A group of Study of the U.S. Institutes for Secondary School Educators in 2016

Study of the U.S. Institutes for Secondary School Educators

The Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Secondary School Educators are designed to strengthen curricula and improve the quality of teaching about the United States in secondary schools and other academic institutions. The Institutes will take place over the course of five weeks during the summer months.
The application period is closed.

What are the Study of the U.S. Institute Programs?

Participants spend approximately four weeks at host universities where they take part in a series of lectures, seminar discussions and site visits related to each Institute’s theme. The programs provide educators with a deeper understanding of U.S. society, education, and culture, both past and present.

Each Institute concludes with a one week study tour, which complements the academic program and includes visits to sites of interest in another region of the country. The aim of the study tour is to showcase the rich cultural, geographic, and ethnic diversity of the United States.

Overview of the grant program

The Study of the U.S. Institutes for Secondary School 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 focus of the Institutes will be 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 and the third Institute is tailored for experienced administrators including teacher trainers, curriculum developers, textbook writers, ministry of education officials, and others.

The impact of the extremely well-organized and thorough program on my work as a teacher of English has been immense. I now have an extensive insight into the similarities and differences between the U.S. and Europe. - Perttu Järvenpää, English Teacher, Omnia vocational school, Espoo; 2016 SUSI for Secondary School Educators (more comments are featured in Fulbright Finland News article "Strategic Focus on Education.")

Through a combination of traditional, multi-disciplinary, and interdisciplinary approaches, the program will examine the history and evolution of U.S. institutions and values, broadly defined. The program will also serve to illuminate contemporary political, social, and economic debates in the American society. The four-week academic residencies will take place at U.S. universities 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. A one-week study tour to a different region of the United States will complement the four-week academic residencies.


Candidates should be mid-career, typically between the ages of 30-50, highly-motivated and experienced secondary school teachers and administrators with little or no prior experience in the United States. Ideal candidates are individuals who are seeking to introduce or enhance aspects of U.S. studies into their curricula or to offer specialized seminars/workshops for education professionals in U.S. studies or related fields. Candidates should be willing and able to take part fully in an intensive postgraduate level academic program and study tour.

It is imperative that all candidates demonstrate English language fluency. The programs are rigorous and demanding; participants will be expected to handle substantial reading assignments in English and be active participants in all seminar and panel discussions.

Applicants must Finnish citizens. Please note that U.S. citizens are not eligible for the program.

Essential Information about the Program

Program Funding: The program will cover participant costs, including program administration, international travel, ground transportation in the U.S., housing, and subsistence, book, cultural, mailing, and incidental allowances.

Housing and Meal Arrangements: Participants may be asked to share living quarters during the residency portion (four weeks) of the Institute. Private room accommodation cannot be guaranteed during the residency portion of the program.  During the study tour (up to one week), participants may share a hotel room with a participant of the same gender. During the residency, housing will typically be in college or university-owned accommodation. Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own.

Health Benefits: All participants will receive the Department of State's supplemental health benefit with a 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 are not covered. Information on the health benefit program may be found online at https://www.sevencorners.com/gov/usdos. Participants are responsible for their own health and travel insurance for the duration of the program.

Program Requirements and Restrictions: Participants are expected to participate fully in the program. They are expected to attend all lectures and organized activities, and complete assigned readings. Family members and/or friends cannot accompany participants on any part of the program. Please note that the Institute should not be viewed as a research program.

Host Universities

Pending grant approval by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs the University of Montana in Missoula, MT will oversee and administer the three Study of the U.S. Institutes for Secondary Educators under the unifying theme of “Liberty, Equality, and the American Dream.” All three Institutes will examine this topic through a different lens, capitalizing on the resources and culture of each location.

  • The University of Montana (UM) in Missoula, MT will host one Institute for Teachers tentatively from May 31 to July 5, 2020. The Institute will explore American studies through the lens of democracy and citizenship. The host institution and the exact dates will be confirmed in spring 2020.
  • The Institute for Training and Development (ITD) in Amherst, Massachusetts will host the second Institute for Teachers tentatively from June 6 to July 11, 2020. The Institute will explore the ways in which individual rights and social obligations have evolved through American history. The host institution and the exact dates will be confirmed in spring 2020. 
  • California State University at Chico will host the Institute for Administrators tentatively from June 3 to July 9, 2020. Within the overarching shared theme, the Institute will focus on access and equity in U.S. education and society. The host institution and the exact dates will be confirmed in spring 2020. 

All three Institutes will conclude with one-week study tours that end in Washington, D.C.

How to Apply?

The application form and one letter of recommendation from an individual who knows you in a professional capacity should be submitted no later than Sunday, November 24, 2019 to the office of Fulbright Finland Foundation, e-mail: [email protected].

Application: Here is the application form for Study of the U.S. Institutes for Secondary School Educators.

Priority will be given to candidates who have firm plans to enhance, update or develop courses and/or educational materials with a U.S. studies focus or component, who have little or no prior experience in the United States, and who have special interest in the program subject areas as demonstrated through past accomplishments and professional duties.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to visit the U.S. State Department’s The Study of the U.S. Branch website to obtain general information about the Institutes.


Applicants that pass an initial screening will be invited for a personal interview. The interviews are compulsory and will take place at the office of the Fulbright Finland Foundation in Helsinki on December 10. Candidates invited to the interviews will be notified via email by December 2. A copy of a passport will be requested prior to the interviews.

Please note that the Fulbright Finland Foundation does not cover expenses resulting from the interview. The Fulbright Finland Foundation Board of Directors will select applications to be forwarded to the U.S. for consideration. Read more about the selection process and preparing for the interview here.

Final review of the international candidates and selection of the Study of the U.S. Institutes for Secondary School Educators nominees from the multinational candidate pool will be conducted by the Study of the U.S. Branch of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The Fulbright Finland Foundation organizes a full-day pre-departure orientation for all Finnish Fulbright Finland grantees on May 13, 2020. All grantees are expected to attend.


Application Period Starts November
Application Period Ends November 24, 2019
Interview invitations are sent out to selected candidates December 2, 2019
Interviews December 10, 2019
Selections are made March-April
Pre-Departure Orientation for all Fulbright Finland Grantees to the U.S. May 13, 2020
Program starts End of May - Early June


Alumni Experiences

Päivi Parkkonen
Study of the U.S. Institutes for Secondary School Educators

Summer 2018

Program Partner

The Study of the U.S. Branch, U.S. Department of State



What is the Fulbright Finland Foundation?

The Fulbright Finland Foundation is a private, independent, not-for-profit organization based in Helsinki, Finland. The Foundation’s aim is

  • to promote a wider exchange of knowledge and professional talents through educational contacts between Finland and the United States, and
  • to support the internationalization of education and research in Finland, and help U.S. and Finnish institutions create linkages.

What Makes the Fulbright Finland Foundation Program Unique?

  • In addition to the grant, the Fulbright Finland Foundation offers the grantees several additional benefits and free support services, as well as an access to a global, multi-professional network.
  • We are looking for applicants who want to impact the future and to make a difference – applicants who want to facilitate positive change, develop and advance their own profession or discipline, and find solutions to national and international challenges in their field.
  • The grantees also act as ambassadors for the Fulbright Finland Foundation, their home country, and their home organization and, in this way, do their part in sharing their home country and culture and contributing to the relations between Finland and the U.S.