SUSI student ambassador application

The John McCain Study of U.S. Institutes on the Rule of Law (SUSI McCain) and Public Service and The Study of U.S. Institutes for Global Student Leaders on Climate Change and the Environment (SUSI GSL) are exchange programs designed and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by Northern Nevada International Center (NNIC) at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Within the scope of the program, international participants from abroad study topics related to their institute’s themes, leadership and project-planning. They also participate in volunteer and service activities, various workshops and cultural excursions.

SUSI Ambassadors are undergrad or graduate students from a nearby college, such as the University of Nevada, Reno or Truckee Meadows Community College. Students who participate in the SUSI Ambassadorship receive training and experience in leadership, planning, teamwork and citizen diplomacy. Ambassadors are an integral part of the SUSI program and act as cultural liaisons, peer mentors, friends, and leaders during the international participants' time in Reno. As a SUSI Ambassador, you can learn new skills, have fun, make friends, build your resume, and support NNIC's mission to inspire cross-cultural friendship and understanding on campus and in our community.

SUSI McCain Ambassador details

Program dates (Reno and D.C.): June 19-July 26, 2024

Ambassador positions open: 5

The Northern Nevada International Center/University of Nevada, Reno is hosting 20 international students from the following countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Zambia.

SUSI GSL Ambassador details

Program dates (Reno and New Orleans): June 20-July 27, 2024

Ambassador position open: 5

The Northern Nevada International Center/University of Nevada, Reno is hosting 20 international students from Bangladesh, Brazil, Indonesia and Nigeria.

Role of a SUSI Ambassador

Ambassadors will have the opportunity to meet and spend time with all SUSI students in the cohorts for which they wish to be ambassadors. They will be required to spend a minimum of 10 hours engaging with the students when they are in Reno, however, they will be encouraged to maintain communication with  the students virtually while they travel to other states on program study tours.

  • General roles: Commit to 10 hours throughout the week where you will be involved (interacting and communicating) with the international participants; engaging with them to share information about the University, Reno, and American life in general.
  • Be trained: Participate in required training sessions/meetings to learn more about your role.
  • Be a mentor: Assist with introducing international participants to campus; provide general information regarding living on and off campus (such as transportation, meal plans, etc.); support in their transition to living and learning at the University and in the U.S.
  • Be involved: Participate with international participants in non-classroom activities: orientation, local/special events, university activities, etc.
  • Be a leader: Organize activities and events on or off campus with the participants. Each Ambassador will be required to organize 1 event during the program. Communicate efficiently with one another and with NNIC staff.
  • Be a representative of the international center: Represent NNIC as requested at university/community events; abide by and support all University rules and regulations; exercise tolerance of human diversity, including race, nationality, language, religion, gender, economic status, sexual orientation, physical ability, etc.

Ambassador guidelines and commitment

The official program agenda is created by the NNIC Program Coordinator. The international participants will attend academic sessions, volunteer activities, and professional meetings Monday-Friday. The coordinator will inform the ambassadors in advance if there will be any additional ambassadorship opportunities on the weekend. Ambassadors will receive a fixed $1,000 stipend at the end of the program for working at least 10 hours per week. These hours will be reached by attending required events such as service activities, and by taking initiative to plan additional activities with the program participants.


  • Attend a mandatory ambassador orientation and training in the beginning of June.
  • Attend one or more community service events. Service events are planned by the NNIC and Ambassadors will volunteer alongside the participants. There will be a total of three to five volunteer activities throughout the program.
  • Attend two cultural day trips. Cultural day trips are planned by the NNIC and will occur on weekends. In the past, programs went on day trips to Lake Tahoe and Virginia City. NNIC will provide transportation and pay for meals.
  • Plan social activities with the participants on the weekends and evenings. Ambassadors will plan social activities not mentioned on the program agenda (i.e., picnics, hikes, etc.).
  • Assist participants with their academic assignments and capstone projects.
  • Act as cultural liaisons and peer mentors. For example, suggest places to shop, places that offer discounts for using Wolf Cards, how to use public transportation, etc. Ambassadors allow participants to get a glimpse into American life.
  • Be aware of additional events that may arise during the program.

Become an Ambassador

Ambassadors will apply through the Ambassador link. If you are chosen to move forward, applicants will be contacted by the SUSI Program Coordinator to schedule an interview during the week of May 29–June 5. All ambassadors will be selected and notified of their acceptance into the program via email on Thursday, June 6, 2024.

2024 application process and timeline

*This timeline may be subject to change.

  • Friday, March 1: Applications open
  • Monday, May 20: Applications close
  • Wednesday, May 29–Wednesday, June 5: Interviews conducted
  • Thursday, June 6: Ambassadors selected
  • Friday, June 7: Ambassador Orientation and Training from 12-2 p.m.
  • June 20-July 27: SUSI GSL Climate Change Program
  • June 19-July 26: SUSI McCain Rule of Law Program
  • August: Within 30 days of the program end date, a check for $1,000 will be sent to all Ambassadors who completed the five-week program.

You may apply to both SUSI programs, but you will only be able to participate in one program, if selected. Contact us at if you have any questions about the SUSI programs or the application.

Apply to be an Ambassador