Find answers to questions about the Study of the US Summer Institutes.
What degree of English proficiency should I have?
All participants must be fully proficient in English; throughout the Institute they will need to fully understand lectures, actively participate in discussions, and read and write assignments in English.
Can I, as a dual citizen (U.S. and country of origin), participate in Study of the U.S. Institutes?
No. U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) are not eligible to participate in this programme.
I have been to the U.S. before; would I be disqualified?
No. Applicants with very minimal experience in the United States may be considered for the programme. However, priority will be given to applicants with no previous experience in the United States.
I will be fasting during Ramadan. Will this impact my participation in the programme?
Students who will be fasting during Ramadan are still expected to fully participate in the programme. Participants must be aware of the rigorous nature of the programme and the expectation of full participation in planned activities. Some activities such as community service and site visits may take place outdoors in high temperatures and humidity. Participants should be aware of the challenging nature of the programme, especially on long travel days during the educational study tour and in locations that experience long hours of sunlight. For example, in the northern United States, the sun rises around 5:30 am and sets around 9:30 pm.
Will host institutions make accommodations if I am observing Ramadan?
Host institutions will make every effort to accommodate fasting participants. For example, host institutions should provide access to kitchens and refrigerators so students can prepare and store food. Participants should be aware that Halal food may not be readily available in some parts of the United States. Host institutions will also accommodate participants who may wish to attend Friday prayers at the local mosque.
How much free time will I have during the programme?
There will be some free time during the programme. However, participants must understand that this is an intensive academic programme and they are expected to fully participate in all lectures, activities, site visits, and scheduled events.
If I have relatives in the U.S., would I have time to see them?
Participants will not be allowed to leave the Institute to visit relatives or friends. Occasionally it is possible for a relative or friend to visit the participant on a specific day designated by the host institution if the schedule permits. These situations will be addressed on a case by case basis in consultation with the ECA programme officer and the host institution.
Can I arrive early/late or stay after the Institute?
No. Participants who choose to travel to the United States on a Study of the U.S. Institute are required to abide by the terms and conditions of the programme. These terms state clearly that student leaders may not arrive in the United States before the programme start date or remain in the country after the close of the Institute.
Can a graduate student participate in this Institute?
No. Study of the U.S. Institutes for Student Leaders are designed exclusively for undergraduate students with at least one remaining semester of study.
Can I miss one part or component of the Institute?
No. All participants are expected to participate in all scheduled lectures, events, site visits, trips, and activities.
How much money will I need to bring for the programme?
The Study of the U.S. Institutes cover all basic costs of an individual’s participation including transportation, lodging, and meals. Generally, host institutions provide for meals through a combination of a cafeteria meal plan, a pre-loaded debit card for use at local restaurants, and/or a cash allowance to permit participants to purchase food for cooking. Information on housing and meal arrangements will be provided by the host institution six weeks prior to the start of the Institute. Other than the meal stipend mentioned above, participants should not expect to receive any spending money from the Institute. Participants should bring their own spending money if they wish to purchase souvenirs or other items during their time in the United States.
Am I permitted to smoke during the Institute?
Yes. However, participants should be aware that many places in the United States now prohibit smoking. Smoking in such places could be considered a violation of the law. Some places that may prohibit smoking are university housing, classrooms, office buildings, restaurants, public parks, and other locations. Smoking laws will vary from location to location so smokers should look for designated smoking areas.
Will applicants with disabilities be considered?
Yes, the Study of the U.S. Branch welcomes nominations for individuals with disabilities. We are committed to working with our Institute hosts to arrange reasonable accommodations for all participants. While notification of a disability will not negatively impact selection, we ask that you identify disabilities during the nomination process so that we can begin working with our Institute hosts to ensure appropriate accommodations.