Students 2012-2014

Sarfaraz Gani Adnan, Bangladesh

Urban and Regional Planning

With a Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka (2009), Sarfaraz worked as a town planner with a consulting firm in the preparation of master plans. He was also a research assistant in an international project at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning of his Alma Mater. Later je joined the Department of Urban and Regional Planning of the Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology, as a faculty member. In Mundus Urbano, he is looking forward to extending his knowledge on urban development, especially in the context of developing countries.

Mahmoud Ahmed Amer, Egypt

Environmental and Sustainable Architecture

Mahmoud was born and raised in Cairo, the largest metropolitan area in the Middle East. He acquired his Bachelor’s degree on Environmental and Sustainable Architecture. He worked for almost four years in private firms as an architect and interior designer. During this period, Mahmoud took part in international competitions and projects on site, while attending different workshops and courses on project management, networking, and ecological and sustainable architecture. He is planning to take a further step to a professional international experience in the field of urban development, which connects theoretical to practical knowledge.

Jasmin Attia, Sudan


Jasmin was born in Khartoum into a German-Sudanese extended family. After graduation from Khartoum University with a B.Sc. in Architecture, she worked at the Ministry of Planning and various architecture companies, where she gained valuable professional experience. She then enrolled at the master course Urban Agglomerations at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences for two semesters. Then she pursued her third semester at Mundus Urbano, a time which she greatly enjoyed. She met very devoted and motivated co-students, an excellent team of professors and tutors, to all of whom she is very thankful for meeting. It was such a great experience!

Mariama Bah, Republic of the Gambia

Development Studies

Mariama completed a Bachelor’s degree in Development Studies with a minor in Sociology in the Gambia She then proceeded to complete a diploma in Thai and Southeast Asian Studies in Chiangmai, Thailand. Mariama worked as a development planner at the Gambian Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, in charge of designing the National Development Plan  (PAGE – Program for Accelerated Growth and Employment – 2012-2015). She was also a consultant for ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) in the assessment of the Millenium Development Goals progress in the Gambia and for CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) in the sector of budget support to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture of Ghana.

Ethan Brown, USA

Planning and Environmental Policy

Ethan grew up in a farming valley just north of Seattle, Washington. After graduating from Western Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in Planning and Environmental Policy, as well as a degree in Spanish Literature, he spent a year teaching English to rural secondary students in northern Spain. He returned to the USA (and to my degree field), working to sustainably manage commercial fisheries in the western Pacific Ocean. Four years analyzing the environmental impacts of fishing regulations from a desk proved too detached from concrete solutions for him, so he decided to join Mundus Urbano and return to his interest in the possible coexistence of the urban and the ecological, both in nations with and without monetary wealth.

Wai Ling Cheah, Malaysia


Growing up in a multicultural country has contributed to Wai Ling’s identity and desire to explore other cultures in different parts of the world. She lived in Australia to carry out her bachelor’s studies in Architectural Studies (B.Arch.) at the University of New South Wales. Later on, Wai Ling developed her career exploring more building techniques and working for a developing company, which exposed her to a multidisciplinary structure. It allowed her understand the reality of economics and marketing in running and planning a project. As an architect, she embraces the culture which people bring to the space, to transform it into a scene.

Barsha Chitrakar, Nepal


Barsha was born and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal. After completing her Bachelor’s studies in Architecture, she worked for two years in an architectural firm. Then she became a lecturer in the Architecture Department of the Nepal Engineering College. Amazed by the architectural heritage of Kathmandu Valley, she has always had an interest in understanding traditional urban planning skills and learning innovative urban development strategies. This is why she applied to Mundus Urbano. It feels great to learn, dream, and be a part of such a rich multicultural milieu.

Cristiane Comim, Brazil

Architecture and Urban Planning

Cristiane grew up in Curitiba and carried out her undergraduate studies in Florianópolis at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC). For three years, she worked as a student researcher for the Laboratory of Urban Planning at UFSC with a scholarship provided by the Brazilian Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). During this period, she participated in two research projects in the South of Brazil: the regional planning of the Araranguá River Basin, and the availability of public services in low-income urban settlements in Florianópolis. Her experience is focused on urban and regional spaces, industrial space, watersheds and low-income settlements analysis, besides working with private architecture firms in Curitiba.

Irene Dejuan, Uruguay

Anthropology and Communications

Irene was born in Montevideo, where she lived her entire life. Mundus Urbano constitutes a bright, international experience for her, both from a professional and personal point of view. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and a Master’s degree in Communication with emphasis on Reception and Culture. Her work experience has comprised of both qualitative social research and development projects. Irene’s ultimate goal is to be a development professional. The Mundus Urbano programme offers her the opportunity of acquiring the skills to intervene in the urban space and hopefully fulfill her dream of becoming a real agent of change.

