For one academic year, CCI participants complete academic coursework at their U.S. host community college in select CCI Program fields of study and, when possible, pursue professional certificates. Current fields of study include agriculture, applied engineering, business management and administration, early childhood education, information technology, media, public safety, and tourism and hospitality management.
Service learning is a key component of the CCI Program that helps participants integrate into their campus and local communities. CCI students participate in local community service activities with nonprofit organizations, join student groups to practice leadership skills and promote causes they care about, and contribute to large-scale national service events such as the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.
CCI participants build hands-on professional experience through internships in local businesses and organizations. Through the application, interview, and participation phases of their internships, participants build their professional skill sets in resume writing, networking, interviewing, and working in the context of U.S. business culture. These experiences help CCI participants explore their academic fields of study and plan for their future careers.
CCI participants learn about American culture and share their cultures with the people they meet through formal and informal activities. Students participate in a weekly “Culture, Society and Institutions” course that includes organized excursions which introduces them to people and organizations in their local U.S. communities. CCI participants also attend local arts and culture events, tour historical sites, visit local schools, and join student and community clubs.
Throughout their exchange year, CCI participants are encouraged to seek out leadership positions on campus and in their host community. They are also given the opportunity to develop leadership skills through exclusive CCI leadership programming. The CCI Program’s mid-year Pathways to Success Program is a consortium-wide leadership program designed to build participant skills in leadership, reflection, and goal-setting.
Since 2010, the Community College Consortium has strongly encouraged its CCI participants to develop an action plan to be implemented upon their return home. By developing a project, portfolio, or community outreach plan during their exchange year in the United States, CCI participants return to their home countries ready to take action and contribute to their home communities.