Study of the United States Institutes
2024 Call for Applications
Open from October 6 – November 5, 2023
1-SUSI Student Leaders – Comparative Public Policymaking
2-SUSI Madeleine K. Albright Young Women Leaders – Public Policy
- Student Leaders – Comparative Public Policymaking (male and female applicants)
Hosted by the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the SUSI for Student Leaders from Pakistan on Comparative Public Policymaking will explore issues of public policy and democracy in the United States and compare U.S. policy with that of Pakistan. The academic program will examine policymaking at the federal, state, and local levels of government and weave together a strong understanding of American institutions. To enhance the academic experience, the Institute will focus on sub-themes such as the need for diversity in the policymaking process, civil rights and protections, food security, environmental policy, immigration, education, and leadership. Academic sessions will be complemented with hands-on sessions and workshops designed to build skills in the topics mentioned above through case studies, simulations, presentations, leadership activities, community service, visits with elected officials, and discussions with the local community. Approximately ten (10) American students will partake in the academic residency to maximize interaction between Pakistani and American students in a classroom setting. The Institute will encourage participants to develop innovative and practical plans to become engaged citizens in their own communities. Activities will include an election simulation, digital storytelling workshops, and a visit to a local community center and food bank. If conditions allow, the SUSI will include a one-week integrated study tour in the United States with visits to Boston, Massachusetts; New York City, New York; Washington, D.C.; and Richmond, Virginia.
- Madeleine K. Albright Young Women Leaders – Public Policy (female applicants only)
This program is only for undergraduate female students. Hosted by the University of Kansas, the Albright Young Women Leaders Program will enhance participants’ knowledge of U.S. democratic principles and society, culture, values, and institutions, while developing their leadership skills in areas such as critical thinking, communication, decision-making, and management. The program will incorporate a focus on American historical events as well as contemporary American life including current political, social, and economic debates in a pluralistic society. Participants will examine how American government policies, business and private sector practices, and socio-cultural norms and values engage and affect women through the thematic lens of Public Policy. Participants will explore democracy and citizen engagement, such as freedom of expression, rule of law, and civil rights and protections. The program will also examine topics including, but not limited to, women in public service, the roles of government, private sector, civil society, and media in the policymaking process, and public policy as it relates to education, public health, economic issues, technology and privacy, and diversity and inclusion, among others. Specific program components may include a visit to St. Louis, Missouri, a panel discussion at Boeing with women leaders, a tour of the Kansas State capitol in Topeka, and a self-defense course.
Participants from past SUSIs or the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (UGRAD) (whether virtual or in-person) who are now considered SUSI or UGRAD alumni are not eligible to participate.
The 2024 SUSI summer programs are expected to run in person at the host institutions, University of Massachusetts for the Student Leaders – Comparative Public Policymaking program and University of Kansas for the Madeleine K. Albright Young Women Leaders – Public Policy program respectively, in the United States; however, if conditions do not allow, the programs may run virtually with all lectures and activities designed for online synchronous and asynchronous learning.
Candidates 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 SUSI are required to
- (Only for Madeleine K. Albright Young Women Leaders program) be female
- be proficient in English
- be interested in the topic of public policymaking
- be between 18 and 25 years of age
- have at least one semester left of their undergraduate studies, and be committed to returning 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, awards, and teacher recommendations
- 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 to cultural and social practices different from those of their home country.
Program Requirements and Restrictions:
Under no circumstances are participants allowed to arrive in the United States prior to the start date of the Institute or remain in the United States after its end date. Similarly, participants will not be permitted to leave the Institute to visit relatives or friends while in the United States. If a relative or friend wishes to visit them, it will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Participants are required to return to their home countries immediately following the end of the Institute(s).
Violations of program rules, host institution rules, or local, state, or federal laws can be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.
Virtual Program Contingency: Should health, safety, and travel conditions pose significant challenges, the SUSI will pivot to a virtual format. The virtual program would consist of at least 36 hours of required programming and include both synchronous and asynchronous learning. Virtual programming may include lectures, small group discussions, videos, readings, panels, leadership development, individual assignments, and group activities. Participants would be required to fully participate in the entire virtual program from their locations.
Should the program need to pivot to a virtual format, participants would need access to a computer and stable internet connection. If a participant does not have access to these two items, the university partner will work with the participant and post to facilitate access. Participants would be expected to actively engage in all program activities, and therefore, they should immediately notify the host institution and post of any issues with their online access during the duration of the program as well as any difficulties affecting their participation.
