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Los Angeles Community Colleges in France

The initiative Community College in France, launched two years ago as part of the program Transatlantic Mobility and Friendship Initiative, was created principally to increase and diversify student mobility between the United States and France. After two years in its pilot phase (with 20 students participating each year), in 2019 this project is projected to reach 65 students who will travel to France during the summer, settling in four different cites (Paris, Caen, Lyon and Montpellier). The programs will focus on topical themes, including sustainable development, “green” transportation, waste management, industrial challenges, and living in the digital age.

Given the very strong ties between the cities of Paris and Los Angeles (MoU signed in 2016), a specific program was established for the Los Angeles Community Colleges District (LACCD) students, which represents the largest district in the United States for this type of higher educational institution (9 colleges and 250,000 students). A three-party agreement among the French Embassy, the network of engineering schools n+i (a historic partner of this program), and the LACCD was signed last November during the LACCD Chancellor’s visit to Paris.

The theme of the bootcamp in Paris will the Olympic Games and sustainable development, and will host 20 LACCD students, selected based on their motivation and potential.

The mayors’ offices of Paris and Los Angeles are strongly involved in the project, which incorporates the components of youth involvement, university study, and the Olympic spirit of cooperation: the mayor’s office of Paris will provide the lodging for the entire duration of the stay as well as some additional benefits (access to cultural institutions, public transportation passes, etc.); the mayor’s office of Los Angeles will cover the plane tickets and the initiative will be implemented in the framework of mayor Eric Garcetti’s Mayor’s Young Ambassadors program. 

This arrangement illustrates the relevance of the ambitious and innovative program which the French Embassy launched in 2016, which aims in the short-term to increase student mobility to France while engaging in the diversification of ethnic, cultural, and social points of view.