Summer study of the U.S. Institutes for Secondary Educators

Søknadsfristen for SUSI 2024 er fredag 12. januar 2024, for deltakelse sommeren 2024. 

Lenke til søknadsskjema nederst i denne teksten.

The Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Secondary Educators are intensive post-graduate level academic programs with integrated study tours whose purpose is to provide foreign secondary school (i.e. “ungdomsskole” and “videregående skole”) educators and administrators with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of U.S. society, culture, values, and institutions.  The ultimate goal of the Institutes is to strengthen curricula and to enhance the quality of teaching about the United States in secondary schools and other academic institutions abroad.

Study of the U.S. Institutes for Secondary Educators will take place at various academic institutions throughout the United States over the course of five weeks beginning in late May/early June 2024 (exact dates for each institute will be determined at a later time). Each Institute includes a four-week academic residency component and a one-week integrated study tour in another region of the United States.

The Study of the U.S. Institutes for Secondary Educators (SUSIs) 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 in Missoula, MT will oversee and administer the three SUSIs for Secondary Educators and will conduct one Institute for teachers which will explore American 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.

Through a Cooperative Agreement with the University of Montana (UM), ECA (dvs. U.S. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs) will cover all participant costs, including program administration; domestic travel and ground transportation; book, cultural, mailing and incidental allowances; and housing and subsistence, as well as arrange and pay for participants’ international and visa travel costs and travel allowances within set limits and in coordination with posts and Fulbright commissions. If the program is conducted virtually, ECA will work with UM to provide a technology stipend to participants.

All participants are expected to participate fully in the program. Candidates should be made 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. Family members and/or friends may not accompany participants on any part of the program. Please note that Institute curriculum will not formally address teaching methodology and pedagogical methods. If the program is conducted virtually, the same participation requirements apply. Note that Institute curriculum will not formally address teaching methodology and pedagogical methods. Institutes focus on U.S. studies, with only a brief focus on the U.S. education system itself.

All candidates must be proficient in English so that they can actively participate in the academic program.  Host institutions will take into account that the level of comprehension and speaking ability of participants may vary and will prepare lectures and discussions that meet the highest academic standards while using language appropriate for participants whose English is their second or third language. 

When possible, each participant will have a private room with a shared bathroom during the residency portion (four weeks) of the Institute. 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. 

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, participants must be reminded that full participation in all Institute activities is still expected.  Should a participant need to quarantine due to positive COVID-19 test results, accommodations will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

Should health, safety, and travel conditions continue to pose significant challenges, the SUSI 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 are required to fully participate in the entire virtual program from their home location outside the United States.   

Priority will be given to candidates who have firm plans to enhance, update, or develop courses and/or educational materials with U.S. studies focus or component; who have no prior or limited experience in the United States; and who have special interest in the program subject areas as demonstrated through past scholarship, accomplishments, and professional duties.  In addition, ECA/A/E/USS makes every effort to have both a geographic and gender balance in the makeup of the Institutes.

Candidates should be mid-career, typically between the ages of 30-50, highly motivated, experienced secondary school teachers and administrators. Norwegian citizenship is not required. If an applicant lives and works or studies in Norway, but is a citizen of another country, that is acceptable.

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 nominee’s educational 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 or visiting in the United States.

As noted above, candidates must demonstrate English language fluency.  Institutes are rigorous and demanding academic 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.

SØKNADSSKJEMA 2024 (fylles ut og sendes til innen utgangen av fredag, 12.januar, 2024, med “søknad SUSI teacher 2024” eller “søknad SUSI administrator 2024” i emnelinjen)

Å være en del av programmet «Study of the US Institutes» er en unik mulighet til å møte «verden» i USA. Sammen med engelsklærere fra ulike nasjonaliteter lærer man mer om det amerikanske samfunnet, diskuterer amerikanske og internasjonale problemstillinger og utforsker ulike sider ved USA. Programmet er hektisk, inspirerende og variert og gir gode muligheter for faglig påfyll i tillegg til å danne nye bekjentskaper.

Gunhild Sverresdatter Jensen
SUSI participant 2023, Amherst, Massachusetts

Kurset ved ITD i Amherst ga meg et inspirerende studieopphold sammen med lærerkolleger fra alle verdens hjørner. Programmet var variert og holdt et nøyt nivå. Jeg lærte mye nytt og fikk nye perspektiver på det jeg visste fra før.

Siri Hunstadbråten
SUSI participant 2022, Amherst, Massachusetts

A summer with the Fulbright scholarship to the Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) is an experience for life. Five weeks is a short time in some ways, but the weeks were filled with interesting lectures, excursions, museum visits, school visits, and activities. The programme not only teaches about American history and society, but you also get to know teachers from other countries and share knowledge with them. It is impossible to put down the entire experience on paper, but I am forever grateful for the incredible time I had in the US. I have developed as a teacher and I now have memories and friends for life.

Randi Hunshamar Øygarden
SUSI participant 2022, Amherst, Massachusetts

The SUSI program included many interesting topics such as “play for peace”, bilingual education, inquiry-based learning, problem-based learning, Native American heritage, the role of Board of Education in the US school system, and equality/equity to name a few. In addition, we had many school visits ranging from Charter Schools to Second Chance schools, and it was interesting to see how many challenges are encountered very differently in the US compared to Norway.

As our time together drew towards its end, it was apparent how good friends we had become and how much we had experienced together. This journey certainly changed me for life. All the people I met and places I saw will stay with me forever.

Riikka Katarina Nilsson
SUSI participant 2022; California State University at Chico