An official website of the United States government

SUSI – Student Leaders – Public Policy
group of people

Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) Student Leaders Public Policy and Indigenous Women, 2019 cohort.

January 26, 2018

SUSI – Student Leaders – Public Policy

The Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders – Public Policy scholarship is a five-week program that gives participants an introduction to the U.S. federal system as well as knowledge about the role of nongovernmental institutions. The program will be conducted in Spanish and will take place at the Institute of Training and Development (ITD) in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Since 2003, the SUSI scholarship has provided fellows the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the United States and improve their leadership skills. The five-week program offers 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 of approximately four weeks and a domestic study tour of approximately one week. During the academic residency, participants will also have the opportunity to engage in educational and cultural activities outside of the classroom. For the closing of the program, fellows will travel to Washington, D.C., for a seminar with other leaders from Latin America.


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

Who can 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 currently living in one of the following departments: Totonicapán, Huehuetenango, Quetzaltenango, Quiché, San Marcos, or Sololá.
  • You must be between 18 and 25 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.
  • 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: Public Policy 2022 fillable form (PDF – 794KB) (If you should encounter any difficulties filling out this form, please email us at Guatemala.BecasEEUU@state.gov)
  2. Send an email with the following documents attached:
    1. Completed 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 – Public Policies – SURNAME, 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 late January through early February of 2022. Please note that this is a highly competitive scholarship. Applicants selected for an interview will be contacted via email. Applicants who have not received such an email by February 20, 2022, have not been invited to continue in the selection process.
  • Interviews are conducted in Spanish. The panel will ask questions and the applicant will give a two-minute presentation on a pre-established topic. These topics will be specified via email and cover general knowledge of the history, politics, current affairs, and cultural diversity of Guatemala.
  • Selected fellows are expected to travel to the United States in 2022.

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 – Public policies – SURNAME, NAME

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.

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