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Cultural Affairs

Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders 2014 Program Pakistan (SUSI)

Information for Applicants

Students are invited to apply for participation in the Study of the United States Institute for Student Leaders from Pakistan interested in the topic of Comparative Public Policy. The Institute will take place at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst from approximately June 27, 2014 through August 8, 2014; please note that the entirety of this Institute will take place during Ramadan. The program will be intensive, academic, and highly interactive. The program sponsors seek energetic applicants who are ready to develop their skills in order to be effective leaders in their schools and communities.

Program Description: Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) 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. Institutes consist of a balanced series of seminar discussions, readings, group presentations, and lectures. Coursework and classroom activities are complemented by 2 educational travel, site visits, leadership activities, and volunteer opportunities within the local community. During the four-week academic residency, participants will also have the opportunity to engage in educational and cultural activities outside of the classroom.

The six-week Institute on Comparative Public Policy for Pakistani Student Leaders will be hosted by the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA. The program will bring together 25 Pakistani undergraduate students with up to 15 U.S. students to address issues of public policy and democracy within Pakistan and the United States. The program will explore the political, economic, historical, institutional, and cultural issues involved in governments’ provision of security and services to citizens. During the four-week academic residency, students will examine the topic of food production and distribution and its relationship to hunger as a case study; U.S. and Pakistani students will also learn about the history and politics of each other’s nation. Research projects on local elections, carried out by joint teams, will be required of each student. The program will strive to provide participants with a shared understanding of how public policy is made in diverse cultures and political systems. The Pakistani students will travel to other cities and towns during a two-week study tour component, most likely including New York City, Boston, Charlottesville, and Washington, D.C. In addition, the Pakistani participants will have opportunities to interact with a variety of Americans and to experience American culture and everyday life. What else do I need to know?

The United States Government, in conjunction with its partner host institution will pay for international, domestic, and ground transportation to and from the United States, orientations, books, cultural activities, meals, mailing and incidental allowances; and housing and subsistence.

Participants are responsible for expenses related to the application process (copying, mailing, photographs, etc.), passport fees, and spending money for souvenirs, telephone calls, and other personal items in the United States.

Participants will travel to the United States on J-1 exchange visitor visas provided through this program. By accepting this visa, participants will be subject to a two-year home residency requirement, meaning they must return to and live in their home country for a total of two years before they would be eligible for an immigrant or temporary worker U.S. visa. This does not restrict other types of visas, however, so this would not prevent you from being able to apply for a student visa to attend university, for example.

Who is eligible to apply and how will they be selected?

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 public policy, their fields of study might vary, and can include disciplines such as Politics, Law, Engineering, Medicine, Science, Biotechnology, Business, Economics, International Development, Management, and others.

Students will be evaluated on the following characteristics:

  • Currently enrolled in a public college/university or studying in a private institution on a scholarship/financial assistance.
  • have a strong interest in public policy
  • be fluent in English
  • be between 18 and 25 years of age
  • have at least one semester remaining in their university studies and 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
  • have 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
  • 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.

How do I apply?

Complete an application form and submit it to IslamabadExchanges@state.gov by December 31, 2013. Only emailed applications will be considered for review. Take special care in answering the essay questions.

The Public Affairs Section will contact the applicants selected for interviews based on the criteria above, as demonstrated in the application. Interviews will take place in early January 2014 at a location specified to the shortlisted candidates at a later date. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

The list of finalists and alternates will be announced by mid March 2014.

And after that…?

The selected participants will need to obtain passports and apply for U.S. visas with the assistance of the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy.

Students will receive orientation materials in the weeks prior to the start of the program to help prepare them for the program and their trip to the United States. Participants will have an opportunity to speak with the Public Affairs Section about the program.

Participants will travel to the United States for the Institute in the summer of 2014.

Thank you for your interest in the program and good luck with your applications!

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