Skip to main Skip to sidebar

Thirteen US university students selected for Villa Albertine’s new urban design internship exchange in Paris

Villa Albertine

By Villa Albertine

Villa Albertine and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US are proud to announce the inaugural selection for the City/Cité Cultural and Professional Exchange Program.

Chicago, June 15 2023 – This summer thirteen students, all currently enrolled at American universities, will travel to Paris for a six-week professional intensive in urban planning and architecture.  

The program is designed to inspire a new generation of students committed to promoting innovation and change in urban making, offering a combination of collective experiences (seminars, conferences, and site visits) and individualized internships in preeminent Parisian firms (Chartier/Dalix, Studio Gang, GRAU, Prost, Institut Paris Région…). Throughout the program participants will also have frequent opportunities to collaborate with French students of architecture and urban design.  

Applications for the City/Cité Cultural and Professional Exchange Program were open to students at American universities regardless of their nationality or language proficiency in French. The selected students represent nine American universities in seven states.  

Encompassing this professional exchange and numerous other events, grants, and exchanges, City/Cité is a program by Villa Albertine that uses the arts to facilitate international dialogue on urban issues. Pairing French and American cities, communities, and institutions, it creates space for artists, students, architects, urban planners, community organizers, political leaders, and more to examine urban issues that impact both sides of the Atlantic (and well beyond). This has taken the form of international conferences, creative exhibitions and publications, professional residencies, decentralized cultural cooperation programs, and mobility programs. 

“It is our true pleasure to welcome this talented cohort of urban thinkers to City/Cité. Over the next five weeks they will engage with some of the most consequential debates and projects in today’s world, and we hope the experience will serve as a launchpad for careers centering impact and global-mindedness,” said Gaëtan Bruel, Director of Villa Albertine.  

The City/Cité Cultural and Professional Exchange Program is pleased to welcome the following students: 

  • Jacqueline Au, Washington University in St. Louis 
  • Cole Bakley, Texas A&M University 
  • Ileana Carbajal, University of Houston 
  • Joseph Frate, The Ohio State University 
  • Brendan Hall, Illinois Institute of Technology 
  • Aleksandrs Jaunzemis, University of Illinois at Chicago 
  • Reece Lash, Washington University in St. Louis 
  • Brianna Manzor, University of Michigan  
  • Nikesha Medard, University of California in Berkeley 
  • Brandon Pundamiera, University of California in Berkeley 
  • Nellie Shih, University of Michigan 
  • Coylin Vargas, University of Houston 
  • Mengxi Xin, Washington University in St. Louis 

The City/Cité Cultural and Professional Exchange Program is hosted in partnership with Gustave Eiffel University’s École d’urbanisme de Paris, École des Ingénieurs de la Ville de Paris – Département de Génie Urbain, and École d’architecture de la Ville et des Territoires Paris-Est. The program is made possible by the invaluable support of Clayco, Lamar Johnson Collaborative and FACE foundation

Chartier Dalix

In partnership with

Cultural Services of the French Embassy

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy, alongside Villa Albertine, promotes the best of French arts, literature, cinema, digital innovation, language, and higher education across the US. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the country, the Cultural Services brings artists, authors, intellectuals, and innovators to cities nationwide. It also builds partnerships between French and American artists, institutions and universities on both sides of the Atlantic. In New York, through its bookshop Albertine, it fosters French-American exchange around literature and the arts.

FACE Foundation

FACE Foundation is an American nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting French-American relations through innovative cultural and educational projects. In partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, FACE Foundation promotes artistic, literary, and educational exchange and collaboration between creative professionals from both countries. With additional corporate, foundation, and individual support, FACE Foundation administers grant programs in the performing and visual arts, cinema, translation, and secondary and higher education, while providing financial sponsorship to French-American festivals and other cultural initiatives. FACE Foundation focuses on new and recent work of living artists and the promotion of bilingualism and the French language. 

Université Gustave Eiffel

University created in 2020 based on an innovative model, bringing together for the first time in France the triptych university/schools/research organization, with the ambition of transforming life and cities.   

Fruit of a common history initiated over 20 years ago between a university (Upem), a research institute (Ifsttar), 3 engineering schools (ESIEE Paris, ENSG, EIVP) and an architecture school (École d’architecture de la ville & des territoires Paris-Est). By pooling many strengths in education and research, Université Gustave Eiffel create greater synergies and offer to different publics a richer range of skills.  

Université Gustave Eiffel supports the scientific ambition of the I-SITE FUTURE: to prepare for the transformation and sustainable adaptation of cities and regions. 


Learn more


Clayco is a full-service, turnkey real estate, architecture, engineering, design-build and construction firm that delivers clients across North America the highest quality solutions on time, on budget and above and beyond expectations.


Learn more

Lamar Johnson Collaborative

LJC is a full-service design and architecture firm committed to enhancing the quality of the human experience and to improving how design and architecture can impact each individual’s emotional being. By harnessing the power of integrated design, including architecture, workplace strategy, interior design, landscape architecture, urban planning and engineering, the company achieves its clients’ goals and aspirations. 


Learn more

Sign up to receive exclusive news and updates