It is the mission of the Columbia Council for Internationals (CCFI) to stimulate community interest and participation in services to international students, scholars, visiting family, medical staff, and other visitors during their stay in South Carolina, while acting as a clearinghouse for activities with internationals.
CCFI is an all-volunteer, non-partisan, secular, non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status. CCFI operates by committee structure.
create a comfortable environment in which international visitors can have the broadest possible educational experience
gain new perspectives by the exchange of ideas with people of other cultures for mutual enrichment and understanding
give the international visitor every opportunity to observe and participate in the activities of the community
Pat has been a long-standing member of CCFI and is currently serving as the President of the Board of Directors. She enjoys meeting international students and has given her time to pick up arriving students at the airport, understanding the importance of a warm welcome.
Piedad has been a CCFI member for 30 years, joining the CCFI board in 2010, and currently serving as the Treasurer. She has traveled the Americas, Caribbean, Europe, and the Middle East, and enjoys hosting international students in her home.
Carol's love for international travel began in 1962 as an exchange student in Germany. She has served 2 years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Brazil, and 4 years as an educator in Japan. Today, when she's not spending time with her family, she serves as the CCFI Recording Secretary.
Jim has been involved with CCFI since the 1980s and has served several terms as Board President. He is a former Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Chile and has been instrumental in the development of the Palmetto Council for International Visitors (PCIV) program.
Marion's life has been dedicated to international exchange - from hosting international students in her home to later becoming the Director for Ayusa Global Youth Exchange. Now retired, she splits her time between the Friday International Lunch Hour and the Arrival Assistance Program.
Robin joined the Board in 2009 and has since been key in hosting the Friday International Lunch Hour, sponsored by CCFI. She was a teacher in the English Programs for Internationals (EPI) at the University of South Carolina for 21 years. During her career, she had the opportunity to teach ESL in Japan. Now retired, Robin also serves on the board of the Columbia Green Board.
Jane joined the board in 2009 to repay the kindness shown to her when she was a stranger in a foreign land. She has primarily focused on helping with the Friday Lunch program, rising to the position of Chief Dish Washer. Her commitment to CCFI comes from her experiences living in foreign countries, including her time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania.
Dickson joined the board in 2017. He is a native of Columbia and has had the pleasure of interacting with international visitors from an early age. He is the Executive Director of the Columbia World Affairs Council, a partner organization of CCFI.
Anthony joined the board in 2017 and is currently the Senior External Relations Officer at the Rule of Law Collaborative at the University of South Carolina. He has spent his career advocating for justice and accountability for global human rights abuses and has 15+ years experience working for United Nations institutions and other international organizations.
Peggy joined the board in 2017 and personally knows what is like to come to the US as an international, as she is originally from Cuba. Peggy is an avid traveler and has a great love for the world. She believes we can make our world a better place for future generations.
Arrival Assistance Program
Community Friends Program
Hospitality + Events
Robin Dean + Marion Crane
Palmetto Council for International Visitors (PCIV)
Membership, Communications, Development,
Historian, Speakers Bureau, Nominating