Program Overview:

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.  Each Institute has 20 participants.  The Institutes consist of a four-week academic residency with a balanced series of seminar discussions, readings, group presentations, and lectures.  Site visits, leadership development, cultural activities, and community service complement the coursework and academic sessions.  If conditions allow, the Institute will include a one-week integrated study tour in the United States.

Students in Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are also BOLD members, may apply for one of the following SUSIs:

  • The Study of the U.S. Institute on Environmental Issues hosted by the University of Nevada, Reno will provide participants with an overview of climate change along with its impact on communities in the American west, natural resources, and the local economy. Academic sessions will explore clean energy, sustainable development, the risks of natural disasters, and the intersection of climate justice and community activism.  In order to enhance the academic experience, the Institute will focus on specific themes and sub-topics such as strategic communication, social justice, emergency response, water rights, energy efficiency and sustainability.  Academic activities will be supplemented by opportunities to engage with the local community, including a weekend home-stay, emeeting with local environmental non-profits, and, if conducted in-person, a study tour to New Orleans, Louisiana.  Should conditions allow, the SUSIs for Student Leaders from Europe will begin with an Opening Forum in Washington, D.C., bringing together participants in all three Institutes for networking, foundational leadership skills development, and exploring relevant topics from multi-regional perspectives.
  • The Study of the U.S. Institute on Journalism and Media hosted by Arizona State University, will provide participants with a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities for modern journalism.  The Institute will examine freedom of expression in democracy, leveraging multimedia tools, and exploring the role of journalists in promoting media literacy and preventing disinformation.  Academic sessions will examine First Amendment rights, fundamentals of multimedia journalism, compelling storytelling, editorial independence, journalistic ethics, legal constraints, civic journalism, media literacy, and digital and social media.  The Institute will encourage participants to analyze future trends in media as well as gain practical experience in the tradecraft of journalism, including building trust, interviewing, researching, writing, reporting, and editing.  Academic sessions will be complemented with hands-on sessions or workshops designed to build skills in the topics mentioned above. In addition to classroom activities, participants will meet with local news outlets and, travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the study tour.  Should conditions allow, the SUSIs for Student Leaders from Europe will begin with an Opening Forum in Washington, D.C. bringing together all three Institutes for networking, foundational leadership skills development, and exploring relevant topics from multi-regional perspectives.


Program Details:

  • All participant costs are covered by the program, including program administration; domestic travel and ground transportation; book, cultural, mailing, and incidental allowances; and housing and subsistence, as well as international travel and visa costs.
  • All participants are expected to participate fully in the program.  Candidates should be made aware that they are applying for an intensive program and there will be little time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program.  Participants must attend all lectures and organized activities and complete all assignments.  Family members and/or friends may not accompany participants on any part of the program.
  • All candidates must be proficient in English so that they can actively participate in the academic program.
  • Under no circumstances are participants allowed to arrive in the United States prior to the start date of the SUSI or remain in the United States after the end date.  Similarly, participants will not be permitted to leave the SUSI to visit relatives or friends while in the United States.  If a relative or friend wishes to visit a participant, 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.
  • Should health, safety, and travel conditions continue to pose significant challenges, the SUSI will pivot to a virtual format.


Candidate Eligibility:

Applicants must:

  • be a BOLD member
  • 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 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 Europe;
  • 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;
  • 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,


How to Apply:

Applications for candidates in Bosnia and Herzegovina must be submitted by e-mail to the U.S. Embassy by December 30, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. local time. Applicants must fill out the application form and submit the form by e-mail to with the Subject Line “2022 SUSI Student Leaders Application”

Qualified candidates will be contacted by the embassy for phone interviews in early January.

For questions about this program or application please e-mail