Maison Frateli Revolutionizes Dorm Life
Maison Frateli’s dorms for students on university scholarships offer more than just a place to live. The French association also helps its student residents develop their skills through community-building projects.
Maison Frateli, which seeks to address the lack of social bonding in dorms, has a simple motto: live, make, learn. It was founded by Frateli, an association that supports students on university scholarships. Its first dorm launched in Paris' 14th arrondissement in 2014 and a second dorm opened nearby in 2016.
Maison Frateli selects applicants for the two-year program based on their motivation and availability. Each resident must spend a minimum of two hours per week on the program. Currently, there are 70 participating students and plans to open a new dorm in Lyon in 2018.
In the association's motto, "live" stands for the goal of creating a friendly, empowering community and positive social and academic conditions. Maison Frateli seeks to promote substantive interactions, mutual assistance and material and moral support among students. To this end, residents organize regular dorm activities such as Sunday brunch, theme parties, cultural outings and yoga classes.
"Make" refers to the use of projects to foster solidarity and social engagement. Students select their own topics for their year-long group projects. Current projects range from improving "elevator culture" by organizing events to promote social interactions to tutoring and theater games for refugee children.
The last word in the motto is "learn". Students participate in skill-development workshops that combine theory and practice. They cover topics such as teamwork, communication and critical thinking and teach students how to advance their projects, work with teammates from different disciplines and hone their ideas. The workshops are co-taught by Frateli staff and second-year students selected to be teaching assistants.
To help students track their progress acquiring new skills, Maison Frateli designed an online application called the roadbook. The self and peer-evaluation tool is just one more way that Maison Frateli helps its students prepare to enter the workforce.