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-week) 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.


Between October and December


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




2024 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. To enhance the academic experience, the Institute will focus on specific themes such as civil rights and protections; diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA); 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.


The application deadline for the summer 2024 program was December 18, 2023. 

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.

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.

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“It was an incredible experience to say the least! It gave me the chance to build connections all over the world, which in turn allowed me and my peers to reflect on the special relationship between Europe and the USA. Additionally, I was offered the valuable opportunity to gain more insight into the history and culture of the USA and to learn about their engagement for a brighter future. I discovered that challenges that apply to the USA often apply to us, Europeans, as well. As it turns out, our similarities are greater than our differences. In light of this, I hope to use the knowledge and skills acquired throughout this program in pursuit of a better, sustainable, and equitable world.”
Serhat Yildirim
"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
“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
“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