Press Release

Exchange Participants Study at BHCC to Develop Global Workforce and Leadership Skills

Friday, August 23, 2019

BOSTON, August 23, 2019 – Bunker Hill Community (BHCC) is pleased to welcome 12 international exchange students to contribute to our vibrant campus community during the 2019-2020 academic year as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Community College Initiative (CCI) Program.

BHCC 2019-2020 GroupPhoto Caption: Group photo of BHCC 2019-2020 CCI Program participants.

The CCI Program will provide 144 participants from underserved global communities with a one-year non-degree academic program in workforce development fields at nine U.S. community colleges in eight states. This year, CCI participants studying at BHCC are from Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Turkey and South Africa.

Since 2013, BHCC has welcomed 84 CCI students coming from 11 countries. The CCI Program is 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 relations between citizens of the United States and other countries.

During the 2018-2019 Program year, CCI participants contributed nearly $1 million in service to local U.S. communities through volunteering and unpaid internships, as calculated by rates for volunteer hours. CCI participants also contribute to their U.S. host communities by bringing diverse, global perspectives to classrooms, campus life, and local organizations. In March 2019, BHCC alumna Junia Akter from Bangladesh participated in the Future We Want Model United Nations in New York City.

After completing the CCI Program, participants return home with a deeper understanding of U.S. culture and with improved technical and vocational skills to contribute to the economic development of their home communities. Rishikesh Ghodeswar (BHCC CCI 2018, alumna) studied business administration. After returning to Mumbai, India, Rishikesh organized a “teenprenuers”  program where young women learn skills in business development, marketing, networking and more. Melissa Acevedo participated in CCI at BHCC in the 2016-2017 program year. After studying early childcare and interning in Boston, Melissa used the skills she learned to teach pre-Kindergarten students in her native Colombia.

Since 2007, the CCI Program has hosted more than 3,200 participants from 21 countries. This U.S. Department of State Program is administered by Northern Virginia Community College in cooperation with the Community College Consortium. For further information, please contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at To learn more about the CCI Program at BHCC, visit

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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).