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Student Leaders: Leadership for Indigenous and Afro-descendant Women
October 12, 2023

The Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders – Leadership for Indigenous and Afro-descendant Women is a five-week program in which participants will travel to the United States for an intensive academic and cultural program.  The classes and workshops will be complemented by educational travel and leadership activities. 

Topics addressed include the history and contributions of diverse women in public life in the United States to promote effective democracies, the federal system of the United States, and the role of non-governmental institutions.  Progress in gender equality, and the successes and challenges for indigenous and Afro-Latina women will also be examined.  All activities will be conducted in Spanish.  Participants will travel to the University of Arizona in Tucson in 2024. 

THE CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2024 CYCLE IS NOW OPEN! Submit your application from October 10, 2023, to November 12, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. (Guatemala time) 

Who can apply?

Interested women must fulfill all the following requirements:

  • Be an indigenous or Afro-descendant woman 
  • Be a Guatemalan citizen (without dual U.S. citizenship)
  • Be proficient in Spanish
  • Be between 18 and 24 years old
  • Have completed at least one (1) semester of undergraduate studies and have at least one (1) semester left of undergraduate studies (therefore committed to return to your home university following completion of the program)
  • Have an academic average of 85 or more, verified by a transcript issued by your university 
  • Provide information regarding awards and teacher recommendations.
  • Demonstrate strong leadership qualities (at least one year of university or community activities, or equivalent employment)
  • Be willing and able to participate in an intensive academic program, community service, and educational travel.
  • Have little or no prior study or travel experience in the United States or elsewhere outside of Guatemala
  • Be mature, responsible, and independent, to live on campus and share accommodations
  • Be eligible for a J-1 visa 

How to apply

Interested persons must take the following steps:

1. If you meet the eligibility criteria, complete the SUSI Indigenous and Afro-descendant Women 2024 Online Application at https://forms.gle/4zXV6BpFmZEpR6sQ8.  If you encounter any difficulties filling out this form, e-mail us at Guatemala.BecasEEUU@state.gov. 

2. Upload the following documents in the online form:

  • Scan of your ID (DPI –both sides- or passport –first page-) in PDF format
  • Certificate issued by your university confirming your grade point average
  • Letter of recommendation from a university professor or mentor, in PDF format. 


  • Please use the following format for the filenames of all PDFs submitted:  Last name, document type (Example: LASTNAME – Passport.pdf)
  • You may submit documents in Spanish; sworn translations are not necessary. 
  • Applications for the 2024 cycle are open from October 10, 2023, to November 12, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. (Guatemala time)
  • Interviews will be held in December 2023.  Please note that this is a highly competitive scholarship.  Applicants selected for interview will be contacted via e-mail.  Applicants who have not received such e-mail have not been invited to continue in the selection process.
  • Selected fellows are expected to travel to the United States in July 2024. 
Frequently Asked Questions 

I don’t have a visa.  May I apply?
Yes.  Having a visa is not required to apply.  Candidates should be eligible for a J-1 visa. 

Where will the fellows live?
During the program, fellows live in shared university dorms with common bathrooms on campus.  Most meals are provided at campus facilities. 

What expenses does the SUSI scholarship cover?
The scholarship covers the costs of visa, travel, accommodation, tuition fees, and medical insurance. 

Can a family member of a U.S. Embassy employee apply to the program?
Family members of U.S. Embassy employees are ineligible for this program.

Can a family member travel with the SUSI program participant? 
No.  Relatives cannot travel or stay with participants during the program. 

For more information about this scholarship, send an email with your questions to Guatemala.BecasEEUU@state.gov. 

Xochilt and María José, Guatemalan student leaders, participated in the SUSI – Leadership for Indigenous and Afro-descendant Women program at the University of Arizona in August 2022.