Application Deadline: December 03, 2021.
Undergraduate students from Pakistan interested in the topic of Comparative Public Policymaking are invited to apply for participation in the Study of the United States Institute for Student Leaders. If conducted in-person, the Institute will take place at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst from late June to early August 2022. Should health, safety, and travel conditions continue to pose significant challenges, the program will pivot to a modified virtual format. The program will be intensive, academic, and highly interactive. The program sponsors seek energetic applicants who are ready to develop their skills in order to be effective leaders in their schools and communities.
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 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 Institutes will include an academic residency component and, if the program is conducted in-person, an integrated study tour. If it is possible to conduct the Institute remotely, participants will engage in similar activities, but in a truncated virtual format from Pakistan. During the academic residency, participants will also have the opportunity to engage in educational and cultural activities outside of the classroom (in-person or virtual).
The academic residency will provide participants with an overview of the U.S. Federalist system of government as well as the role of non-governmental institutions such as civic organizations, the media, and the private sector in the creation of U.S. public policy and supporting effective democracies. Discussions will explore the responsibilities of local and state government, as well as the three branches of the U.S. government, the system of checks and balances, and the role of local and state governments in leading and innovating in various policy areas. Topics such as public finance, rule of law and democratic governance, education, public health, citizen security, and foreign policy will be included. If conducted in-person, the academic residency will be complemented by an educational tour that will take participants to another area of the United States. Throughout the Institute, participants will meet with local, state, private, and not-for-profit organizations working in the field.
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 applying for this program are required to:
- be proficient in English
- be interested in the topic of public policymaking
- 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 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
If the program is conducted in-person, the students should be comfortable with campus life, prepared to share living accommodations, and able to adjust to cultural and social practices different from those of their home country. Alternatively, if the program is conducted virtually, the students will be required to have reliable internet facility to attend all the lectures.
Other Essential Program Information:
Program Funding: U.S. Government will cover all participant costs, including program administration; international and visa travel, travel allowances, domestic travel, and ground transportation; book, cultural, mailing and incidental allowances; and housing and subsistence as well as arrange and pay for participants’ international and visa travel costs and travel allowances within set limits, if the program is conducted in-person.
If the Institute is conducted as a traditional in-person program:
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. It is important that participants are aware of these arrangements and that they are comfortable with such accommodations. Care will be taken to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily worship, housing, and medical care are satisfied.
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 may be covered up to $100,000, subject to policy exclusions and limitations. COVID-19 is treated like any other illness under the Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE) policy. Information on the health benefit program may be found online at https://www.sevencorners.com/gov/usdos.
Program Requirements and Restrictions:
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. 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 participants are aware of these requirements and restrictions in advance.
How to Apply
Complete an application form and submit it to SUSISLExchange@state.gov latest by 11:59 pm on Friday December 03, 2021. Only emailed applications will be considered for review. Take special care in answering the essay questions. While saving the file and e-mailing the application, kindly use the following format for the subject line: Applicant Name, Name of Institution, City in which you study, for e.g., YOUR NAME, NUST, ISLAMABAD. (This is important, please do not ignore this!)
While answering questions, please be mindful of the word limits.
The Public Affairs Section will contact applicants selected for interviews based on the criteria above, as demonstrated in the application. Interviews will take place virtually around mid-late January 2022. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for the interviews.
The list of finalists and alternates will be announced by late April/early-May 2022.
Official Website: SUSI Student Leaders – Comparative Public Policymaking Program 2022