Applications Open for the 2021 Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders

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

The U.S. Embassy in Bratislava and the Slovak Fulbright Commission are pleased to announce Summer 2021 Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSIs) for university students on the following themes: 

  • Study of the U.S. Institute on Civic Engagement and 
  • Study of the U.S. Institute on Education and the Future Work. 

The program will take place in early July through August 2021, exact dates will be communicated at a later time. 

Program Description 

Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSIs) for Student Leaders are intensive fiveweek 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, 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 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 Institutes may conclude with a virtual closing forum where participants from the Institute will come together to network, discuss their action plans, and engage in conversations on relevant topics with U.S. Department of State officials.

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 reskilling 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. If conducted in-person, a study tour to another location will explore the theme from a different regional perspective. The Institute may conclude with a virtual closing forum where participants from the Institute will come together to network, discuss their action plans, and engage in conversations on relevant topics with U.S. Department of State officials.

 Candidate Description and Qualifications 

The 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 may include the sciences, social sciences, humanities, education, business, and other professional fields.  

Participants could be from non-elite backgrounds, historically underserved groups, disadvantaged groups, individuals with disabilities, members of the LGBTI community, and ethnic minority communities.  

Candidates nominated for this program must: 

  • 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 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; and, 
  • 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. 

 Other Essential Program Information 

Program FundingECA (Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs) will cover all participant costs, including: visa; program administration; domestic travel and ground transportation; visa travel; book, cultural, mailing and incidental allowances; and housing and subsistence. If the program is conducted virtually, ECA together with US Embassy and Fulbright Commission will work to cover costs associated with ensuring participants have on-line access.   

If the Institutes are conducted as a traditional in-person program 

Housing and Meal Arrangements: 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. Care will be taken to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily worship, housing, and medical care are satisfied.    

Health Benefits: All participants will receive the Department of State’s coverage of $100,000 with a $25 co-pay per medical visit and $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.  COVID-19 is treated like any other illness under the ASPE policy.  Information on the health benefit program may be found online at 

Program Requirements and Restrictions: Participants are expected to fully participate in the academic program. They should attend all lectures and organized activities, and complete assigned 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. 

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. If a relative or friend wishes to visit them, it will be considered on a case by case basis in consultation with the ECA program officer and the host institution. 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.  

The application period will be closed on January 11, 2021. 

Please, send your application and any questions about the program to the Slovak Fulbright Commission and the U.S. Embassy Bratislava at both email addresses: and  

Finalists will be invited for an interview as part of the selection procedure; interviews will be conducted in English.  

Due to the large number of applications that we expect, only successful individuals will be notified by end of February, 2021 

 Download Application Form