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Announcement for 2012 Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders on Global Environmental Issues

Program Description:

Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders are intensive 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.  The Institute on Global Environmental Issues will be hosted by the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, pending the availability of funds.  The four week academic residency will consist of a balanced series of seminar discussions, readings, group presentations, and lectures.  The academic residency will be complemented by a four day educational tour that will take participants to San Francisco where they will meet with local, state, private, and nonprofit organizations working in the field. The Institute will then conclude with a 3 day program in Washington, D.C. The Study of the U.S. Institute on Global Environmental Issues will explore the role that environmental policy has played in the economic and political development of the United States.  The Institute will use experiential learning techniques to expose participants to current themes in the field, including natural resource management, sustainable development/sustainable agricultural practices, food security, ecotourism, energy generation (new and traditional forms), and water management and treatment.  The issues will be explored from numerous angles: local grassroots activism and civic initiatives, market-oriented approaches, and federal government policies and regulations.  The Institute might also examine the relationship between environmental security and national security.  Finally, the Institute will explore environmental issues in the context of a globalized society, and draw comparisons between the United States and the participants' home countries.

Essential Program Information:

A. Program Funding: Through the award to the East-West Center, ECA will cover all participant costs, including: program administration; domestic travel and ground transportation; book, cultural, mailing and incidental allowances; and housing and subsistence.

B. Housing and Meal Arrangements: Housing will be in university owned dormitories.  Participants will be expected to share a room and bathroom with another student of the same gender.  Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though participants will also have access to a kitchen where they may cook some meals on their own.  Care will be taken to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily worship, housing, and medical care are satisfied.

C. Health Benefits: All participants will receive the Department of State's coverage of $50,000 with a $15 co-pay for the duration of the program.  Pre-existing conditions are not covered.

D. Program Requirements and Restrictions: Participants are expected to participate fully in the academic program.  They should attend all lectures and organized activities, and complete assigned readings.  Candidates should be made aware that the Institute is very intensive and that there will be little time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program. Under no circumstances are participants allowed to arrive in the U.S. prior to the start date of the Institute or remain in the U.S. after its end date.  Similarly, participants will not be allowed to leave the Institute to visit relatives or friends while in the U.S. If a relative or friend wishes to visit them, it will be addressed on a case by case basis, in consultation with ECA and the program director. Violations of program rules, host institution rules, or local, state or federal laws can be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.  It is important that these requirements and restrictions be made clear to all candidates before nominations are submitted.

E. English Language Ability: All candidates should be proficient in English so that they can be active participants in the academic program.  Host institutions will take into account that the level of comprehension and speaking ability of students may vary, and will prepare lectures and discussions that meet the highest academic standards while using language appropriate for students where English is their second or third language.

Candidate Description and Qualifications:

The participants are expected to be highly motivated and exemplary undergraduate students from colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher education.  While all candidates will have a strong interest in the environment, their fields of study might vary, and can include disciplines such as Agriculture, Biology, Ecotourism, Engineering, Environmental Law, Environmental Science, International Affairs, Public Policy, and Sustainable Development.

Please note: Effort should be made to recruit candidates from non-elite backgrounds, and from both rural and urban sectors throughout the country.  Candidates should have little or no prior experience in the United States or with U.S. government institutions in their home country. Candidates nominated for this program will:

  • have a strong interest in the environment;
  • be fluent in English;
  • be between 18 and 25 years of age;
  • have completed at least one semester of university and have at
    least one semester remaining in their university studies;
  • be committed to returning home to complete their degree;
  • demonstrate strong leadership qualities
  • indicate a serious interest in learning about the United States;
  • have a sustained high level of academic achievement, as indicated
    by grades, awards, and teacher recommendations;
  • demonstrate commitment to community and extracurricular university activities;
  • have little or no prior study or travel experience in the United
    States or elsewhere outside of their home country;
  • be mature, responsible, independent, confident, open-minded,
    tolerant, thoughtful, and inquisitive;
  • be willing and able to fully participate in an intensive academic
    program, community service, and educational travel; and,
  • be comfortable with campus life, prepared to share living
    accommodations, and able to make adjustments to cultural and social practices different from those of their home country.


November 30, 2011 application deadline

December 7 Interview

December 16 Names of selected candidates announced

December 30 Names of selected candidates submitted to Washington

March-April 2012 Finalists announced and informed

Please submit your application form (PDF 38KB) to by November 30,2011