2023 Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSIs) for Secondary Educators

The U.S. Embassy in Portugal is accepting applications for the fully funded summer 2023 Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSIs) for Secondary Educators sponsored by the U.S. State Department, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).

Deadline: Sunday, December 4, 2022.


Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSIs) for Secondary Educators are intensive post-graduate level academic programs that provide foreign secondary school educators and administrators the opportunity to deepen their understanding of U.S. society, culture, values, and institutions.  The program goal is to strengthen curricula and to enhance the quality of teaching about the United States in secondary schools and other academic institutions abroad.  SUSI for Secondary Educators will take place at various academic institutions throughout the United States over the course of five weeks beginning in June 2023.  Each Institute includes a four-week academic residency component and, if possible, a one-week integrated study tour to another region of the United States.  Candidates should be willing and able to fully take part in an intensive post-graduate level academic program. Should health, safety, and travel conditions continue to pose significant challenges, the programs will pivot to a modified virtual format.


SUSI for Secondary Educators will provide three multinational groups of 20 experienced secondary school educators (including teachers, administrators, teacher trainers, curriculum developers, textbook writers, Ministry of Education officials, and others) with a deeper understanding of U.S. society, education, and culture – past and present.  The Institutes focus on providing content and materials for participants to develop high school level curricula about the United States.  Two of the Institutes are tailored for secondary school teachers; please note that the Institutes for Teachers focus on content and materials about the United States rather than teaching methods and pedagogy.  The third Institute is tailored for experienced administrators including teacher trainers, curriculum developers, textbook writers, Ministry of Education officials, and others.

Through a combination of traditional, multi-disciplinary, and interdisciplinary approaches, program content will examine the history and evolution of U.S. institutions and values, broadly defined.  The programs will also serve to illuminate contemporary political, social, and economic debates in American society.  The four-week academic residencies will take place at U.S. university and college campuses and will consist of a balanced series of lectures, panels, seminar discussions, readings, workshops, site visits, meetings with practitioners in the field, and cultural activities.  One-week study tours to a different region will complement the academic residencies and showcase the cultural, geographic, and ethnic diversity of the United States.  The program features curriculum based on the study of how America’s foundations and historical development have shaped and continue to inform U.S. politics, economics, and society.  A key cultural component of the program involves community service activities, which will provide participants with a first-hand experience of how volunteerism plays a vital role in U.S. civil society.  The program will offer multiple opportunities for follow-on engagement through alumni webinars, grant-funded follow-on projects, social media, and an alumni workshop.

The University of Montana (UM) in Missoula, MT will oversee and administer the three SUSIs for Secondary Educators and will conduct one Institute for teachers which will explore U.S. studies through the lens of democracy and citizenship.  The Institute for Training and Development (ITD) in Amherst, Massachusetts will conduct the second Institute for teachers which will explore the ways in which individual rights and social obligations have evolved through American history.  California State University at Chico will conduct the Institute for Administrators and will focus on sociocultural understanding, equitable learning communities, and diversity and inclusion in U.S. education and society.


Program Funding: All participant costs will be covered, including program administration; domestic travel and ground transportation; book, cultural, mailing, and incidental allowances; and housing and subsistence, as well as participants’ international and visa travel costs and travel allowances.

Program Requirements and Restrictions:  All participants are expected to participate fully in the program.  Candidates should be aware that they are applying for an intensive program and there will be little time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program.  The Institute is not a research program.  Participants must attend all lectures and organized activities and complete assigned readings.  Note that Institute curriculum will not formally address teaching methodology and pedagogical methods.

Housing and Meal Arrangements: When possible, each participant will have a private room but may be required to share a bathroom with a participant of the same gender during the Institute (four weeks).  However, private room accommodations are not guaranteed.  During the study tour (one week), participants will likely share a hotel room with another participant of the same gender.  During the residency, housing will typically be in college or university owned housing or nearby hotels.  Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own.  Applicants should make sure they are comfortable with such arrangements, particularly sharing a room with another participant during the study tour.

Special Accommodations: Care will be taken to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily worship, housing, and medical care are satisfied.   However, while Institute staff will make available special accommodations to the greatest extent possible, full participation in all Institute activities is still expected.

Travel Arrangements: International and visa travel will be arranged for all Institutes. The host institution will provide each participant with a small travel allowance.  In all Institutes, the host institutions will cover the cost of any travel within the United States during the Institute.

Health Benefits: All participants will receive the Department of State’s Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE) health benefit. COVID-19 is treated like any other illness under the ASPE policy.  Information on the health benefit program may be found online at https://www.sevencorners.com/gov/usdos. Should a participant need to quarantine due to positive COVID-19 test results during the program, accommodations will follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) and host institution guidelines.

Virtual Program Contingency: Should health, safety, and travel conditions pose significant challenges to the program, the SUSIs will pivot to a virtual format.  The virtual program will consist of a minimum of 36 hours of required programming and will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning.  To the extent possible, the virtual programming will include lectures, small group discussions, videos, readings, panels, site visits, assignments, and individual and group activities.  Participants will be required to fully participate in the entire virtual program from their location.

Connectivity: Should the program need to pivot to a virtual format, participants would need access to a computer and a stable internet connection.


Study of the U.S. Institutes for Secondary Educators are highly competitive.  The Institutes are rigorous and demanding programs conducted entirely in English.  Participants will be expected to read and comprehend substantial written materials and assignments in English and to participate in all seminar and panel discussions fully and actively.  English fluency is vital to a successful experience in the Institute, for participants as individuals and to foster a cohesive and interactive group. To confirm suitability for the program as well as the required English fluency an American officer at the U.S. Embassy will interview the proposed nominee in English.

Candidates should be mid-career, typically between the ages of 30-50, highly motivated, experienced secondary school teachers and administrators.  While senior faculty members and new professionals to the field are eligible applicants, first consideration will be given to mid-career professionals with little or no prior experience in the United States.

Ideal candidates are individuals whose home institution is seeking to introduce aspects of U.S. studies into its curricula, to develop new courses in the subject of the Institute, to enhance and update existing courses on the United States, or to offer specialized seminars/workshops for professionals in U.S. studies areas related to the program theme.  While the nominees’ scholarly and professional credentials are an important consideration, the potential impact and multiplier effect from their participation in the Institute is equally important.

Ideal candidates will have little or no prior experience living in or visiting the United States.

Candidates should be willing and able to fully take part in an intensive post-graduate level academic program.  Candidates should make sure they are comfortable with campus life and an active program schedule.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) are not eligible.

Participants from the 2021 hybrid Institutes are not eligible for this in-person version of the program.


Complete applications must be filled in this form (link) by the end of Sunday, December 4, 2022.

Qualified candidates will be invited for an interview in early January 2023.

All candidates will be notified regarding selection or non-selection by April 2023.