Strengthening Bilateral Ties Through Educational Exchange


In a celebration of bilateral relations between the United States and Indonesia, the U.S. Department of State has bestowed the prestigious Community College Initiative (CCI) Program scholarships upon 24 promising Indonesian individuals. The recipients, originating from diverse regions including Bangka Belitung, East Nusa Tenggara, and various provinces in Papua, will embark on a transformative academic journey across community colleges in the United States.

Administered by the American Indonesian Exchange Foundation (AMINEF) and managed by a consortium of community colleges anchored at Northern Virginia Community College, the CCI Program serves as a beacon of educational opportunity and cultural exchange.

The selected fellows are currently participating in a rigorous three-day pre-departure orientation in Jakarta from June 4-6. This orientation equips them with the necessary tools and insights to navigate their forthcoming academic and cultural immersion in the United States.

During the opening session of the orientation, U.S. Embassy Jakarta Cultural Affairs Officer, Emily Y. Norris, expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “In this special year celebrating 75 years of U.S.-Indonesian relations, we are delighted to see so many of you traveling to the U.S. to learn new skills and expand the people-to-people connections that underpin all aspects of our comprehensive strategic partnership with Indonesia.”

Notably, the event also saw the presence of Scott Hanna, Director of Strategic Support Services at PT Freeport Indonesia, a significant sponsor of the CCI Program. PT Freeport Indonesia's sponsorship of seven fellows from Papua underscores its commitment to fostering educational development in these regions. Tony Wenas, President Director of PT Freeport Indonesia, reaffirmed this commitment, stating, “This scholarship program demonstrates our commitment to education and helping to build a brighter future for the people of Papua.”

While Mr. Matthew J. Sacco, Program Officer at the Office of Global Educational Programs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, and Ms. Sara Mohamed, Interim Director of the Northern Virginia Community College CCI Program Administrative Team, offered their support remotely, emphasizing the importance of international educational exchanges.

The orientation, meticulously organized by AMINEF, comprises comprehensive briefings covering various facets of life and study in the United States. These sessions aim to ensure that the fellows are well-prepared for their academic sojourn. Moreover, CCI Program alumni, such as Nadya Rima Damayanti, a 2020 fellow, are invited to share their firsthand experiences and insights, offering invaluable guidance to the departing fellows.

Reflecting on her own journey, Damayanti remarked, “Participating in the CCI Program was an experience that changed many aspects of my life. The experience of studying in the U.S. opened up big opportunities for my career in Indonesia. The volunteering experiences also provided perspectives which I then expressed in various projects in my hometown.”

For individuals seeking further information on Fulbright and CCI programs, detailed insights are available on the AMINEF website at

This initiative not only fosters academic excellence but also strengthens the enduring bonds between the United States and Indonesia, paving the way for a brighter future rooted in mutual understanding and collaboration.

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