Study of the United States Institutions Program (SUSI)

Summer 2024 Study of the U.S. Institutes for Student Leaders from Europe on Civic Engagement


The deadline for candidate nominations to be received at the U.S. Embassy Tallinn is December 20, 2023 at Please reach out to Jane Susi at the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn for more information on the program.

APPLICATION FORM for the Study of US Institutes for Student Leaders from Europe on Civic Engagement

Successful applicants will be contacted after January 1, 2024 


Study of the U.S. Institutes” (SUSI) for Student Leaders are intensive short term 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.

SUSI programs are five-week Institutes in July-August that consist of a balanced series 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 up to 20 participants and will include a four-week academic residency component and a 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 Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, 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.  Program components may include a tour of the Charles Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, meeting with representatives of the Michigan State University Law Clinic, and volunteering with the Refugee Development Center.


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 will be varied and may include the sciences, social sciences, humanities, education, business, and other professional fields.

Candidates applying for this program will:

  • -be Estonian citizens
  • -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 return 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 and awards
  • -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 adjust cultural and social practices different from those of their home country.


  • All participant costs will be covered, including program administration; domestic travel and ground transportation; book, cultural, mailing, and incidental allowances; and housing and subsistence.
  • Housing and Meal Arrangements: Housing will be in university dorms.  Participants may be expected to share a room and bathroom with another student of the same gender.  Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own.
  • All participants will receive the Department of State’s Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE) health benefit during the U.S.-based in-person component, which provides coverage of up to $100,000 with a $25 co-pay per medical visit and a $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.  ASPE also covers up to $500 for routine COVID-19 testing requirements in the United States.  COVID-19 is treated like any other illness under the ASPE health benefits plan.  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.  You are expected to attend all lectures and organized activities, and complete assigned readings.  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 U.S. prior to the start date of the Institute or remain in the U.S. after its end date.  Similarly, participants will not be permitted to leave the Institute to visit relatives or friends while in the U.S.  If a relative or friend wishes to visit them, it will be addressed on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with the program officer and the host institution. Participants are required to return to their home countries immediately following the end of the Institute.
  • Violations of program rules, host institution rules, or local, state, or federal laws can be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program
  • English Language Ability: All candidates should be proficient in English so that they can actively participate in the academic program.


The selection of candidates is on a competitive basis and participation is not guaranteed. The Study of the U.S. Branch will make the final selections.  Although you are asked to apply to the U.S. Embassy in Estonia, the final decision on placement of successful candidates will be made by the Study of the U.S. Branch.

Applicants will be notified regarding selection or non-selection of candidates by late April 2024 by the U.S. Embassy.


  1. What degree of English proficiency should a participant have? All participants must be fully proficient in English; throughout the Institute they will need to fully understand lectures, actively participate in discussions, and read and write assignments in English.
  2. Can a participant who is a dual citizen (U.S. and country of origin) participate in Study of the U.S. Institutes? No.  U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) are NOT eligible to participate in this program.
  3. 3.How much free time will a participant have during the program?  There will be some free time during the program.  However, nominees MUST understand that this is an intensive academic program and they are expected to fully participate in all lectures, activities, site visits, and scheduled events.
  4. If a participant has relatives in the U.S., would he/she have time to see them?  Participants will NOT be allowed to leave the Institute to visit relatives or friends.  Occasionally it is possible for a relative or friend to visit the participant on a specific day designated by the host institution if the schedule permits.  These situations will be addressed on a case by case basis in consultation with the ECA program officer and the host institution.
  5. Can a participant arrive early/late or stay after the Institute? No.  Participants who choose to travel to the United States on a Study of the U.S. Institute are required to abide by the terms and conditions of the program.  These terms state clearly that student leaders may NOT arrive in the United States before the program start date or remain in the country after the close of the institute. Participants must also return to their home countries immediately following the end of the Institute.
  6. Can a graduate student participate in this Institute? No. Study of the U.S. Institutes are designed exclusively for undergraduate students with at least one remaining semester of study.
  7. Can a participant miss one part or component of the Institute? No.  All participants are expected to participate in all scheduled lectures, events, site visits, trips, and activities.
  8. How much money will participants need to bring for the program?  The Study of the U.S. Institutes cover all basic costs of an individual’s participation including transportation, lodging, and meals.  Generally, host institutions provide for meals through a combination of a cafeteria meal plan, a pre-loaded debit card for use at local restaurants, and/or a cash allowance to permit participants to purchase food for cooking.  Information on housing and meal arrangements will be provided by the host institution six weeks prior to the start of the Institute.  Other than the meal stipend mentioned above, participants should not expect to receive any spending money from the Institute.  Participants should bring their own spending money if they wish to purchase souvenirs or other items during their time in the United States.

