What degree of English proficiency should a nominee 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 a nominee who is 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 program.
If nominee has been to the U.S. before; would he/she be disqualified?
No. Nominees with very minimal experience in the United States may be considered for the program. However, priority will be given to nominees with no previous experience in the United States.
How much free time will a participant have during the program?
There will be some free time during the program. However, nominees MUST understand that this is an intensive academic program and they are expected to fully participate in all lectures, activities, site visits, and scheduled events.
If a nominee has relatives in the U.S.., would he/she 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 program officer and the host institution.
Can a participant 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 program. These terms state clearly that student leaders may NOT arrive in the United States before the program start date or remain in the country after the close of the institute. Participants must also return to their home countries immediately following the end of the Institute.
Can a graduate student participate in this institute?
No. Study of the U.S. Institutes are designed exclusively for undergraduate students with at least one remaining semester of study.
Can a participant 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 participants need to bring for the program?
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.
Are participants 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 participants who smoke should look for designated smoking areas.