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The Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders
September 28, 2023

The Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders on Journalism/Media and the Study of the U.S Institute on Environmental Issues Summer 2024

The Embassy of the United States in Tirana is now accepting applications for the 2024  SUSI Student Leader Program. Student Leader Program is an 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.

Institute description

 The Study of the U.S. Institute on Journalism will be hosted by Arizona State University in Tempe. The program 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 and 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. Program components may include a visit to the Phoenix courthouse for an overview of media and the legal system, a tour of The Arizona Republic newsroom, and meeting with representatives of Conecta Arizona, a local news organization that aims to combat misinformation for Spanish speakers.

Eligible participants for this Institute are students from Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Hungary, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia.

The Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) on Environmental Issues, hosted by Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, will provide participants with an overview of climate change along with its impact on local communities natural resources, and the local economy. Academic sessions and experiential learning opportunities will explore clean energy, sustainable development, the risks of natural disasters, and the intersection of climate justice and community activism. 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, agriculture and food systems, biodiversity, and energy efficiency and sustainability. Academic activities will be supplemented by opportunities to engage with the local community, including a weekend homestay and meeting with local environmental non-profits. Program components may include hiking a section of the Appalachian trail, a visit to the Chincoteague Bay Field Station, and a kayak tour with the Susquehanna Riverkeepers, an environmental organization.

Eligible participants for this Institute are students from Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Lithuania, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.

Candidate description and qualifications

Participants must 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. 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.

Candidates nominated for this program must

  • Be proficient in English
  • Be interested in the Institute’s 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 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
  • 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

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

Not Eligible

Individuals in the following circumstances are not eligible for SUSI Programs:

  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States
  • Individuals currently studying, residing, or working outside of their home country
  • Local employees of the U.S. missions abroad who work for the U.S. Department of State and/or the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID and their immediate family members.)

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.

Program funding/housing and meal arrangements

All participant costs are covered by the SUSI program.

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. Care will be taken to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily worship, housing, and medical care are satisfied.

Program tentative timeline: Late June – Late July 2024

Application guidelines

Please fill in the application (World Document 19 KB) with all the required information. Applications should be emailed to CultureandEducationTirana@state.gov as one Word document.

Only applications submitted in the required format and marked with the subject line: 2024 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.

The applicant cannot choose the host institution.


For further information, contact: Public Affairs Office, U.S. Embassy Tirana via e-mail at CultureandEducationTirana@state.gov