Anaïs-Marie De Keijser, Burundi/Belgium

Architectural Engineering

Born in a family with international roots (Burundian mother and Belgian father), Anaïs-Marie was at an early age submerged in different cultures. From the Kalahari Desert, via the green hills of Central Africa to the capital of Europe, she has seen and experienced a lot of different city structures. This experience, in combination with the knowledge received during her studies as an Architectural Engineer, made her realize the impact that these different structures have on people’s ways of life. The Master in International Cooperation and Urban Development is a start in realizing a lifelong dream. This dream, as cliché as it might seem, is to make the world a better place. And she truly believes that this course is aiming in the right direction.

Eléonore Francois, France

International Law

Eléonore was born in the south of France in 1988. She studied French, English and American Law at the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre-La Defense. During her studies, she served internships in various international organizations and started a business, designing and making clothes with a friend. After graduating, she worked for two years for an industrial company, which specialized in building materials, where she was dedicated to a project to change the group into a learning organization.

Ilgvars Jansons, Latvia

Environmental Science and Spatial Planning

Ilgvars was born in a small town on the Baltic sea – Liep?ja, while the wind of change was blowing in Europe. Wind gusts were strong and long lasting, so he developed interest in the world around him and did his Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science at the University of Latvia. Afterwards, just like the majority of the world, cities got him and he studied Urban Planning in three different countries (Latvia, The Netherlands, and Palestine), shaping his interest in the interaction between the physical environment and humans. Finally the wind of change has blown him here to Mundus Urbano.

Sylvia Kateule Mambwe, Zambia

Development Finance and Urban and Regional Planning

Sylvia is passionate about Africa and has a keen interest in issues concerning its development. Her life ambition is to reach the top of academic excellence and have a fulfilling career whilst contributing positively to the development of my country. Sylvia’s main motivation to join Mundus Urbano is the programme’s interdisciplinary and appealing curriculum. This will enable her to further enhance her knowledge in other areas of development, i.e. urban management, international cooperation and development economics. She finds the programme to be detailed and well-tailored to her professional requirements.

Camila Marquetti, Brazil


Camila grew up in Rio de Janeiro, the city that embraced her heart and soul. In 2008, she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Law from the Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF). After graduating, she worked as a legal consultant in multinational companies of the energy sector. Having had her studies and work experience under a pluralistic point of view, she developed her interest in urban issues, especially in the social area. The Mundus Urbano programme gives her the opportunity to strengthen her capacity in dealing with constantly evolving and contemporary urban challenges in developing countries.

Silvia Alejandra Montoya Jaramillo, Colombia

Civil Engineering

Silvia was born in Medellin, Colombia’s second largest city, located in the department of Antioquia. After graduating in 2007 as a civil engineer from the National University of Colombia, she worked for about two years at a construction and engineering company, involved with road and housing projects. Then she became the Secretary of Planning and Public Works for a small municipality of Antioquia, where she worked on the resettlement of families living in areas under risk, on the design of a landfill in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, and also on the formulation of development and sectorial plans of the town.

Laura Stephanie Moran, El Salvador

Architecture and Environmental and Municipal Management Tools

Laura was born and raised in San Salvador, where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture  and a post graduate specialization on Environmental and Municipal Management Tools, both from Universidad José Simeón Cañas. Having worked as a project designer for local architecture firms, she participated in housing, institutional, commercial and urban projects. To follow her interest in urban planning, she decided to move to Canada, where she completed a Diploma in GIS and Urban Planning at Fanshawe College, Ontario. The program broadened her knowledge of planning practices, site analysis, urban design and different computer applications. She believes that participating in Mundus Urbano will allow her to build a career in socially responsible fields that contribute to finding long-term solutions for pressing planning issues.

Itzel Saida Obregon Prescott, Mexico


Itzel comes from San Miguel de Allende and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from ITESM (Monterrey’s Institute of Technology, 2010). As a student, she had the opportunity to join exchange study programs in France and Canada. She has working experience in architecture, landscape architecture, construction, restoration and geotechnical engineering. Itzel is very interested in urban development, particularly in developing countries. Her goal is to obtain international and interdisciplinary experience to make a significant difference in tackling the existing challenges in fast growing cities of the world today.

Sisavan Phimmasan, Lao PDR

Urban Environmental Planning

Sisavan was born in Savannakhet, the country’s second developing city. He then moved to the capital of Vientiane to pursue his academic education at the National University of Laos, where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Environmental Planning (2008) and a Bachelor of Arts (2010). His goal is to work for the public sector and to be a professor in rural and urban development. He worked as a teaching assistant at the Faculty of Architecture for three years, while he had the opportunity to join projects dealing with remote area development and slum improvement issues. Therefore, in Mundus Urbano, he looks forward to deepening his knowledge in development theory and enhance practical skills in a multicultural context.

