Summer 2023 – Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders from Europe

In partnership with the U.S. Department of State, Meridian International Center welcomes its first cohort of 60 European undergraduate student leaders to engage with U.S. culture and develop global leadership skills through the Study of U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders from Europe program. The 2023 program begins with a Program Launch hosted by Meridian in Washington, DC. The DC program will orient the Student Leaders to the program, provide an opportunity for students to network with each other, and to experience the rich historical and cultural resources in the nation’s capital.  

Following the DC Launch, participants will attend one of three Institutes, which consist of a 4-week academic program and travel to another American city. The Academic Residency portion of the program, hosted on a university campus, will introduce participants to American institutions, peoples, cultures, and systems through lectures, seminars, field work, site visits, cultural excursions, and volunteer opportunities focused on a thematic topic. Additionally, students will attend leadership development session in the academic residency, culminating in the creation of Community Action Projects (CAPs). Student CAPs address issues of importance in students’ home communities and outlines ways in which they can engage with community, regional, and international partners to identify possible resolutions. 

Following the academic residency, participants will travel with their university host on a Study Tour. The study tours will bring students to a demographically and geographically diverse location in the U.S. where they will have an opportunity to learn about the Institute topic in different community contexts. This helps to parallel lessons learned in the academic residency and demonstrates the rich diversity of the U.S.  

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Summer 2023 Academic Institutes

Meridian is excited to welcome students from European nations for four weeks of cross-cultural engagement and immersive learning across three different thematic Institutes. 

Civic Engagement – Michigan State University

In this Institute, students will examine civic engagement study and practice in the global context, exploring the many principles that have underwritten historic American social movements. In the process, they will develop research skills to document the context, issues, communities, and personalities and investigation skills to report on local examples of civic engagement in and around Michigan. They will have an opportunity to reflect on a specific social justice cause that motivates them to participate in community organizing. 

 Environmental Issues – Shippensburg University 

Participants of the Environmental Issues Institute will explore climate change through the lenses of watersheds, food systems, and energy and environmental policy in South-Central Pennsylvania. With its rich history as an agricultural center and location in the Chesapeake Watershed, Shippensburg will provide an opportunity for students to work and connect with diverse environmental organizations to develop their understanding of the environment and its intersectionality with politics, race, culture, gender, poverty, history, and class in this rural area of the Mid-Atlantic region. The program is designed to get participants out in the field, interacting with the environment directly and meeting with practitioners and environmental specialists where they work. 

Journalism & Media – Arizona State University

SUSI Student Leaders will examine the key threats and opportunities for modern journalism. The news media have never been more important in their role as a nonpartisan government watchdog even as decades of declining revenue and pervasive misinformation threaten to further weaken the industry’s ability to keep the public informed of critical current events. Participants will learn innovative storytelling techniques that appeal to audiences across generations, cultures, and geographies. Within that innovation space is the opportunity for journalists to reimagine what news is and how to connect with audiences to keep them informed and empowered to make decisions in their daily lives. 

The Study of the U.S. Institutes for Student Leaders from Europe program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and supported in its implementation by Meridian International Center.

Project summary

Summer 2023 – Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders from Europe | July 2022
Number of Visitors: 60
Regions: Europe and Eurasia
Impact Areas: Civic Engagement, Education, Energy and the Environment, Media and Journalism, Youth Leadership Development
Program Areas: Global Leadership
Copy of 07-2023 Jose Presentation