2014 ACSCC College Level Summer Internship Opportunity



JULY 2014

Each summer Alexandria and Caen, which are Sister Cities, exchange student interns who work at the respective City Halls of each city.   The purpose of the internship is to give a young person the opportunity to represent his/her city while working and living in the other city, thereby strengthening the friendship between the two cities.  Caen is a city in Normandy, approximately two hours from Paris.  For more information about Caen, visit http://www.tourisme.caen.fr.


Internship Description:

  • One month of full-time employment at the Caen City Hall as an English-speaking tour guide.  This involves memorizing historical information about City Hall and providing several tours per day to English-speaking tourists.
  • Stipend of 1100 euros provided by the Caen City Government;
  • Free housing provided in a university dorm or with a family arranged by the Caen-Alexandria Sister City Committee; intern must pay for meals, plane ticket, and local travel expenses.
  • Opportunities to meet and socialize with members of the Caen-Alexandria Sister City Committee.


  • Ability to speak, read, and understand French with ease;
  • Resident of the City of Alexandria;
  • Aged 18-21 yrs.;
  • Completion of at least one year of college.  Must be comfortable living independently in a dorm.
  • Good social and communication skills;
  • Excellent references;
  • Ability to cover travel expenses to and from Caen as well as in-country expenses.
  • Willingness to socialize with members of the Caen-Alexandria Sister City Committee.




Deadline:  Applications and a current resume should be emailed to julia.phelan@gmail.com and lindsey.benson@gmail.com by March 1, 2014.  NOTE:  This internship is contingent on the availability of funding from the City of Alexandria.    

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Kuisel Lecture on French American Culture


The Alexandria‐Caen Sister City Committee invites you to a lecture exploring French and American culture with prominent French Historian



Thursday, February 6th


Alexandria’s Lyceum Museum

201 S Washington St, Alexandria, VA

 This event is free to the public! Wine, cheese and desserts will be served. Donations are welcome to support Sister Cities activities.

For more information about the event please visit our website at www.alexandriacaen.wordpress.com

or contact Julia Sylla at julia.phelan@gmail.com or call 202-203-0177.


Richard F. Kuisel is a professor of History and European Studies at Georgetown University. His books include Seducing the French: The Dilemma of Americanization, and his most recent book The French Way: How France Embraced and Rejected American Values and Power. Books will be available for signature.


The Alexandria Caen Sister City Committee is a volunteer committee that promotes educational and cultural exchange between the city of Caen in Normandy, France and the city of Alexandria. The committee coordinates student and intern exchange programs, and educational programs including an annual D-Day Commemoration each June.  Learn more about us at www.alexandriacaen.wordpress.com

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2013 Summary of Events

All of us on the Alexandria-Caen Sister City Committee send you fond greetings and best wishes this holiday season!
We thought you might be interested in a little recap of our 2013 events and a sneak peek at what 2014 holds in store.
  • We started 2013 with a successful champagne fundraiser, at which we were delighted to meet Councilman John Chapman who oversees Sister Cities on City Council.  We look forward to his support, in addition to our other Alexandria representatives in 2014.
  • In June, we hosted our 3rd annual D-day event for the first time on Market Square.  With such a visible outdoor location, we enjoyed participation from not only our sister city supporters, but also many people passing by.  Of particular interest were the authentic military vehicles on display and reinactors interacting with and educating the public.
  • In June/July we also welcomed nine French teenagers and gave them a taste of American culture during their whirlwind visit. Their agenda included both traditional and unique tourist activities including baseball, hip-hop dancing, shopping, museums, 4th of July fireworks, and eating corn-on-the-cob (not a typical French food!) and just hanging out with their host families.  Following their visit, three Alexandria teenagers went to Caen to reciprocate the visit and stay with host families, immersing themselves in the language and culture.  Speaking of student exchange, we were delighted when one of last year’s Alexandria exchange students decided to return to Caen and enroll in a French school for his “gap” year.
  • Later in the summer the committee housed and entertained a young professional from Caen who participated in the long-running sister city program of an intern exchange.  Our visiting intern from Caen worked at the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association.  The intern from Alexandria worked in the beautiful City Hall and Abby in Caen giving tours.
  • We also have created a Facebook page!  Be sure to “like” us: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alexandria-Caen-Sister-Cities/426238157480858  And we are always improving our website: http://alexandriacaen.wordpress.com  Check us out!
  • In December, Caen’s deputy mayor, Philippe Duron, was in town for the Scottish walk and even though his schedule didn’t allow for us to meet him this year, the link below (in French and English) will tell you more about his visit in Alexandria.
  • Finally–and most recently–we want to thank everyone (very much!) who supported our “1944 Holiday Music” fundraiser.  We were amazed at how many donations we received and are excited that these funds can help expand and improve our activities.

