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Giving back: CCIP exchange visitors volunteer at Cunningham Park
The Cross Cultural Internship Program (CCIP)
Internship in New York City

Pub Date: Sat, Jun 11, 2016
BY Joseph Fonseca (FUSIA) | Sat, Jun 11, 2016 EST

Press Center

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Though New York City is known for its towering skyscrapers, the five boroughs are also home to many of the country's most impressive city parks. Cunningham Park in northeast Queens is 358 acres with baseball fields, bike trails and plenty of open space. It's a place of pride for the local residents, and it takes a great amount of effort to keep it clean and inviting for all visitors.

The CCIP exchange visitors came to Cunningham Park this last Saturday to do their part as volunteers by raking leaves, picking up trash, and helping with the care of the lawns. This was an opportunity to learn about the spirit of volunteerism, a central tenet of American culture, while also gaining a greater appreciation for the community that they are living among.

"We were told that volunteering is very important in the United States," said Hui Xian Sim, an activity leader who is studying at Nanyang Technological University. "There is a lot of work to be done in a big park, and there aren't enough park employees to do all of it. It felt really good to know that I was able to contribute to the community today."

As they cleaned and did lawn work, the students had a chance to talk and joke with other volunteers and members of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. It was an opportunity beyond their internships for the exchange visitors to learn about the culture while also gaining valuable experience as both leaders and volunteers.

Sze Ki Hung (Silky), a student from the University of Hong Kong and an activity leader, enthusiastically reflected on what this experience meant to her. "When I walk into such a big park, it's hard to imagine that I could have any impact. But after only a few hours, it was obvious that all of us together had made a big difference. It's a perfect example of how much people can do when they work together."

After they finished their volunteer work for the day, the group attended a performance at the Big Apple Circus.


ABOUT:

The Cross Cultural Internship Program (CCIP) is a cultural exchange internship program that takes place in New York City every year. It is dedicated to fostering mutually beneficial East-West cultural exchange, targeting exchange visitors from Asia and the Pacific region.

CCIP provides exchange visitors and host organizations the opportunity to exchange insights, ideas, and experiences. Through the program, participants acquire practical knowledge and cultural experiences, and host organizations connect with the international community and stay abreast of trends in the global marketplace.

CCIP is organized by FUSIA Communications, one of the approximately 96 J-1 intern designated visa sponsors in the nation. FUSIA is responsible for the selection of interns as well as supporting and monitoring theĀ¬m during the program.

CCIP is a structured, full-placement internship program. Since 2008, CCIP has provided internship opportunities to over 850 exchange visitors. In 2015, 71 students were selected out of 1050 applicants. They were matched to 20-plus host organizations of diverse disciplines including government district offices, law firms, publishing houses, media firms, advertising agencies, real estate agencies, and more.


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