Press Release

Exchange Participants Build Workforce and Leadership Skills at Bunker Hill Community College

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Exchange students arrived at Bunker Hill Community College, one of 14 colleges across 11 states, to participate in the 2016-2017 Community College Initiative (CCI) Program. A program of the U.S. State Department, the CCI Program provides participants with quality education at U.S. community colleges and is designed to build technical skills, enhance leadership capabilities and strengthen their English language proficiency.

Participants enroll at BHCC in one-year college certificate programs in workforce development fields, with opportunities for professional internships, service learning and community engagement activities.  After completing the program, participants ultimately 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 community colleges to internationalize their campuses.  According to the 2015 Open Doors Report, fewer than 2% of U.S. community college students will gain 21st-century international experience and workforce skills through study abroad.  “In addition to the nearly 1000 international students enrolled at BHCC, our international exchange students provide an invaluable world view to our campuses,” says Maria Puente, Interim Dean of Mathematics, Behavioral and Social Sciences. CCI exchange participants engage community college students with international cultures and diverse perspectives in their U.S. classrooms and on their home campuses. 

Since 2007, the CCI Consortium has hosted more than 2,600 participants from 20 countries at US community colleges in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. As of 2013, the CCI Program has hosted more than 47 participants from eight countries at Bunker Hill Community College. Participants come from underserved and underrepresented communities. This year, CCI participants at BHCC are from Egypt, Pakistan, Colombia, India, Ghana, South Africa, Indonesia and Turkey. 

For further information, please contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at For more information about international enrollment and the CCI Program at BHCC, contact Zoisa Edwards, CCI Program Coordinator at 617-936-1912.

Bunker Hill Community College is the largest community college in Massachusetts. The College enrolls more than 14,000 students on two campuses and at three satellite locations. BHCC is one of the most diverse institutions of higher education in Massachusetts. Sixty-four percent of the students are people of color and more than half of BHCC's students are women. The College also enrolls nearly 1000 international students who come from approximately 100 countries and speak more than 75 languages.

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About Bunker Hill Community College
With more than 50 years of academic excellence, Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) is Massachusetts' largest community college, annually welcoming a diverse community of around 16,000 students. With campuses in Charlestown and Chelsea, BHCC extends its reach across several locations in Greater Boston. The College offers associate degrees and certificates, early college and dual enrollment, community education, corporate training, and industry-specific training programs. BHCC is celebrated for its diversity, boasting a student body where 65% identify as people of color and more than half are women. The College also embraces a global perspective, with over 600 international students representing 90 countries and conversing in more than 65 languages. Our commitment to diversity is further reflected in BHCC's designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI).