Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders on Civic Engagement (SUSI)

About the SUSI Program

The Study of the US Institute (SUSI) for Student Leaders on Civic Engagement includes 20 undergraduates from Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

During the 5-week program, the group travels to Washington DC, New Orleans, and Seattle to study civic engagement and participate in volunteer activities, leadership workshops, and cultural excursions.

Program themes include civil rights, grassroots student activism, volunteerism, political leadership, citizen advocacy, and minority political engagement. Throughout the program, participants take part in intensive project planning seminars to prepare them to develop and lead projects that benefit their home communities.

This program is hosted by FIUTS (Foundation for International Understanding Through Students), a nonprofit organization based in Seattle, Washington. Study of the U.S. Institutes are sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Students receive full scholarships to cover all expenses related to their participation. 

 The Study of the U.S. Institutes promote a better understanding of the people, institutions, and culture of the United States among students, teachers, and scholars. Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) are short-term academic programs for groups of undergraduate leaders, educators, and scholars from around the world. Learn more about the Study of the U.S. Institutes here.

For more general information about the FIUTS SUSI program, please contact FIUTS Manager of Education Programs, Ellen Frierson.

Get Involved

UW Students can get involved in the SUSI program by applying to be a SUSI Ambassador. Ambassadors are a critical piece of the program and act as peer mentors, cultural liaisons, friends and student leaders. SUSI Ambassadors learn new skills, build their resume, make international friends and have fun! Apply to be an Ambassador here by Wednesday, November 28th, 2019.

If you have questions about the Ambassador program, please contact FIUTS Education Programs Coordinator, Kailyn Swarthout, at


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Community Members

are invited to host one or more SUSI participants for one week, January 11-18. The Week-Long Homestay is an important opportunity for participants to learn about U.S. culture and connect with local people. On Sunday evening, all hosts are invited to join us for a potluck dinner on the UW campus to celebrate the program and enjoy cultural presentations from student participants. Please contact for information about hosting a SUSI participant.