection

Grant Benefits

Visa sponsorship
Program administration
Domestic travel and ground transportation
International travel
Book, cultural, mailing and incidental allowances
Housing and subsistence
Basic health care insurance

How to apply

Download the application form. Please fill out the application and send your application to the following email address: and


Deadline for submission of applications for summer 2025 will be announced in Fall 2024. Incomplete applications and applications received after that deadline will not be considered.

Application flow

September – November

Application cycle is open.


Deadline for submission of applications. Applications are reviewed for eligibility criteria. The most qualified applicants are invited for interview (that will be conducted during December).


Successful applicants are notified of their nomination. The final stage of the selection process is made by the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.

March – April

Successful applicants chosen by the U.S. Department of State are notified.

April – June

Administrative steps to process visa applications and departure for the U.S. are taken.


What degree of English proficiency should I have?

You must be fully proficient in English to fully understand lectures, actively participate in discussions, and read and write assignments in English.

I have been to the United States before. Does that mean I cannot apply for this program?

You can apply for SUSIs for Student Leaders. However, please bear in mind that candidates with little or no experience in the United States may be considered for the program.

How much free time will I have during the program?

There will be some free time during the program. Candidates should be aware that this is an intensive academic program and participants are expected to fully participate in all lectures, activities, site visits, and scheduled events.    

Would I have time to see my relatives living in the United States?

No, you will not be allowed to leave the Institute to visit relatives or friends. 

Can I arrive early or stay after the Institute?

No, you cannot. Participants 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.    

I am a graduate student. Can I participate in this Institute?

No, you cannot. Study of the U.S. Institutes for Student Leaders are designed exclusively for undergraduate students with at least one remaining semester of study.    

Can I miss one part or component of the Institute?

No, you cannot.  All participants are expected to participate in all scheduled lectures, events, site visits, trips, and activities.    

Will applicants with disabilities be considered? 

Individuals with disabilities, participants from non-elite backgrounds, historically underserved groups, disadvantaged groups, members of the LGBTI community, and ethnic minority communities are encouraged to apply. Care will be taken to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily worship, housing, and medical care are met. 

Where are participants accommodated when in the U.S.?

Housing will be in shared 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.