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

Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders are five-to-six-week academic programs during the summer 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.

  • Five-to-six weeks during the summer

Between November and January


Review eligibility requirements below and include all required documents in your online application.


  • 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
  • J-1 visa sponsorship
  • Pre-Departure Orientation in Brussels
  • Prestigious title and alumni network


  • Belgian citizenship
  • 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
  • Have little or no prior travel or study experience in the United States
  • Proficiency in English
  • 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
  • Eligible to receive a United States J-1 visa
  • Not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States


  • Application form
  • Short essay (250 words)
  • Two reference forms completed by professors or professional supervisors


The application period to apply for this program is between November and January. The exact dates of the application period will be announced online in November. 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.

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 sent as a total package to

All applications are evaluated by the staff of the Fulbright Commission in Brussels and the U.S. Embassy of Brussels. The most competitive applicants demonstrate ambassadorial qualities and a genuine interest in cultural exchange.

More details on the SUSI Program for Student Leaders can be found here.


SUSI Summer 2019: Youth, Education, and Closing the Skills Gap

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.


“It’s a dream for many Europeans to study and live in the US. Well, for me that dream came true in the summer of 2018 by participating in the SUSI program on environmental issues. The program is not only focused on one subject. So, I learned more about leadership of the future, American history and values, living together with different nationalities from all around Europe and most importantly you will get to know yourself. The program made me more mature and helped me thinking with a more open mindset. I would like to thank everybody that made this experience better than I ever could ever imagine.”
Matthias Dehont
Summer 2018
“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.”
Chiara Loddo
“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.”
Bouchra Zaidouni
Summer 2016
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.”
Moustapha Echahbouni
Summer 2015

Copyright 2019. Commission for Educational Exchange between the United States, Belgium, and Luxembourg.

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