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

Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders are intensive short-term (five to six weeks) academic programs during the summer designed for undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 25 to deeper their understanding of the United States while simultaneously enhancing their leadership skills. Each Institute has about 20 participants from different countries. The Institutes consist of a four-week academic residency in the United States 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. This program is funded by the U.S. Department of State in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy to Belgium.

Should health, safety, and travel conditions continue to pose significant challenges, the program will pivot to a modified virtual format.


Between November 18, 2021 and January 10, 2022


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




2022 SUSI Program

The Study of the U.S. Institute on Civic Engagement, hosted by Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan

This Institute 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, political leadership, and volunteerism.  In order to enhance the academic experience, the Institute will focus on specific themes such as civil rights and protections, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), citizen journalism, social movements, education, governance, minority communities, leadership, and media.  Academic sessions will be complemented with hands-on sessions or workshops designed to build skills in the topics mentioned above.  The Institute will encourage participants to develop innovative and practical plans to become engaged citizens in their own communities. Academic activities will be supplemented with a study tour to Seattle, Washington. Should conditions allow, the SUSIs for Student Leaders from Europe will begin with an Opening Forum in Washington, D.C., bringing together participants in all three Institutes for networking, foundational leadership skills development, and exploring relevant topics from multi-regional perspectives.  


The application period to apply for this summer program is between November 18, 2021 and January 10, 2022.

Top-ranked applicants will be invited for a mandatory interview in mid to late 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 your application form, a personal statement (max. 500 words), and two recommendation 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 with all required documents to by January 10, 2022 at the latest.

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.


"This experience enriched me in many different ways. I developed my understanding of the aforementioned topics, gained insights into the European and American cultures, and strengthened my network with committed, interested and interesting individuals from across the European continent and the United States. I look forward to applying the acquired knowledge as I return to my home country, motivated to launch a project that would benefit my local community and the wider society."
Ryan Danenberg
Summer 2019
“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

© 1948-2022. Commission for Educational Exchange between the United States, Belgium, and Luxembourg.

info[at] / +32 (0)2 519 57 72