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SUSI Empowerment for Indigenous and Afro-Latina Women
October 18, 2023

Exchange Program for Students

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Exchange Program for Students

Open Applications for Study of the United States Institutes (SUSI) for Students 2024

Deadline: November 17, 2023 (noon)

Topic: Empowerment for Indigenous and Afro-Latina Women

This program will provide undergraduate Indigenous and Afro Latina Women students between 18-25 years of age with a deeper understanding of the United States while enhancing their professional skills. It will also provide an overview of successful women in the U.S. in government, business, the private sector and academia.

The program will be offered in Spanish to participants from Nicaragua, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, and Mexico, and Panama between July – August 2024; exact dates will be communicated at the time of selection, though tentative dates are July 6 to August 10, 2024.   The program will be administered by the Institute of Training and Development (ITD) and hosted by the University of Arizona in Tucson.


Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Students is an intensive, short-term academic programs designed to provide groups of undergraduate students a deeper understanding of the United States while enhancing their professional skills.  The five-week seminars are a combination of seminar discussions, readings, group presentations, and lectures.  Site visits, professional development, cultural activities, community service, and a one-week study tour will complement the coursework and academic sessions.

The SUSI on Empowerment for Indigenous and Afro-Latina Women will provide participants with an overview of successful women in the United States in various public, private and academic sectors.  Topics may include, but are not limited to, history of women’s empowerment in the United States, women’s gender, identity, and racial issues in the United States and Latin America, current challenges in global women’s issues such as the economic impact of the pandemic on women and girls’ lives, and the increasing role of indigenous and Afro-Latina women in their countries.

The program will conclude with a closing forum in Washington, D.C., if health and safety conditions allow, where participants will come together to network, discuss their action plans, and engage in conversations on relevant topics.  During the forum, participants will have the opportunity to meet with other peers from Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama who are participating in other programs.

Travel Dates

Between   July 6 – August 10, 2024 (5 weeks). University of Arizona in Tucson will be the host institution.


The U.S. Embassy in Managua will process J-1 Exchange Student visas for finalists.

Program Funding

The Office of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the Department of State will cover all expenses through the Institute of Training and Development (ITD), including program administration, international and visa travel, travel allowances, domestic travel and ground transportation; book, cultural, mailing and incidental allowances; and housing and subsistence. ITD will arrange and pay for participants’ international and visa travel costs and travel allowances within set limits and in coordination with the U.S. Embassy.

Program Requirements and Restrictions

This is an intensive and rigorous academic program and candidates are expected to fully participate in all aspects of the program.  Students should attend all lectures, participate in all required organized activities, and complete all assignments.

Candidates need to be aware that the Institute is very intensive and that there will be little time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program.  Family members and/or friends may not accompany or join participants for any part of the program.

English Language Ability

English language fluency is NOT a requirement for participation in this program. The Institute is a rigorous and demanding program, and participants will be expected to handle reading assignments in Spanish and to be full and active participants in all seminar and panel discussions.

Housing and Meal Arrangements

Housing will be in shared or single university dorms on campus or full-service hotels within walking distance of most classroom activities.  Male and female participants will be housed in separate quarters.  In addition to regular group meals and a university meal plan, participants may have access to a kitchen to 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.  Special accommodations will be made available to the greatest extent possible.  Should a participant need to quarantine due to positive COVID-19 test results, accommodations will follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.

Housing and Meal Arrangements

Housing will be in shared university dorms on campus with common bathrooms.  Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own.  It is important that nominees be aware of these arrangements and comfortable with such accommodations.  Care will be taken to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily worship, housing, and medical care are satisfied.

Health Benefits

All participants will receive the Department of State’s Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE) health benefit during the U.S.-based in-person component, which provides coverage of up to $100,000 with a $25 co-pay per medical visit and a $75 co-pay per emergency room visit, for the duration of the program.  Pre-existing conditions may be covered up to $100,000, subject to policy exclusions and limitations.  ASPE also covers up to $500 for routine COVID-19 testing requirements in the United States.  COVID-19 is treated like any other illness under the ASPE health benefits plan.  Information on the health benefit program may be found online at https://www.sevencorners.com/gov/usdos

Travel Policy

Under no circumstances are participants allowed to arrive in the United States prior to the start date of the SUSI or remain in the United States after the end date.  Similarly, participants will not be permitted to leave the SUSI to visit relatives or friends while in the United States.  If a relative or friend wishes to visit a participant, it will be considered on a case- by-case basis in consultation with the ECA program officer and the host institution.  Participants are required to return to their home countries immediately following the end of the exchange.

