Throughout July and August, the Community College Initiative (CCI) Program welcomed 142 participants from 12 countries to the United States to participate in the program’s 13th year. This year, participants represent Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, South Africa, and Turkey.
During their exchange year, CCI participants complete academic coursework at U.S. community colleges in select CCI Program fields of study and, when possible, pursue professional certificates. As part of their educational experience, they build technical skills in applied fields, enhance their leadership capabilities, and strengthen their English language proficiency.
During the 2019-2020 program year, participants will focus on fields of study including agriculture, business management and administration, early childhood education, engineering, information technology, media, public safety, and tourism and hospitality management.
This year, 10 community college campuses in eight states are hosting the CCI Program. Host colleges include Bunker Hill Community College in Massachusetts, College of DuPage in Illinois, Houston Community College in Texas, Kirkwood Community College in Iowa, Mesa Community College and Scottsdale Community College in Arizona, Northampton Community College in Pennsylvania, Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria and Annandale Campuses in Virginia, and Valencia College in Florida.
While completing academic coursework at their host colleges, participants also immerse themselves within their host communities. Throughout the year, CCI participants participate in volunteer activities, professional internships, cultural exchange events, and leadership and action planning workshops. These additional opportunities increase CCI participants’ understanding of their field of study and allow for deeper engagement with U.S. culture.
This year’s participants already have an exciting slate of events and experiences ahead. In September, participants will be exposed to the American value of volunteerism by joining the 9/11 Day of Service in their host communities. In November, participants will learn about Thanksgiving traditions across the United States and will host and participate in International Education Week events on their campuses. During their winter break, participants will gather in Washington D.C. and New York for a multiday leadership conference. And that’s just the first half their exchange year!
Welcome, CCI participants! We hope you are excited to dive into your college classes, and the rest of the incredible exchange experiences that await you!