Tag Archives: International Education

CCI Program: The Way to Explore Broad World

Alexandria, VA- Since I was a child, I always heard my parents said that I have to go to new places that they have never visited before. It makes me grow as a girl with many dreams in my life; and for some people, it sounds silly and impossible. I don’t care. I just want to push my own self to be better, for the sake of my “impossible” dreams.

That believe brings me to many new things in my life. When I was in elementary school, I could travel by airplane for the first time in my life, and went to a new place –2 hours flight from my home- as an ambassador from my school in an event. Since then, I made bunch of lists about places that I must visit in my life. Years by years, in my school life, I got many chance to go to new places freely because I tried to do my best in school; Olympic, debate forum, spelling bee competition, singing competition, and many more.

One thing that I like to do when I visit new place is I get new perspective in my life. I can value something from different point of view because I go and experience something new in my life.

In 2016, I made new list. I HAVE TO GO ABROAD FOR STUDY! I wrote that sentence on the whiteboard in my bedroom. I was looking for many chance to get scholarships. Long story short, after a very long journey, I was selected as one of the selected participant of Community College Initiative Program by US Department of State. United State! I have never imagined that I will visit this country as an international student, but God makes it happens. Nothing impossible. Nothing!

Being a volunteer in 9/11 Memorial Day. I was frightened before because I was scared people will scold me because of my hijab. I was totally wrong!

And this is my first three months here. I experience the educational system in the US, the community activities like volunteering, and lots of things that I am very grateful with. I can experience how to mingle with the elderly, eat many kinds of food from the whole world, got American host family, making friends with people from different backgrounds, write 5000 words essay every single week which hopefully makes my writing better, trying so many snacks that I only watch their reviews on YouTube before, visiting some museums and historical places that makes me feel I know nothing, and so many new experience that I believe will become more and more exciting. I am pretty believe, after finishing this program, I will have many new perspectives in life, and I hope those things will make myself as a better person than before.

Got beautiful American mom and gorgeous sister from Ghana. I am blessed!

Post written by Reski Puspitasari A. Sululing, CCI Participant at NOVA-Annandale from Indonesia

Welcome to the CCI NOVA Blog!

Welcome to the CCI NOVA Blog! We are starting this blog to share the experiences of the Community College Initiative Program participants at Northern Virginia Community College Alexandria and Annandale campuses. This year we have 32 students from twelve different countries–Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey, and Yemen.

We expect a lot from these young people. In addition to taking a rigorous academic course load at NOVA, they have to complete 125 hours of volunteer work and an additional 75 hours of experiential learning in their field of study. They also work on an action plan, which is a plan or special project that they can implement when they return home. We ask them to take what they learn here and use it to benefit their local communities. We expect them to make a difference in their families, their communities, in their countries, and in the world.

Each week we will feature posts from our current students. We will also look to our alumni to share their experiences as well–what they did during their year in the United States and what they have been doing since they returned home. We want to share their journey with you, from their perspectives and from their voices.

We hope you will follow these amazing young people as they navigate their way through a new culture, new experiences, and the challenges and accomplishments that come along with being a CCI participant.

Jaclyn & Kelly

Program Coordinators, CCI NOVA

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Exchange Participants Build Workforce and Leadership Skills at U.S. Community Colleges

32 Exchange participants arrived in July at the Northern Virginia Community College Alexandria and Annandale campuses, two of 14 campuses across 11 states, to begin the 2016-2017 Community College Initiative (CCI) Program.  The CCI Program is a program of the U.S. State Department that provides participants with quality educational study at U.S. community colleges and is designed to build technical skills, enhance leadership capabilities, and strengthen English language proficiency.

NOVA 2016-2017 Group Picture
CCI-NOVA Alexandria

Participants pursue educational study focused on one-year certificate programs in workforce development fields.  The CCI program also provides opportunities for professional internships, service learning, and community engagement activities.  After completing the program, participants return home with a deeper understanding of U.S. culture and new skills to help them contribute to the economic growth and development of their countries.

NOVA-AN Group Picture
CCI-NOVA Annandale

CCI participants also contribute to their U.S. host communities by helping U.S. community colleges to internationalize their campuses.  According to 2015 Open Doors Report, less than 2% of U.S. community college students will gain 21st-century international experience and workforce skills through study abroad.  CCI exchange participants engage community college students with international cultures and diverse perspectives in their U.S. classrooms and on their home campuses.  CCI participants will study in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Since 2007, the CCI Program has hosted more than 2,600 participants from 20 countries.  This year, CCI participants are from Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey, and Yemen.  The CCI Program recruits participants from underserved and unrepresented communities, particularly women.

For further information, please contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at eca-press@state.gov.”