When you look up the acronym, SUSI stands for Study of the United States Institutes. But for me it means to “Spend Unique Sphere Internationally,” and that is what I really feel towards the program abbreviation. Ever since I started applying and participating in the program, I have felt the uniqueness most of all.
The program is unique
Every day we have a new learning experience, meet new people, and travel to new places to meet more and more people–but after the COVID-19 pandemic, we found ourselves shut inside our countries through the lockdowns happening around the world
The room is unique
But can you imagine that you wake up in the morning to meet 17 different people, from 17 different countries, with 17 different experiences–and all that in one virtual Zoom room that serves as the main place for exchanging new ideas and experiences and feeling the uniqueness among the sessions given by the professors and guest speakers from the U.S. related to the Institute theme: “Journalism, Technology & Democracy. “
The colleagues are unique
After checking the participants’ names and bios, I wondered whether it would be easy to listen to and recognize the unique English accents of all those different countries. But then I realized their uniqueness is more about their personalities, and the professional and academic background of each of the 18 participants plus professors and guests.
Development is a unique goal
Once the discussions started I found them all working in different media organizations, institutions and universities but they are all seeking to develop their curriculums, ideas, or programs. They are seeking or already achieved the relevant accreditation level in their respective countries. It was obvious from their introductions and videos that each organization or institution or university is constantly seeking to improve and develop.
Media literacy is a unique interest
Through the continuous discussions I learned that the topic of media literacy and media education are a common interest among most of the participants. A lot of ideas, experiences and practices were brought up during most of the sessions, and will definitely be an added value to each of us towards our curriculums, projects, visions, practices and activities that will certainly also reflect and influence our organization’s performance and our students’ skills.
What I can say: we are all different, but despite our difference we are all unanimous on the value of spending time and participating in the unique international sphere that is the SUSI program.