Summer Institute for Students

Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSIs) for Student Leaders are five- to six-week academic programs for foreign undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 25 designed 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; one week of educational travel 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.

Eligibility: The Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders is a program for current students between 18 and 25 years of age with little to no prior study or travel experience in the United States. Successful candidates will have at least one semester left of their undergraduate studies, and therefore be committed to return to their home universities following completion of the program. They should demonstrate proficiency in English, an interest in the institute topic and in learning about the United States, and high levels of leadership, community engagement, and academic achievement. They should be mature, responsible, independent, confident, open-minded, tolerant, thoughtful, and inquisitive, and should be willing and able to fully participate in an intensive academic program, community service, and educational travel.

How to Apply: Applications for the summer institute will be posted online in November of the previous year. The application must be completed (typed), scanned, and returned by email to The complete application includes biographical information, essays, and two reference forms to be completed by professors or professional supervisors and returned as a total package. A mandatory in-person interview will take place in mid-January. If the candidate has completed any post-secondary courses, he or she should also submit transcripts (grade reports) for those courses along with the final application.

Learn More: Want to learn more about the Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSIs) for Student Leaders? Please visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at

SUSI Summer 2019

In summer 2019, the Fulbright Commission will be able to nominate one participant to attend the Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders from Europe on Youth, Education, and Closing the Skills Gap.

Program Description: This program will explore how advances in technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, and robotics are shaping how we work, where we work, and the skills and education required to work. 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 may include, but are not limited to, communication, entrepreneurship and the gig economy, globalization and urbanization, innovation and technology, organizational development and management, skills development, and reskilling and retraining. The Institute will also provide opportunities for participants to engage with educational and industry leaders, policy makers, trade associations and other key actors.

Benefits: Participants in the Study of the U.S. Institute for European Student Leaders on Environmental Issues will receive the following benefits:

  • Full funding of all program costs
  • Full funding of international travel to/from program
  • Housing in on-campus dorms with meals at campus facilities for program duration
  • Sickness and accident insurance through U.S. Department of State

How to Apply: The complete application includes biographical information, a short essay (250 words), and two reference forms to be completed by professors or professional supervisors. For clarity, please type as much of the application as possible. The application must be returned as a total package via email to by Friday 11 January 2019.

Hear from Grantees

Chiara Loddo (Summer 2017): “This experience changed me forever. I couldn’t have expected better from this program and from the people that I met. I had the time of my life during these five weeks and this opportunity turned me into somebody that is more open-minded, grateful and dreamer than ever. (…) A part of me is now up there with all my friends and my family that is and will be forever in my heart. Being a cultural ambassador is definitely the most exciting experience as a young leader.” Read more about Chiara’s experience.

Bouchra Zaidouni (Summer 2016): “The summer institute for social entrepreneurship was one of the best experiences of my life, it didn’t only provide me with an understanding of social entrepreneurship in general and more specifically in the US, it also helped me step out of my comfort zone. This program taught me how to deal with communication issues due to the difference of languages but also due to the different cultures and perceptions of each of us. To live with 21 other students from all around Europe made me feel more like a world citizen than a European or Belgian one.” Read more about Bouchra’s experience.

Moustapha Echahbouni (Summer 2015): “All the people I met gave me something invaluable during this summer institute: hope. The hope and courage that I can mean something in someone else’s life. That I can help others. If I can be only half as genuine and pure as the amazing people I’ve met during this summer institute, that truly would be a blessing.” Read more about Moustapha’s experience.