Other Essential Information:
Program Funding: U.S. Government will cover all participant costs, including program administration; international and visa travel, travel allowances, domestic travel, and ground transportation; book, cultural, mailing and incidental allowances; and housing and subsistence as well as arrange and pay for participants’ international and visa travel costs and travel allowances within set limits, if the program is conducted in person.
Housing and Meal Arrangements: Housing will be in shared university dorms on campus with common bathrooms. For Comparative Public Policymaking program, male participants will be housed on one floor and female participants on a separate floor. For female specific program, two females will share one room. Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own. It is important that participants are aware of these arrangements and that they are comfortable with such accommodations. Care will be taken to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily worship, housing, and medical care are satisfied.
Health Benefits: All participants will receive the Department of State’s coverage of $100,000 with a $25 co-pay per medical visit and $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. COVID-19 is treated like any other illness under the Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE) policy. Information on the health benefit program may be found online at https://www.sevencorners.com/gov/usdos.
How To Apply:
Complete an online application form by 11:59 pm on Sunday, November 5, 2023. Any application received after this time due to any reason will automatically be disqualified.
While answering questions, please be mindful of the word limits.
The Public Diplomacy Section will contact applicants selected for interviews based on the criteria above, as demonstrated in the application. Interviews will take place either in person or virtually by around mid to late December 2023. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews.
The list of finalists and alternates will be announced between mid-April and early May 2024.
Selected participants will need to obtain passports and apply for U.S. visas with the assistance of the Public Diplomacy Section of the U.S. Embassy.
Students will receive orientation materials in the weeks prior to the start of the program to help prepare them for the program and their trip to the United States, if an in-person program is conducted. Participants may have an opportunity to speak with the Public Diplomacy Section about the program.
Subject to travel restrictions due to COVID-19 and visa approvals, participants will travel to the United States for the Institute in the summer of 2024.
If you have any further questions not covered in the Frequently Asked Questions below, you may contact us at PakistanExchangePrograms@state.gov.
Thank you for your interest in SUSI and good luck with your applications!
Online Application Form: https://forms.gle/UcGNe6xrRAE7531KA
Frequently Asked Questions:
a. Are the shortlisted candidates required to be interviewed?
Yes. The U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Pakistan will interview shortlisted candidates for Study of the U.S. Institutes programs. The interviews will be conducted in English. Interviews may take place in person or via video conference.
b. What degree of English proficiency should a candidate have?
All shortlisted candidates must be fully proficient in English. If selected, they will need to fully understand lectures, actively participate in discussions, and read and write assignments in English.
c. Can someone who is a dual citizen of the 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.
d. Can someone who is not a citizen of Pakistan apply for this program?
Yes. Study of the U.S. Institutes are multi-country group programs designed to further mutual understanding between U.S. citizens and people of other countries. If you are a permanent resident but not a citizen of Pakistan, please explain clearly on the application the reasons why you have applied. Temporary or transient residents of the nominating country would normally not be considered.
e. Is someone who has been to the United States before eligible for the program?
Yes. Individuals with minimal experience in the United States may be considered for the program. However, priority will be given to applicants with no previous experience in the United States.
f. Can family members of U.S. government and Fulbright commission employees apply for the program?
No. Applicants who are employees or immediate family members of employees of the U.S. Government (including a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, USAID, or other U.S. Government entity) or Fulbright commissions are ineligible.
g. During the in-person portion of the program, how much free time will a participant have?
There will be some free time during the program. However, participants 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.
h. If the participant has relatives in the United States, would he/she/they have time to see them, during the in-person portion of the program?
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 U.S. host institution if the schedule permits. These situations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
i. During the in-person portion of the program, 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.
j. Can a graduate student participate in the SUSI for Student Leaders Institute?
No. Study of the U.S. Institutes for Student Leaders are designed exclusively for undergraduate students with at least one remaining semester of study.
k. Can a participant miss one part or component of the Institute?
All participants are expected to participate in all scheduled lectures, events, site visits, trips, and activities.
l. If a candidate is chosen as an alternate, what are the chances that they will participate in the program?
If a selected candidate is not able to participate, an alternate may be chosen to participate from the alternate list, if time allows.
m. How much money will participants need to bring for the in-person portion of 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. 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.
n. I participated in the English Access Microscholarship Program; can I participate in this Institute?
p. My sibling participated in SUSI in previous years. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes. However, priority will be given to participants who are unrelated to past SUSI participants.
q. Will applicants with disabilities be considered?
Yes, individuals with disabilities are welcome to apply. The Study of the U.S. Branch works with its implementing partners to arrange reasonable accommodations for all participants.