CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: 2018 Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) on Civic Engagement for Student Leaders



The Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders on Civic is an intensive 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 Institute includes a four week academic residency and a one-week study tour to a different part of the U.S. Leadership sessions and community service activities, as well as getting to know Americans, are also an integral component of the Institute.

Participants are expected to be highly motivated 1st through 4th year undergraduate students from universities who demonstrate leadership through academic work, community involvement and extra curricula activities.

Program dates are January 5 to February 10, 2018.  The Institute will be conducted in English and will be hosted at the Foundation for International Understanding, in Seattle, Washington State.

The Foundation for International Understanding through Students (FIUTS)’s Study of the U.S. Institute on Civic Engagement will focus on democracy, citizenship, and civic activism.  The four week academic residency will provide students with an overview of how citizens have shaped U.S. history, government, and society both as individuals and groups.  The program will define civic engagement, examine its development in the U.S., and explore topics such as citizenship, community building, economic development, grassroots activism, political leadership, and volunteerism.  Other topics such as civil rights, entrepreneurship, ethics, leadership, and media will be discussed.  Students will also have the opportunity to leave the classroom to meet with community leaders, entrepreneurs, and representatives of nonprofit organizations.  The academic residency will be complemented by an educational tour that will take participants to another area of the U.S. where they will meet with local, state, private, and not-for-profit organizations working in the field.  The Institute will then conclude with a visit to Washington, D.C.

The U.S. State Department will cover all participant costs, including: program administration; domestic travel and ground transportation; book, cultural, mailing and incidental allowances; and housing and subsistence.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply and candidates will be selected based on their leadership and activism history and their ability to clearly articulate themselves in their personal statement write up (see n. below).



Application format:

a. Full Name (as it appears in passport):

b. Date of Birth:

c. Place/City of Birth:

d. Country of Birth:

e. Country of Residence:

f. Country of Citizenship:

g. Home address, telephone & e-mail:

h. Gender:

i. Medical, Physical, Dietary or other personal considerations:

j. Position and Title in Student Body

k. University, Complete Address

l. Degree Enrolled & Year of Study

m. Previous travel to the U.S.

n. Personal Statement (One page personal statement indicating why you are interested in participating in the program and what you expect to learn during the program).

Applications with the format outlined above and up to date CVs should be e-mailed to with subject line Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders on Civic Engagement.





Diary of a Zimbo studying abroad: Buhle Nkomo @ University of Washington, Seattle-WA, USA.


My student exchange program has been a life-changing and exhilarating experience as I find it complimenting my areas of study every day. Being in the United States of America has been one of the shining and exciting moments in my life. Having been immersed in the American culture I have developed leadership skills and gained valuable international experience through interacting with students from different parts of the world.

The program, Study of the U. S Institutes (SUSIs) which is a leadership program designed for foreign undergraduate’s students to improve and develop their leadership skills. Being a student leader with the thrust of making the positive change in her community, I applied and was afforded a chance to be one of the four students to represent Zimbabwe for six weeks in the United States of America under the Civic engagement theme.


This blog will be centered around my experiences at the Washington DC and will move to the other states on the following blogs. Well being exposed to the Capitol of the United States and having a meeting at the U. S Department was a great experience as I got to understand the main aim of the exchange programs: which is to create relationships and understanding with African countries to make a change. It was an honor to be exposed to thought-provoking conversations and powerful networks. It was also refreshing touring the National Museum of African American History and culture and had an understanding of the civil rights movements. Had powerful moments in American history, culture and learned what it means to be an American.

“Having been immersed in the American culture I have developed leadership skills and gained valuable international experience through interacting with students from different parts of the world.”

 I must say that life in Washington DC is the same that which is seen in most American movies. Everything including buildings, cars, and food is amazing and standards of living are very high. Being an exchange student has been a rewarding experience as it has empowered me to be independent, tolerant of other people’s culture and food. I got to know how people from developed countries live and got to see the world from another different perspective. Surely it has provided me with a substantial backdrop from which to make distinct future choices and I can safely say I am no longer the same.

In conclusion, for the past weeks, I have been receiving questions from various media platforms about how I got to be in the United States. The answer is very simple. I got the opportunity because part of my life is dedicated to the community in terms of doing voluntary work and writing for a change. I have time for voluntary work and its part of my hobbies and I have gained various skills through it. It’s very relevant that in life you find a cause you are passionate about and try to better the lives of people around your help.

 Stay tuned for blog two featuring the New Orleans experience!