 Virtual Program Contingency

Should health, safety, and travel conditions continue to pose significant challenges, the SUSI will pivot to a virtual format.  The virtual program would consist of a minimum of 36 hours of required programming with a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning.  To the extent possible, the virtual programming will include lectures, small group discussions, videos, readings, panels, site visits, leadership development, assignments, and individual and group activities.  Participants will be required to fully participate in the entire virtual program from their locations.

The Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Secondary /Gymnasium Level Educators in Summer 2023

Application deadline – January 10, 2023 via e-mail to 

Application Form


The Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Secondary Educators are intensive five-week post-graduate level academic programs with integrated study tours in Summer 2023. The purpose of SUSI is to provide foreign secondary school educators and administrators the opportunity to deepen their understanding of U.S. society, culture, values, and institutions. Applicants are encouraged to visit our website page to obtain general information about the Institutes

Exact dates for the programs will be determined later.  The Institutes will be conducted as traditional in-person programs at U.S. host institutions.  Should health, safety, and travel conditions continue to pose significant challenges, the programs will pivot to a modified virtual format.


The Study of the U.S. Institutes for Secondary Educators will provide three multinational groups of 20 experienced secondary school educators (including teachers, administrators, teacher trainers, curriculum developers, textbook writers, ministry of education officials, and others) with a deeper understanding of U.S. society, education, and culture – past and present.

Through a combination of traditional, multi-disciplinary, and interdisciplinary approaches, program content will examine the history and evolution of U.S. institutions and values, broadly defined.  The programs will also serve to illuminate contemporary political, social, and economic debates in American society.  The four-week academic residencies will take place at U.S. university and college campuses and will consist of a balanced series of lectures, panels, seminar discussions, readings, workshops, site visits, meetings with practitioners in the field, and cultural activities.  One-week study tours to a different region will complement the academic residencies and showcase the cultural, geographic, and ethnic diversity of the United States.

The University of Montana (UM) in Missoula, MT will oversee and administer the three SUSIs for Secondary Educators and will conduct one Institute for teachers which will explore U.S. studies through the lens of democracy and citizenship.  The Institute for Training and Development (ITD) in Amherst, Massachusetts will conduct the second Institute for teachers which will explore the ways in which individual rights and social obligations have evolved through American history.  California State University at Chico will conduct the Institute for Administrators and will focus on sociocultural understanding, equitable learning communities, and diversity and inclusion in U.S. education and society.

Placements will be assigned by program organizers.  All three Institutes will conclude with one-week study tour that end in Washington, D.C.  The program will offer multiple opportunities for follow-on engagement through alumni webinars, grant-funded follow-on projects, social media, and an alumni workshop.


Program Funding: All participant costs will be covered, including transportation.

Program Requirements and Restrictions: All participants are expected to participate fully in the program.  The program will be intense with very little time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program.

Family members and/or friends may not accompany participants on any part of the program.  Please note that Institute curriculum will not formally address teaching methodology and pedagogical methods.

English Language Proficiency:  All candidates must be proficient in English so that they can actively participate in the academic program.

Housing and Meal Arrangements: Each participant will have a private room but may be required to share a bathroom with a participant of the same gender during the Institute.  Most meals will be provided at campus facilities; participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own.

Travel Arrangements: For all Institutes, the implementing partner will arrange and pay for international and visa travel.  The host institution will provide each participant with a small travel allowance.

Health Benefits: All participants will receive the U.S. Department of State’s Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE) health benefit


  • Study of the U.S. Institutes for Secondary Educators are world-wide programs and therefore highly competitive.  To confirm suitability for the program as well as the required English fluency, an American officer at the U.S. Embassy or consulate should interview the applicant.
  • Priority will be given to candidates who have firm plans to enhance, update, or develop courses and/or educational materials with U.S. studies focus or component.
  • Candidates should be mid-career, typically between the ages of 30-50, highly motivated, experienced secondary school teachers and administrators. 
  • Ideal candidates are individuals whose home institution is seeking to introduce aspects of U.S. studies into its curricula, to develop new courses in the subject of the Institute, to enhance and update existing courses on the United States, or to offer specialized seminars/workshops for professionals in U.S. studies areas related to the program theme.
  • As noted above, candidates must demonstrate English language fluency.  Institutes are rigorous and demanding academic programs conducted entirely in English.
  • While senior and entry-level educators are eligible applicants, mid-career professionals with little or no prior experience in the United States will be given first consideration.
  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) are not eligible for these programs.
  • U.S. Embassy Tallinn may nominate only Estonian citizens for this program.