The Community College Initiative (CCI) is a U.S. Department of State exchange programme which provides participants from underserved and underrepresented groups with a one-year non-degree academic programme at a U.S. community college, designed to build participants’ technical skills in applied fields, enhance their leadership capabilities, and strengthen their English language proficiency. After completing the programme, participants return home with enhanced skills to help them contribute to the economic development of their countries.

The CCI Programme encourages a holistic learning and exchange experience and focuses on five programme pillars: academics, cultural exchange, service learning, internships, and leadership and community impact project.


Degree level

Non Degree


9 December 2022

 Who can apply?

Applicants must:

  • Be a citizen, national or permanent resident qualified to hold a valid passport issued by the South African government;
  • Currently be residing in South Africa;
  • Be 18 years or older by July 1, 2023;
  • Have successfully earned a secondary school diploma;
  • Have not completed the equivalent of three years toward a U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher in the field of study the applicant is nominated to pursue;

 Nominees without substantive post-secondary education will be given placement priority.

  • Have demonstrated commitment to the selected field of study through some academic or professional experience;

The program aims to identify participants with proven skills or interest and limited professional experience in the fields of study offered.

  • Have basic working knowledge of English language.

Persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.


Fields of Study

The CCI Programme offers study in the following fields:

  • Agriculture
  • Applied Engineering
  • Business Management/Admin
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Digital Media, Journalism and Communications
  • Social Services, Health, and Public Safety
  • Tourism and Hospitality Management
  • Public Safety

 What the scholarship offers

CCI scholarships cover:

  • J-1 visa support;
  • Round-trip travel from participant’s home city to host institution in the United States;
  • Tuition and mandatory college fees;
  • Housing and meals;
  • Small allowance for books, materials, and incidental expenses;
  • Limited Accident and Sickness coverage that is J-visa compliant;
  • A variety of personal and professional development activities.

Application process

The application documents can be accessed HERE

  • Each applicant must complete their own application form. Applicants may consult with others for advice on how to complete the form, but each applicant must write their own responses;
  • Please answer ALL questions on the application in English. Do NOT leave a space blank. If a question does not apply to you, enter N/A (not applicable);
  • Include your full legal name with family name (surname) in CAPITAL LETTERS first as spelled on your international passport (if available);
  • Include complete contact information, including postal codes for addresses and city/country codes for phone numbers;
  • Handwritten applications must be neatly printed;
  • Submit the application by the deadline established by the U.S. Embassy or Fulbright Commission located in your country.

Please send your completed original application form with signature on the last page to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Please send all enquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Documents and links

CCI Website
CCI Blog
CCI YouTube
CCI Facebook 
CCI Twitter 
CCI Instagram

CCI application documents

U.S. Department of State’s Community College Initiative 

Community College Consortium (CCC) 


Please note that this opportunity is not offered by the Department of Higher Education and Training. Applicants are required to undertake their own research into programmes and institutions and are responsible for ensuring that the qualifications will be recognised in South Africa. If there are any discrepancies in the details provided, the information given by the sponsor supersedes the details provided above. No additional financial support will be provided by the Department of Higher Education and Training.