NOTE: Violations of program rules, host institution rules, or local, state or federal laws can be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.

Virtual Program Contingency

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


Should the program need to pivot to a virtual format, participants would need access to a computer and a stable internet connection. Participants would be expected to actively engage in all program activities, and therefore, they should notify immediately the host institution and post of any issues with their online access during the duration of the program as well as any difficulties affecting their participation.

Candidate Description And Qualifications

Participants are highly motivated students enrolled in their first, second or third (junior) year of undergraduate studies at colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher education who have a proven record of excellence in their academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities.  Their fields of study are varied and may include the sciences, social sciences, humanities, education, business, and other professional fields.

We encourage participants from non-elite backgrounds, from both rural and urban areas, and with little or no prior experience in the United States or elsewhere outside their home country.  Candidates from indigenous groups, Afro-Latinx, people with disabilities, and ethnic minority communities are highly encouraged to apply. Priority will be given to these groups.

Participants should meet the following criteria:

  • Be female or trans feminine from indigenous groups or Afro-Latinx;
  • Be a citizen and current resident of Nicaragua (U.S. citizens are not eligible to apply).
  • Be between 18 and 25 years of age by November 17, 2023.
  • Be interested in the topic of Women’s Empowerment.
  • Have one or more semesters of classes remaining in order to graduate by August 2024 (NOTE: Thesis and internships do NOT count as classes.)
  • Have demonstrated excellence and potential in university, extracurricular, and community activities.
  • Have a serious interest in learning about the United States.
  • Have a sustained high level of academic achievement, as indicated by grades, awards, and recommendations.
  • Have demonstrated commitment to community and extracurricular university activities.
  • Have little or no prior study or travel experience in the United States or elsewhere outside their home countries.
  • Be mature, responsible, independent, confident, open-minded, tolerant, thoughtful, and inquisitive.
  • Be prepared to participate fully in an intensive academic program, community service activities, and educational travel.

Documentation Needed with Application

  • Complete application: Download here (MS Word, 543kb)
  • Copy of cedula. This is mandatory, applications without cedula will not be considered.
  • Copies ONLY of university transcripts up to first semester of 2023. Transcripts from your university’s website may be used.
  • Copy of a document (“pre-matrícula) or any receipt that verifies your registration for the following term.
  • Two letters of recommendation; from people or organizations who can vouch for your community service.
  • Other copies of awards, certificates of recognition, or diplomas that demonstrate the criteria specified above.

If the program is conducted in-person, be comfortable with campus life, prepared to share living accommodations, and able to adjust to cultural and social practices different from those of their home country; and,

If the program must be conducted virtually, candidate would need access to internet from home, university, etc.

How to Send Your Application and Other Documents

  • Please send your SUSI application and other documents to the email address PASManagua@state.gov
  • Use subject title “Your Complete Name – SUSI2024 Empowerment for Indigenous and Afro-Latina Women”.
  • Example: Gabriela Cisneros – SUSI2024 Empowerment for Indigenous and Afro-Latina Women.
  • Tip: When attaching your files, please name them appropriately. This will help us identify the owner and content of each file.
  • Example: Gabriela Cisneros application.pdf, Gabriela Cisneros Adjuntos.pdf,
  • Note: All documents submitted via e-mail should be in Word or PDF (please do not send .zip or .rar files). If using PDF, please save them in the smallest size possible. Large files clutter the inbox and run the risk of arriving incomplete.
  • Please DO NOT send links to documents stored in Google Drive, ONE drive, Dropbox, etc.

Notification of Documents Receipt

You will receive an email notification message within 3 business days after you send your application through e-mail.

  • Only completed applications with all required documentation will be evaluated.
  • For more information on this program, please write to PASManagua@state.gov
  • Incluya por favor en el título del correo “SUSI 2024”