In partnership with the U.S. Department of State, Meridian International Center welcomes over 100 international student leaders for the exchange of U.S. culture and global leadership skills through the Study of U.S. Institutes (SUSI). SUSI includes an intensive four-week academic residency aimed at empowering student leaders to take action in their home communities as well as deepening their understanding of U.S. institutions and culture through a unique first-hand experience. The academic residency is followed by a customized and curated Case Study Tour highlighting diverse American communities as models of resiliency and thematic expertise in areas of interest to participants.

SUSI believes in the unlimited potential of intercultural exchanges in promoting leadership and entrepreneur skills within young leaders worldwide. With the cooperation of five U.S. universities, students can experience an in-depth investigation into pre-selected program themes -  simultaneously offering an insight into American society and values - through a series of interactive classroom activities, community-based projects and site visits to major U.S. cities.

The global program themes for 2019 include:

  1. Civic Engagement - Bard College (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia and Turkey)
  2. Entrepreneurship and Economic Development - University of Massachusetts, Amherst  (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia);
  3. Religious Freedom and Pluralism - Temple University (Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iraq, and Lebanon);
  4. Youth, Education, and Closing the Skills Gap - University of Washington, Seattle (Brazil, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Tunisia); and
  5. The John McCain Institute on the Rule of Law and Public Service - University of Nevada, Reno (Bangladesh, Colombia, Malaysia and Poland)

Action is the most important part of enacting change, which is why SUSI is empowering young leaders to expand their professional network to an international setting and to think of creative solutions to today’s global issues. Participants will have a truly immersive experience in the U.S. that includes a home stay, university classes, domestic travel and academic research.

As participants prepare to transition to SUSI alumni, all summer cohorts will reconvene in Washington, D.C for a Closing Forum that provides the opportunity for engaging discussions and workshops to prepare students to fully utilize their skills in professional networking, leadership and cultural diplomacy after the program.

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