Published: 18th November 2018
Through USA's Community College initiative, Indian students can now do short courses
We talk to girls from the recent batch about their experience and what they did while in the US
Every year, a few lucky students are selected by the US Consulate General for their Community College Initiative Program (CCIP). This empowers students with a non-degree academic year programme in the US at one of their community colleges that help build the participant's technical skills in an applied field. Starting from 2010, the US Consulate General in Hyderabad has sent 52 students, 14 of which are girls, to the US. We catch up with Drew Giblin, Public Affairs Officer, US Consulate General Hyderabad and ask him what else does the CCIP do for a student. Excerpts:
Can you tell us about the professional internships, service learning and community engagement opportunities that the participants get to avail?
CCIP makes possible a range of internship opportunities. Students pursue 75 hours of unpaid internships, typically in the second semester of the programme. In some cases, colleges provide support offices where international students can learn about and access internships.
Community service is one of the most important aspects of CCIP and volunteering is a vital and important American tradition. Students volunteer for a minimum of 100 hours during the year and are encouraged to work with diverse non-profit organisations helping support underserved communities. Colleges usually help and encourage students to volunteer, and participants often go well beyond 100 hours of service.
Several women from marginalised communities have participated successfully in CCIP in the United States and emerged as confident students back in India
What are some of the most heartwarming success stories that the CCIP has helped formulate? Dulam Satyanarayana, a well-known filmmaker from Hyderabad, participated in CCIP in 2011. Satyanarayana, hailing from a rural community and in need of opportunities to advance, pursued courses in media at a community college in the United States. He is now a recognised filmmaker working with the Telangana government.
A trip to remember
Two girls, Haseena Shaik from Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh and Kaveri Aavula from Hyderabad, Telangana are from the recent batch who came back from the US after the CCIP. We talk to both of them about their exciting experience.
CCIP is a life-changing opportunity. We were assigned mentor families with whom I celebrated my birthday
Haseena Shaik, student
Shaik (20) pursued Agriculture Geospatial Tech course from Kirkwood Community College, Iowa, and was the only girl with no background in farming in class. "I chose this course because I am pursuing BSc and I thought it would match with my field," says Shaik, who is currently studying in Sri Grandhi China Sanyasi Raju College. So to be on par with other students, she would stay back for three hours after college. Thanks to the friendly instructors, she did pretty well for herself. She even travelled to Nebraska for a study tour. When we ask her about her favourite part from the whole trip she says, "Seeing snow for the first time."
My parents were worried, but later on, they were proudly telling others that their daughter went to the US
Kaveri Aavula, Front Office Executive
Aavula is currently working at GMR Aero Towers as a Front Office Executive. She pursued a course in Event and Meeting Management from Northern Virginia Community College, Virginia. "In the beginning, I felt like the American education system is very different from the Indian education system. There is no concept of homework there and everything is digitised, so it took some time to get used to that," says the 20-year-old. If given the chance, Aavula, who is a native of Hyderabad, says that she would love to go back to the US to pursue her master's, owing to the friendly nature and opportunities there.