NOVA Celebrates International Exchange Day and Honors Incoming CCI Participants

August 4, 2023

NOVA is pleased to welcome 27 international exchange students to contribute to its vibrant campus community during the 2023-2024 academic year. These 27 participants are studying at NOVA’s Annandale and Alexandria campuses as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Community College Initiative (CCI) Program.  

The new students join a group of 142 participants from underserved and underrepresented global communities who are studying at nine U.S. community colleges in nine states. They will gain skills and experiences needed to enter the workforce and ultimately benefit their own communities. This year’s CCI participants studying at NOVA are from Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Ghana, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Turkey and Ukraine. Students will study business management; early childhood education; digital media and information technology. 

In addition to hosting the students, NOVA also proudly administers the CCI Program on behalf of the U.S. Department of State, in cooperation with the NOVA-led Community College Consortium (CCC). NOVA began administering the program in 2010 and became the sole administrator in 2016. 

Over 13 years, NOVA has facilitated the program for 1,863 CCI participants at its CCC partner institutions, with 381 of these participants studying at NOVA’s Alexandria and Annandale campuses. CCI participants take approximately 30 credits in their year studying in the program and contribute to their U.S. host communities by bringing diverse, global perspectives to classrooms, campus life and local organizations, as well as participating in unpaid internship opportunities and volunteer activities. 

Last year’s 2022-23 cohort of CCI participants at NOVA contributed 3,029 volunteer and 2,747 hours of unpaid internships to the local community. According to Independent Sector’s 2023 value of volunteer time in the state of Virginia, this translates to $183,676 of service to Northern Virginia businesses and nonprofits. The academic study of the two NOVA cohorts contributed approximately $350,000 in tuition for the 2022-2023 academic year. 

International exchange programs such as this support the internationalization of U.S. college campuses and provide an opportunity for students to learn about different countries, cultures and traditions from their peers, becoming more globally informed citizens. NOVA is one of the few community colleges to lead a large-scale Department of State program. 

Background: The CCI Program is a one-year, non-degree academic program designed to build participants’ technical skills, enhance leadership capabilities and strengthen English language proficiency. The program also provides opportunities for professional internships, service learning and community engagement activities to build relationships between U.S. citizens and other countries.  

Last year, CCI participants’ service through volunteer and unpaid internships translated to an economic contribution of $849,282 to local U.S. communities. Northern Virginia Community College administers this U.S. Department of State program in cooperation with the NOVA-led Community College Consortium.   For further information, please contact CCI Program Director Leeza Fernand at and/or the NOVA CCI Team at and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at

Topics: press release, international connections