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

The Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders from Europe on Journalism and Media

Application Deadline: January 17, 2021, at 23:59.

Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders are intensive short-term academic program whose purpose is to provide groups of undergraduate student leaders with a deeper understanding of the United States while simultaneously enhancing their leadership skills.


The Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders from Europe on Journalism and Media will provide participants with a deeper understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a free press in U.S. society. The Institute will emphasize examining the role of journalists in preventing disinformation and explore strategies for media literacy such as critical thinking to counter disinformation. Academic sessions will examine First Amendment rights, technology’s impact on journalism, editorial independence, journalistic ethics, legal constraints, civic journalism, digital and social media. Finally, the Institute will include the basics of journalism tradecraft: researching, reporting, writing, and editing. The five-week Institutes will 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. The Institute will have 20 participants and will include a four-week academic residency component and a one-week integrated study tour to another region of the United States. During the academic residency, participants will also have the opportunity to engage in educational and cultural activities outside of the classroom.


The participants are expected to be highly motivated undergraduate students from colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher education, who demonstrate leadership through academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities. Applicants from Media and Journalism programs are preferred. However, strong applicants from all study programs including the sciences, social sciences, humanities, education, business, and other professional fields are eligible. Students from non-elite backgrounds, historically underserved groups, indigenous groups, disadvantaged groups, individuals with disabilities, members of the LGBTI community, and ethnic minority communities, both rural and urban areas, and with little or no prior experience in the United States or elsewhere outside their home country are strongly encouraged to apply.

Potential candidates for this program need to:

  • 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
  • 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,
  • if the program is conducted in-person, be comfortable with campus life, prepared to share living accommodations, and able to make adjustments to cultural and social practices different from those of their home country; and,
  • if the program is conducted virtually, posts must ensure that participants have access to the internet and help facilitate such access if needed.

Note: 1st and 2nd year Bachelor students are the best fit for the Program.


Program Requirements and Restrictions: Participants are expected to fully participate in the academic program. They should attend all lectures and organized activities, and complete assigned readings. Candidates should be aware that 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 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. 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. If the Institute is conducted as a virtual program, it 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 would include lectures, small group discussions, videos, readings, panels, site visits, leadership development, assignments, and individual and group activities.  Participants will be expected to fully participate in the entire virtual program from their location.

Program Funding:

All participant costs are covered by the SUSI program.

Housing and Meal Arrangements: Housing will be in shared university dorms on campus with common bathrooms. Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own.

Program start date:

July – August 2021 (exact dates TBD)

Host University:

The SUSI programs take place at different accredited universities in the United States. The applicant cannot choose the host institution.


Please fill in the application with all the required information. Applications should be emailed to as one PDF document.

Only applications submitted in the required format and marked subject line: 2021 SUSI for Young Leaders Application will be reviewed. Additional supporting documents such as scanned copies of grade transcripts and reference letters are preferred but not required.

Download the Application Form here. Application Form

APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 17, 2021, at 23:59.