Mesa Community College Welcomes International Exchange Students

MESA, Ariz. -- September 12, 2023 – Mesa Community College (MCC) welcomes international exchange students participating in the U.S. Department of State’s Community College Initiative (CCI) Program.

Fourteen students from Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, India, Indonesia, South Africa and Turkey arrived at Mesa Community College in July to study in a certificate degree program for one year.

“The CCI Program brings students from developing countries to MCC who would not otherwise have the opportunity to study abroad,” says MCC International Education Program Analyst Teresa Kalloch. “They bring a different perspective to our classrooms and encourage MCC students to gain an awareness of cultures other than their own.”

“Students are enrolled in early childhood education, electronics technology, emergency medical technician (EMT), sustainable agriculture and graphic design programs,” said Kalloch.

Since 2013, excluding the 2020-2021 academic year, MCC has hosted more than 130 international students under the CCI Program.

In addition to their studies, CCI students are required to complete 75 hours of volunteer work, a 50-hour unpaid internship and a community impact project. “One of the exciting projects students worked on last year, during Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, was making welcome cards in different languages for refugees settling in the Phoenix area with the Welcome to America Project.

“It's a joy to work with the students and it’s amazing to see them accomplish their dreams, no matter how big or small. One student said it was her dream to order off the secret menu at a drive-thru restaurant,” said Kalloch. Her dream was fulfilled the day she arrived!

International Education Program Director Aziz Alhadi explains that upon successful completion of the program, students not only earn a certificate of completion and gain a first-hand understanding of American culture, they also develop practical skills that equip them to participate productively in the economic life of their home countries.

The CCI Program is administered by Northern Virginia Community College in cooperation with the Community College Consortium.

For further information, please contact CCI Program Director Leeza Fernand at and/or the NOVA CCI Team at CCCIP@nvcc.eduand the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at

Learn more about the MCC International Education program at

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Media contact: Julie Ruiz, or 480-461-7283.

The Community College Initiative Program (CCI) provides scholarships to spend up to one academic year at U.S community colleges. Participants build technical skills and may earn certificates in their fields of study. Through professional internships, service learning, and community engagement activities, participants strengthen English language proficiency and immerse themselves in the culture and day-to-day life of the United States.

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for university transfer, career and technical programs, civic engagement, service-learning and innovative approaches to education. Host to more than 24,400 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations. On average MCC students provide 23,000 hours of community service annually. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for education, workforce development and lifelong learning. MCC is transforming student success through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution. Nearly 50% of MCC students are the first in their families to attend college. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges. The American Indian Institute serves students from 22 federally recognized Arizona tribes and out-of-state tribes. Our diverse student body includes hundreds of international students from around the world. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to attain their goals. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

MCC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC),

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit

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Publication Date: 
Tuesday, September 12, 2023