SUSI Civic Engagement student leaders from Guatemala during their visit to New York in July 2022
The Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders – Civic Engagement scholarship is a five-week program that provides participants an overview of how citizens have shaped U.S. history, government, and society both as individuals and groups. The academic program will define civic engagement, examine its development in the United States, and explore topics such as active citizenship, community building, public policy, political leadership, and volunteerism.
The five-week program offers a balanced series of seminar discussions, readings, group presentations, and lectures. SUSI encourages participants to develop innovative and practical plans to become engaged citizens in their own communities.
SUSI includes an academic residency component of approximately four weeks and a domestic study tour of approximately one week, for a total program in the United States of approximately five weeks. During the academic residency, participants will also have the opportunity to engage in educational and cultural activities outside the classroom. For the closing of the program, fellows will travel to Washington, D.C., where they will participate in a seminar with other leaders from throughout Latin America.
The program will be conducted in Spanish and will take place at the Institute of Training and Development (ITD) in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Who may apply?
Interested persons who meet all the following requirements may apply:
⦁ You must be a Guatemalan citizen (no dual U.S.-Guatemalan citizenship).
⦁ You must have been born and be currently living in one of the following departments: Totonicapán, Huehuetenango, Quetzaltenango, Quiché, San Marcos, or Sololá.
⦁ You must be between 18 and 24 years old.
⦁ You must be a full-time university student who has completed at least two (2) semesters of university studies and has at least one (1) semester remaining before graduation. You must be studying at a university based in Guatemala.
⦁ You must be able to demonstrate that you maintain an academic average of 85 points or higher. Documentation will be required from your university confirming your GPA (grade point average) or position in your class in the top 15 percent.
⦁ You must be eligible for a J-1 visa.
How to apply
Interested persons must take the following steps:
⦁ If you meet the above eligibility criteria, complete the SUSI Civic Engagement 2023 Online Application (if you encounter any difficulties filling out this form, email us at ⦁ Guatemala.BecasEEUU@state.gov.
⦁ Upload the following documents in the online form:
⦁ Certificate issued by your university confirming your GPA
⦁ Letter of recommendation from a university professor or mentor (PDF)
Note: Please use the following format for filenames of all PDFs submitted:
Last name, document type (Example: LASTNAME – Passport.pdf)
⦁ Applications for the 2023 cycle are open between October 31, 2022, and December 13, 2022 (closes at 3:00 p.m., Guatemala time, on that date)
⦁ Interviews will be held in January 2023. Please note this is a highly competitive scholarship. Applicants selected for interview will be contacted via email. Applicants who have not received an email invitation to an interview by January 10, 2023, have not been invited to continue in the selection process.
⦁ Selected fellows are expected to travel to the United States in August, 2023.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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 SUSI scholarship cover?
The scholarship covers the costs of visa, travel, accommodation, tuition fees, and medical insurance while in the United States.
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 relative travel or stay with the SUSI program participant?
No. Relatives cannot travel or stay with participants during the program.
Where do fellows live while in the United States? During the program, fellows live in shared university dorms on campus with shared bathroom facilities. Most meals will be provided on campus.
For more information about this scholarship, send an email with your questions to Guatemala.BecasEEUU@state.gov.