Global program brings foreign exchange students to Scottsdale

This year's class of Community College Initiative Program members attending Scottsdale Community College this academic year, along with program coordinator, far right. (Submitted photo)

This year’s class of Community College Initiative Program members attending Scottsdale Community College this academic year, along with program coordinator, far right. (Submitted photo)

Scottsdale Community College is one of 17 campuses across 11 states to host exchange students participating in the 2015-16 Community College Initiative Program.

The U.S. Department of State program provides participants with quality educational study at U.S. community colleges. It is designed to build technical skills, enhance leadership capabilities, and strengthen English language proficiency.

The students in this year’s Scottsdale Community College cohort will study business, film making, public relations and journalism, according to a press release.

“These students have an incredible impact on our programs here at the college by enhancing and bringing diverse perspectives to classroom discussions,” stated Megan O’Connor, SCC’s program coordinator, in the release. “And they go on to become major difference makers when they return to their countries after the program.”

The 15 students (six women, nine men) studying at Scottsdale Community College represent seven countries: Ivory Coast, Turkey, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Kenya and Indonesia, the release stated.

They will complete a minimum of 80 hours of internships or professional development experience and are required to complete a minimum of 1500 hours of community service (100 hours per student). They also will be involved in clubs and campus activities and share their international perspectives.

CCI participants pursue educational study focused on one-year certificate programs in workforce development fields. The 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.

CCI participants also contribute to their U.S. host communities by helping U.S. community colleges to internationalize their campuses. According to 2012-13 Open Doors Report, only 1 percent of U.S. community college students will gain 21st-century international experience and workforce skills through study abroad, the release stated.

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 2,350 participants from 20 countries, according to the release. This year, CCI participants are from Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa, and Turkey. The CCI Program recruits participants from underserved and unrepresented communities, particularly women.

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

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