A Call for Applications: U.S. Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders on Civic Engagement

The U.S. Embassy is pleased to invite 3rd and 4th year undergraduate students with civic engagement acumen to apply for Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) for Student Leaders on Civic Engagement. The deadline for applications is October 20th. Applications are acceptable via emails to FulbrightBotswana@state.gov .

The U.S. Department of State has sponsored SUSI for Student Leaders since 2003.  A total of 20 SUSI for Student Leaders are scheduled to take place in 2022.  This Institute is one of three offered on the theme of civic engagement. Botswana has 3 slots on offer for the January/February virtual session, with a possibility to travel to the U.S. in spring.

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.  Due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, Institutes have converted to a hybrid format with virtual and in-person components.  Each Institute will include a virtual academic residency and an integrated in-person experience of approximately two weeks at the host institution in the United States.  The U.S. component will be organized taking into consideration all necessary safety guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state, local, and campus authorities.

The exchange program will provide participants with 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 citizenship, community building, economic development, grassroots activism, political leadership, and volunteerism.  Academic sessions will be complemented with interactive sessions or workshops designed to build skills in the topics mentioned above.  The Institute will encourage participants to develop innovative and practical plans to become engaged citizens in their own communities.


Program Funding:  The program will cover all participant costs, including program administration; international round-air ticket, and visa travel costs and travel allowances for the in-person component; domestic travel and ground transportation; book, cultural, mailing, and incidental allowances; technology stipends; and housing and subsistence.  Selected participants will also receive a technology stipend to offset costs associated with participation in the virtual program component.

Program Requirements and Restrictions:  Participants must complete the virtual program to be eligible for the in-person U.S. component.  Candidates should be aware that they are applying for an intensive, rigorous, academic program and are expected to fully participate in all aspects of the program.  Participants must attend all lectures, participate in all required organized activities, and complete all assignments.  Family members and/or friends may not accompany or join participants for any part of the program.

Housing and Meal Arrangements for the In-Person Component:  During the in-person component, housing will be in shared university dorms on campus with common bathrooms or a full-service hotel on or near campus.  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 nominees 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.

Travel Arrangements:  The implementing partner will arrange and pay for international and visa travel for the in-person component.  The implementing partner will also provide each participant with a $100 travel allowance.  The host institutions will cover any travel within the United States during the in-person program component.

Health Benefits: All participants will receive the Department of State’s Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE) health benefit during the U.S.-based in-person component, which provides coverage of up to $100,000 with a $25 co-pay per medical visit and a $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. ASPE also covers up to $500 for routine COVID-19 testing requirements in the United States.  COVID-19 is treated like any other illness under the ASPE health benefits plan.  Information on the health benefit program may be found online at https://www.sevencorners.com/gov/usdos.

If you would like to submit an application before the deadline, please send a motivation letter, CV and recent academic transcript to: FulbrightBotswana@state.gov . In your motivation letter, include the following: a personal statement of not more than 500 words expressing your community engagement profile, the subjects and year you are currently studying at the university, why you would like to be considered for this program, and how you wish to use the experience. Selected participants are required to submit an action plan prior and after the exchange program.