Burak Piskin, Turkey

Business Administration

Born in Denizli, Southern Aegean Region, Burak graduated in 2010 from Izmir University of Economics, where he studied International Trade and Finance alongside his major. He has working experience in the retail, NGO and regional development sectors. Place marketing, local products, urban transformation and transportation are his favourite topics. He also has a keen interest in international development projects and aims at developing his career in the field. By the time he completes the Mundus Urbano programme, he will define himself as a “development specialist.”

Apoorva Abhishek Rathod, India

Architecture and Sustainable Development

Apoorva Abhishek has worked with adobe and rammed earth construction in Dharamshala and Spiti Valley in the Himalayas. She was also involved in developing a Green City Assessment tool kit for the Asian Development Bank.

Elena Reyes, Mexico


Elena grew up in the periphery of Mexico City, where she lived until she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Monterrey Tech (ITESM). Afterwards she moved to the city of Monterrey,where she obtained a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development of the City, also from ITESM. She worked for the cement and concrete industry in projects related to sustainable construction and materials. She also had the opportunity to give a couple of courses on the same topic in the University of Monterrey (UDEM) and CEDIM, also in Monterrey. With a special interest in self-built housing, as well as in planning and urban development in developing countries, she found in the Mundus Urbano programme and its interdisciplinary environment, a great opportunity to further develop her career.

Fabiano Sambatti, Brazil


Fabiano worked in gold mines in the Amazon and as a mud logger to drilling companies offshore and onshore. Later on, he started to plan the remediation for contaminated land by gas stations and did environmental assessments for the construction of a port on a mangrove area, as well as for areas under risk of oil spills. Then, he worked in an engineering company for road construction in the Brazilian coast, and in the rehabilitation of areas in the center of São Paulo. He was a visiting student at TU-Darmstadt with Mundus Urbano 2012-2014 during the first winter semester and is currently finishing the Urban Agglomeration Master Course in Fachhochschule Frankfurt am Main.

Leona Schmidt-Roßleben, Germany

Sociology and Political Science

Leona grew up mainly in Germany and feels home in Berlin, where she studied Social Sciences at Humboldt University. Throughout her studies, she focused on urban topics, covering a broad spectrum from urban governance and socio-spatial differentiation to gentrification. This focus was accompanied by another strong interest in issues of migration. Living in a culturally diverse neighborhood, she was exposed to and interested in the links between cities and migration. She began looking for possibilities of how to tackle some of the urban challenges in both her professional and private life. Mundus Urbano offers her a great opportunity to deepen and further explore this connection between theory and practice.

Miha Slekovec, Slovenia

Landscape Architecture

Born in 1984 in Koper, Slovenia, Miha spent most of his life between Mediterranean and Central Europe. He  worked in a landscape architecture office for five years on projects of different scales, from large urban planning and design to private plots. He is very interested in a holistic approach towards planning and would like to study more about planning cycles, and is pleased to see that Mundus Urbano is providing just that. In his free time, he likes sailing and enjoys following technological and environmental trends. More information can be found on his website.

Anshika Suri, India


Originally from New Delhi, Anshika got her Bachelor in Architecture from Sushant School of Art and Architecture, in Gurgaon. She is also a trained Indian classical Kathak dancer. Anshika worked on two conservation projects with INTACH, India’s leading conservation firm and with redesign work for the Ramakrishna Mission. In addition, she was a consultant architect for Kothari Associates Pvt. Ltd, one of the oldest and leading architecture firms of the country, on projects ranging from schools and farmhouses to hotel and office interiors. Her main interest lies in studying development-induced displacement and temporary shelter design, based on transitional settlements and slum upgrading, two major urban challenges that emerging India faces right now.

Ulyana Vynyarchuk, Ukraine

International Relations

Ulyana was lucky to be born in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Lviv, Ukraine, where she earned a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the National Ivan Franko University and first started her career as a public servant. For the last five years, her competencies within the City Council of Lviv were tightly related to promotion of international activities and technical supervision of international projects. This included the European Football Championships 2012 in Lviv, which took many years of thorough preparation and triggered urban development in the city. Her favorite project was implementing a cooperation project with the International Intervision Institute and the City of Vienna. The project was aimed at strategy development to brand the stadium legacy area with a specific identity. Inter alia, Ulyana is am alumna of the High Level Exchange Program, hosted by the German Ministry for Foreign Affairs; the Summer Academy on Eastern Partnership and Good Governance by Carl Friedrich Goerdeler-Kolleg; and FutureLabEurope, organised by the European Policy Centre.

Sauvanithi Yupho, Thailand

Urban Architecture

Sauvanithi was born and grew up in Bangkok, where she also obtained her degree in Urban Architecture from the Chulalongkorn University. For two years, she worked as an urban designer in CMCL, a consulting firm that provides services for both the private sector and government departments. She worked as a researcher assistant at the Research Unit on SPAtial City and Environment.