2013 was a busy year!  In 2014, we will send out notices about our activities, but first we hope you will SAVE THE DATE for these interesting and free public events:  THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6th at 7:00 at the Lyceum we will host a lecture by a Georgetown professor on French-American culture (details coming soon!) and SATURDAY, JUNE 7th on Market Square we will host our 4th annual D-day event.  We hope you will join us!

To conclude, 2013 has been quite a year of transition for our committee. Some members are pursuing exciting new ventures and others have family obligations or relocations that have required them become “friends” of the committee instead of formal members. We were sad to see them leave and thankful for their service and enthusiasm on the committee.  As a result, we have enjoyed meeting and welcoming many new members including a former french teacher, a university international education staff member, a senior pentagon historian, and other French enthusiasts.  In fact, three more openings will be posted in the new year and we would welcome your help in finding interested francophiles, especially someone knowledgeable in fundraising, communications, or small business exchange. If you were looking to come back to the committee, now is your time.  We will welcome you!
I have attached a recent group picture in front of the Christmas tree in City Hall.  We hope to see you at one of our events in the new year, but in the meantime at least you can now see the faces behind all of activities that your Alexandria-Caen Sister City committee makes happen.
Thank you for your continued support and happy holidays!
Jennifer Reading
Chair, Alexandria-Caen Sister City Committee
Articles about Philippe Duron’s visit to Alexandria:



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December 11, 2013 · 11:48 am

Happy Holidays from Alexandria-Caen

Happy Holidays to our Sister City supporters!

The Alexandria-Caen Sister City committee is celebrating the holidays a little early this year.   We are happy to share with you our “Christmas 1944″ CD.  This CD is a compilation of 18 popular Christmas songs from the wartime era:

This special holiday music remembers a very important year–1944–which changed the world forever. Because Caen is the capital of Normandy, our committee hosts an annual D-day event to honor the memory of those fallen at the beaches and educate the community about WWII.  This CD is a continuation of our efforts to remember WWII and also embrace the holiday season.

If you are interested in supporting our efforts by donating to our committee, we will gladly mail a CD directly to your house.  The donation amount is at your discretion (a suggested $5 minimum) and 100% of the money will support our sister city programs, including D-Day, Youth Exchange, and Internship programs.

Please address your check to “City of Alexandria” with a note to “Alexandria-Caen Sister Cities.”  Let us know how many CDs you would like.  Checks can be mailed to Kitty Montie at 220 South Washington Street,  Alexandria, VA 22314.

Thank you so much for your continued support and please share this email with friends who may be interested.  Enjoy the CD and happy holidays to you and your family!


Jennifer Reading

Chair, Alexandria-Caen Sister City Committee


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Happy Holidays to our Sister City supporters#1

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Exchange of Independence

Sister city high school exchange focuses on culture, national independence days

Americans students Carlos Ferrufino, Raymond Tunon, Alyona Brooker and Shanley Kirk say “au revoir” to their French peers Baptiste Pimont, Juliette Gauchard, Anne-Cecile Leconte, Pierre Berceron, Jean Blazec, Paul Lefevre, Pierre Salvi, Lise Mourtier, and Mathilde Tremen at a farewell BBQ held Saturday, July 6. Kirk, Tunon, and Brooker will travel to Normandy and the French sister city of Caen for a two-week stay beginning July 11.

Americans students Carlos Ferrufino, Raymond Tunon, Alyona Brooker and Shanley Kirk say “au revoir” to their French peers Baptiste Pimont, Juliette Gauchard, Anne-Cecile Leconte, Pierre Berceron, Jean Blazec, Paul Lefevre, Pierre Salvi, Lise Mourtier, and Mathilde Tremen at a farewell BBQ held Saturday, July 6. Kirk, Tunon, and Brooker will travel to Normandy and the French sister city of Caen for a two-week stay beginning July 11. Photo by Montie Martin.

#Alexandria — The U.S. and France have deep historic connections. The French provided assistance during the American War of Independence, and the Americans played a vital role in the liberation of occupied France during WWII. In an effort to deepen ties of friendship, Alexandria and her French sister city Caen have restarted a month-long high school exchange program with a focus on cultural understanding.

