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 60 European undergraduate student leaders each year 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 SUSI program is founded on a belief in the unlimited potential of intercultural exchanges to promote leadership skills in young leaders. Through partnerships with three U.S. universities and a series of interactive classroom activities, community-based projects, and site visits to U.S. cities of all sizes, SUSI student leaders experience an in-depth investigation into program themes and enhance their understanding of American values. 

 Each SUSI for Student Leaders from Europe Institute includes a four-week intensive Academic Residency at a partner university and an approximately one-week Study Tour in a second city. The four-week Academic Residency deepens participants’ understanding of U.S. institutions and culture and empowers them to take action in their home communities.  The Academic Residency is followed by a curated Study Tour highlighting diverse American communities as models of resiliency and thematic expertise in areas of interest to participants.  

SUSI Alumni Engagement

The SUSI experience does not end when participants return home. Meridian and university partners have developed a series of continuous mentorship, networking, and learning opportunities to transition participants to alumni and encourage them to join the Department of State’s International Exchange Alumni network. Participants have many opportunities to stay connected with SUSI and other ECA alumni and Institute hosts as they use the knowledge gained during the program to give back to their communities. Upon return to their home countries, participants are eligible for post-program engagement opportunities to support ongoing leadership development and the implementation of Community Action Projects. 

Community Action Projects

Consistent across Institutes, participants are expected to produce a final Community Action Project (CAP). Each participant designs and plans a CAP during the SUSI program with support from staff at the Institute. The CAP employs what students learn from SUSI to create positive change in their home community. As SUSI alumni, participants are eligible to apply for Mini Grants to support the implementation of these projects. 

 Parameters for the Community Action Projects are defined by each University and inspired by teachings, trainings, observations, and conversations each participant has during the Academic Residency and the Study Tour. The projects reflect and meet the social, economic, or other needs of participants’ home communities and allow the impact of the SUSI program to extend far beyond each individual’s time in the U.S. 

SUSI Cohorts


Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders for Europe 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.