At the request of the Cité internationale, the architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte designed a virtual House of Ukraine in April 2022 to give an identity to the project of welcoming Ukrainian students and researchers on campus. This symbolic house aimed to raise funds and federate under the same banner the actions related to the Ukrainian academic community. Wilmotte & Associés designed a pavilion, an allusive reminder of constructivist architecture, whose volumes and use of materials recall the Ukrainian flag.
The students and researchers are housed in the 43 houses on campus thanks to the strong commitment of the directors of the houses, who have made rooms available for them. Some houses have even renovated or fitted out new ones, like the Biermans-Lapôtre Foundation. An unprecedented wave of solidarity has emerged within the Cité internationale.
Each student and researcher was able to receive exceptional assistance according to his or her individual situation for the purchase of clothing, school supplies, hygiene products, a laptop to follow their courses and even a telephone package.
The students and researchers of the House of Ukraine benefit from all the support services of the campus: financial aid, social support, psychological and medical follow-up, learning French as a foreign language, orientation in their university career, assistance with the emergency reception centre set up on the campus at the beginning of the conflict, access to the infrastructures and cultural and artistic sports activities of the campus. They also find support in the cultural and artistic offer proposed on the campus. They share the daily life of nearly 7,000 residents of 150 nationalities.
Beyond the assistance and services provided, the Cité internationale’s ambition is to preserve the future of these students and researchers by creating a common network and allowing these talents to remain connected to the world’s youth. And that is the strength of this project: to create a real Ukrainian community. This reception and support system aims to preserve the future of students, researchers in exile and the Ukrainian academic community in a medium-term perspective, beyond a response to needs. For this reason, a partnership agreement was signed with the Ukrainian Global University on 21 July 2022. This partnership allows us to maintain the academic and scientific continuity of Ukrainian students and researchers enrolled in higher education institutions in Paris.
The House of Ukraine promotes exchanges between Ukrainian students and researchers and other campus residents of nearly 150 nationalities to enable them to pursue their studies in an environment conducive to their academic success. It is the focal point of Ukraine’s academic and cultural influence in the Paris region. In the long term, it will become an important place for the reception and dissemination of intellectual, artistic and cultural productions from Ukraine.
Cultural projects have already been launched with the help of the cultural centre of the Ukrainian embassy in France to promote Ukrainian culture. These events are organised to accompany and support the action of the universities and grandes écoles of Paris. They are coordinated and supported by the rectorate of the Ile-de-France academic region and the chancellery of the universities of Paris. Numerous cultural activities are organised in the houses and in the park in solidarity with Ukraine or for the benefit of students and researchers in exile, in particular concerts and exhibitions of Ukrainian artists.