The Study of the U.S. Branch (ECA/A/E/USS) is pleased to invite candidate nominations from European posts and Fulbright Commissions for a summer 2019 Study of the U.S. Institutes for Student Leaders on the theme of Closing the Skills Gap. The program will take place during the June to August timeframe in 2019. Exact dates will be communicated at a later time.
Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSIs) 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. 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. Each 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.
Candidate Description and Qualifications
The 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 nominated for this program will:
- 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,
- 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.
The Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders from Europe on Youth, Education, and Closing the Skills Gap will explore how advances in technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, and robotics are shaping how we work, where we work, and the skills and education required to work. The Institute will expose participants to global issues in the context of the future of work by examining educational, social and economic trends. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the academic program will examine the role of U.S. educational institutions, particularly community colleges, in preparing Americans with the skills needed to succeed in multiple industries and sectors including business, technology, science, higher education, the creative arts and other fields. Topics may include, but are not limited to, communication, entrepreneurship and the gig economy, globalization and urbanization, innovation and technology, organizational development and management, skills development, and reskilling and retraining. The Institute will also provide opportunities for participants to engage with educational and industry leaders, policy makers, trade associations and other key actors.
Other Essential Program Information
Program Funding: ECA will cover all participant costs, including: program administration; domestic travel and ground transportation; visa travel; book, cultural, mailing and incidental allowances; and housing and subsistence.
Housing and Meal Arrangements: Housing will be in shared university dorms on campus with common bathrooms. Male participants will be housed on one-floor and female participants on a separate floor. Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own.
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 are not covered. Information on the health benefit program may be found online at https://www.sevencorners.com/gov/usdos.
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 made 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. If a relative or friend wishes to visit them, it will be considered on a case by case basis in consultation with the ECA program officer and the host institution. 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. It is important that these requirements and restrictions be made clear to all candidates before nominations are submitted.
English Language Ability: All candidates must be proficient in English so that they can actively participate in the academic program.
The application period closes on January 22, 2019.
Please, send your application to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. If you have any questions about the program, please send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org and BiroK@state.gov.
Finalists will be invited for a personal interview as part of the selection procedure; interviews will be conducted in English.