Jumat, 11 Juli 2014

About CCIP - MDC 2013-2014

CCIP (Community College Initiative Program) has 3 core values: academic, community, and understanding. The main goals of the program are to study in the field of study that we chose and may obtain college credit certificates (mine was Business with Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Certification), complete 100 hours of community service and 60 hours of unpaid internship. So it's not only about academic, but learning through experience.

The participants (grantees) are from different countries. In my batch at Miami Dade College there were 28 students within the area of Business and Tourism and Hospitality studies, 16 studied at Wolfson (Downtown) Campus and 12 at Kendall Campus. They are from Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey. Can you imagine how cool is that? I’m forever grateful to have friends from all over the world. 

When I came to Miami it was Summer. The first week, we had some orientations about the program, with topics around culture shock, how to get along, time, financial, and health management, etc. It was educative, informative, and fun! They took us in a van and showed us how to get around with public transportation, then shop for daily household needs at Publix or Walmart. After that, we were enrolled in a Intensive English Class (ESL - English as Second Language) and it was only for us CCIP MDC students. The classes were divided by levels based on our TOEFL score. Intensive means 1 class from 9.30am to 1.25pm and continue another class from 2.30pm to 6pm. We basically spent a month from Monday-Thursday for English class. I was placed in Kendall campus (about 45 minutes from Downtown Miami by public transportation) and lived in The Startford Apartments 88th St and 122nd Ave. But most of us Kendall students were enrolled in Downtown (Wolfson) campus.

I woke up at 6 every morning without alarm. Prepare for the day, including food for lunch because we don't want to spend money eating out. We need to leave home early to get to class on time because it takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour to get there. It was exhausting but it helped us to get used to, be active and push ourselves to the limit. Most of the time, we didn't want to do anything after classes. We just want to go home and rest. Not to mention that we carry our backpack filled with 2 grammar books, 1 reading fiction book, 1 college binder, and we have to bring our jacket (not to wear it all the time) because almost every classroom was very cold like a fridge but outside is as sunny as it can be. But I can't accept the fact that I've been in Miami for 3 weeks and visited only few places. Feels like I didn't make the best of it. Sometimes I just don't want to go straight home, I got off the bus at stores and complex mall in my area, just to see.

On Friday and Saturday, we have to attend orientation (this was all good, helps us to prevent disorientation), do some community service, obtain our ID card, group discussion, go to the bank (to receive our stipend check - we love going to the bank :D). After that we go to places, last week we went to the Goodwill. Today, we are going to Miami History Museum (something you might do as a tourist visiting Miami, right?) and tomorrow we are going to the Dolphin Mall. It's been 3 weeks since the last time I visited a big mall. In my hometown, super malls are everywhere and they are pretty near to where I live. But anyway, our program coordinator already planned everything for us as a group. Sometimes I feel like I'm in the World Nations Parade and I'm happy about it.
No matter how tired my body is and how my ego wants to go to somewhere else, I only can be thankful because I know there are people who work very hard to provide the best for us, to enrich and support us. So for it, I want to thank Nate and Margaret (best program coordinators), Anoush (I love all the times you spent your days with us), Dean Owles (you're very fun and lovely, thanks for sharing every important details and your experience). I have 3 best housemates. We want to make the most of this year and have a great moments together.

Have a good Friday!

The Stratford, Kendall Miami
August 2nd, 2013

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