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Student Leaders: Womens Leadership for Indigenous and Afro Latina Women
three ladies holding a flag

Miladys, Eugenia, and Pascuala – SUSI Scholars, Indigenous and Afro-descendant women student leaders, at the University of Arizona. July, 2019.

January 26, 2018

The Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSIs) for Student Leaders are intensive short-term academic programs that provide groups of undergraduate student leaders with a deeper understanding of the United States while simultaneously enhancing their leadership skills. The five-week programs offer a balanced series of seminar discussions, readings, group presentations, and lectures.

The first part of the program is a four-week academic residency that provides participants an overview of the history and contributions of diverse women in public life in the United States to promote effective democracies. The second part of the program is a one-week educational tour where participants visit a different part of the United States. The program will be conducted in Spanish and will take place at the University of Arizona in Tucson.


Submit your application from November 3, 2021 to December 13, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.

Who can apply?

Interested parties must fulfill all the following requirements:

  • Be a female Guatemalan citizen of indigenous or African descent
  • Be proficient in Spanish
  • Be between 18 and 25 years old
  • Have completed at least one (1) semester of undergraduate studies and have at least one (1) semester left of undergraduate studies and therefore committed to return to your home university following completion of the program
  • Prove a consistent high level of academic achievement (GPA, or grade point average, of 85 or in the top 15 percent of your class rank)
  • Provide information regarding awards and teacher recommendations
  • Demonstrate strong leadership qualities, with at least one year of experience in 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 comfortable with campus life and willing to share accommodations
  • Be eligible for a J-1 visa

Important note for all potential applicants to U.S. exchange programs:

As of November 8, 2021, all non-U.S. citizens seeking to enter the United States by air are required to comply with new requirements related to COVID-19 testing and vaccination status. In order to be eligible for consideration at this time, you must be able to meet these new requirements.

Please review the information available here: https://gt.usembassy.gov/updated-requeriments-for-air-travelers-to-the-u-s-due-to-covid-19/.

For further details and guidance, we refer you to the U.S. CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/noncitizens-US-air-travel.html https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/proof-of-vaccination.html.

How to apply

Interested persons must take the following steps:

  1. If you meet the eligibility criteria, complete the SUSI Afro Latina and Indigenous Women Application 2022 fillable form (PDF – 788KB)  (if you should encounter any difficulties filling out this form, email us at  Guatemala.BecasEEUU@state.gov
  2. Send an email with the following documents attached:
    1. Completed fillable form
    2. Scan of your ID (DPI or passport) in PDF format
    3. Certificate issued by your university confirming your GPA
    4. Letter of recommendation from a university professor or mentor, in PDF format

Note: Please use the following format for the filenames of all PDFs submitted:

Last name, document type (Example: LASTNAME – Passport.pdf)

  1. Send the completed application and documents to Guatemala.BecasEEUU@state.gov with the subject: SUSI Afro Latina and Indigenous Women 2022 Application – LAST NAME, NAME.


  • Applications for the 2022 cycle are open from November 3, 2021 to December 13, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Interviews will be held in February of 2022. Please note this is a highly competitive scholarship. Applicants selected for interview will be contacted via email. Applicants who have not received such email by February 20, 2022, have not been invited to continue in the selection process.
  • Selected fellows are expected to travel to the United States in 2022.

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.

What expenses does the 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.

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.

For more information about this scholarship, contact the EducationUSA office:

EducationUSA Guatemala
Walt Whitman American Center – IGA
Address: Ruta 1, 4-05, zona 4
Email: educationusa@iga.edu

Eugenia Racancoj, a SUSI 2019 scholar, shares her experience after participating in the program

Miladys, Pascuala, and Eugenia during their visit to the United States as part of the SUSI scholarship.
Miladys, Pascuala, and Eugenia during their visit to the United States as part of the SUSI scholarship.

What did the SUSI scholarship for Indigenous women mean for you?

For me it was a great responsibility to be able to represent my country in a dignified manner. It was also my obligation to properly coordinate my university activities to be able to participate in all the scholarship activities.

How will your participation in this program help your career?

Developing leadership skills is basic in my career and this will help me cope with different areas as an industrial engineer. Also, knowing the different cultures and experiences of the projects that my scholarship peers have shared will provide support to develop different projects in the industry and in my community. Therefore, in the short term I will be able to develop some projects that I already had in mind and that I have been able to reinforce with this scholarship. SUSI has also helped me get new ideas and goals.

What part of college life in the United States called your attention the most?

The academic level, and that classes are dynamic and participatory. Also, the way classes are mixed with dynamic activities that are related to the same topics.