#For two weeks, Alexandria families opened their homes to French friends, and exposed an American way of life unfamiliar to many Europeans. From basketball games at city recreation centers to chipmunks in backyards, French teenagers from Caen discovered exotic aspects of America many people in Alexandria would find mundane.


Photo by Montie Martin

French high school students Pierre Salvi, Paul Lefevre, Lise Mourtier and Mathilde Tremen celebrate Independence Day with their Alexandrian hosts at Fort Myer in Arlington.

#“This program has really changed my life.”

#— Carlos Ferrufino, TC Williams High School graduate

#It was an eye opener for them, and an eye opener for us,” said Paula Lader, an Alexandria resident who hosted two of the French teenagers during the two-week exchange. “We were worried they would be bored going to a baseball game, but they loved it, and the boys went wild over chipmunks.”

#The program included a busy itinerary highlighting American life, and included trips to shopping malls, a tour of the Mount Vernon Estate, jogs along the Potomac River, museum visits, and basketball games at recreation centers.

#“We don’t have recreation centers; I practiced more basketball here than in France,” said Paul Lefevre, a junior high school student from Caen. “I learned about the American way of life; it’s a different lifestyle. I think Americans are more friendly than we say in Europe; they are open to different cultures. I didn’t realize this before the trip.”

#“I think Americans are more friendly than we say in Europe, they are open to different cultures, I didn’t realize this before the trip.”

#— Paul Lefevre, a junior high school student from Caen

#The Alexandria sister city relationship with Caen was established in the 1970s when Mayor Charles Beatley visited the capital of Normandy as a pilot. Cultural exchange was viewed as a way to foster peace and build connections, and remains at the center of the relationship.

#Annual college level exchanges take place every July, in which the Alexandria and Caen city halls offer a month-long internship program. Although the sister city relationship with Caen operates at an official level headed by city officials, a committee of Alexandrian Francophiles also plays a role in fostering international ties.

#The Alexandria-Caen Sister City Committee operates as an independent organization, and in 2012 the committee was approached by their French counterparts with a proposal to re-establish exchanges at a high school level.

Alexandrians Celebrate D-Day

#In addition to youth exchange programs, the Alexandria-Caen Sister City Committee has made D-Day a flag ship event honoring the Allied liberation of France and the rest of Europe during WWII.

#“The D-Day celebration is a community-wide event,” said Jennie Reading, committee chair. The 69th anniversary of D-Day was held in Market Square on June 6, and organizers estimated a crowd of 100 turned out to see vintage military hardware and historic re-enactors.

#For more information about the Alexandria-Caen sister city relationship visit: alexandriacaen.wordpress.com.

#“The high school exchange first came from parent interest, but the scope is teens staying with other teens,” said Jeannie Reading, chair of the Alexandria-Caen Sister City Committee. “It’s an outlet for people to mingle, so we’re starting it up again. We did it in the summer so the French could be here on July 4, and the Americans could be in France for Bastille Day on July 14. Being able to hit both those national holidays is pretty exciting.”

#The level of American patriotism in Alexandria during the Independence Day celebrations was a surprise to Mathilde Tremen, a junior in high school in Caen. “I didn’t know Americans were such patriots; everyone is attached to the flag,” said Tremen. “We also have fireworks in France, it’s a symbol of revolution and we celebrate the same way for Bastille Day.”


Photo by Montie Martin

Shanley Kirk, Raymond Tunon and Alyona Brooker will represent Alexandria during a two-week high school exchange while abroad in the French sister city of Caen.

#Other memorable moments the French teenagers encountered during their stay included an array of new tastes and American cuisine. “Our guest tried a lot of things she had never tasted, like peanut butter,” said Shanely Kirk, a student at Minnie Howard who will be departing for France on July 11. “She was excited about a lot of things we find normal.”

#Americans who took part in the previous high school exchange program maintain the experience was formative, and opened a world of possibilities for the future. Carlos Ferrufino, a recent T.C. Williams High School graduate, decided to take a gap year and study the French language and culture through total immersion at a boarding school in Caen following his experience.

#“Ever since I learned about France I tried to think from their point of view. Before I took part in the program I thought people in France wore black and white striped shirts and smoked cigarettes, but really not so many do that. My host did eat a baguette every morning though,” said Ferrufino. “The high school exchange program is an opportunity to live in another country, and experience another culture. Two weeks was not enough, I want to become fluent in French and I need at least a year. This program has really changed my life.”


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September 14, 2013 · 9:49 pm