• France
    • Nantes
Academic Year, Fall, Spring
Need-based funding, Merit-based funding, General grants/scholarships, BIPOC funding
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
Host Family


Price Details
Contact IES Abroad or see website for details: www.IESabroad.org/
What's Included
Accommodation Classes Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare Visa
Jul 07, 2022
Jun 28, 2024
9 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Located on the Loire River, Nantes—France’s sixth-largest city—has all the amenities of a big city: world-class museums, breathtaking cathedrals, a great public transportation system, and even its own château. But the best thing about Nantes for study abroad? It’s small enough to feel like home.

Before long, you’re blending in with local residents and university students, and saying “bonjour” to the shop keepers you pass on your way to class every day. This livable, accessible, and exciting city was the official EU 2013 Green Capital. It’s something to celebrate when you study abroad in Nantes and can get around easily on the bus, tram, or by foot.

Immerse yourself in French language and culture in this city full of history and vibrant city life. You won’t want to leave.

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

LGBTQIA+ Support

Today, and every day, we celebrate who you are and who you will become. We take pride in simply getting to know you, and look forward to adventuring through this incredible world with you.

Studying abroad as part of the LGBTQIA+ community can present unique opportunities and challenges in exploring a new culture, so we have compiled resources on sexual orientation, gender identity, and allyship to help prepare you and support you along the way.

Neurodivergent Support

Going abroad, whether this is your first time or your umpteenth, can be a trip both literally and figuratively. Seeing something new or being someplace unfamiliar has its own challenges, especially when it comes to mental health and physical accessibility. With IES Abroad, you won't handle these concerns on your own.

We have not only compiled resources on mental health, physical health, and self-care to help prepare you and support you along the way, but we also have a dedicated Student Affairs staff that are available for you to contact from the United States and once in your host country.

Accessibility Support

Going abroad, whether this is your first time or your umpteenth, can be a trip both literally and figuratively. Seeing something new or being someplace unfamiliar has its own challenges, especially when it comes to mental health and physical accessibility. With IES Abroad, you won't handle these concerns on your own.

We have not only compiled resources on mental health, physical health, and self-care to help prepare you and support you along the way, but we also have a dedicated Student Affairs staff that are available for you to contact from the United States and once in your host country.



As part of IES Abroad's Global Good Commitment, IES Abroad employs sustainability measures in the following ways:
-Moving toward more sustainable Headquarters and Centers abroad
-Producing printed materials mindfully
-Hosting events and conferences in LEED-certified buildings
-Purchasing carbon offsets for staff air travel
-The formation of the IES Abroad Sustainability Team - a dedicated group of volunteers responsible for implementing sustainable practices across our organization. The team comprises of members across our Centers, departments, teams. It is truly a global effort, and we are better for it.

Program Highlights

  • Founded in 1965, IES Abroad has established a strong partnership with the University of Nantes
  • Enjoy the benefits of this partnership with access to university libraries, sport and other on-campus facilities, and IES Abroad's wealth of experience
  • Full immersion program creates a valuable cultural, linguistic, and academic experience
  • Carefully selected field-trips and excursions for travel around Nantes and France available to all students
  • Teaching internships for education majors available

Popular Programs

student smiling in front of a large brick chateau in Nantes

Improve your written and verbal proficiency in French through language and area studies courses and teaching internships, and learn about contemporary France and its role in the European Union. This program enjoys a close relationship with the Université de Nantes. You have access to the school’s libraries, computer labs, cafeterias, and sports facilities, and are welcome to join student clubs and other social and sports organizations. You also can enroll in university courses.

Program Reviews

4.94 Rating
based on 63 reviews
  • 5 rating 93.65%
  • 4 rating 6.35%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.45
  • Support 4.9
  • Fun 4.95
  • Housing 4.75
  • Safety 4.85
Showing 1 - 8 of 63 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


This program was so much more amazing than I could have ever imagined! I didn’t have much of any information about Nantes but I knew I wanted to go here for a language immersion experience. Everything from the host families to the professors to the IES staff were amazing and so helpful at every step of my semester. I made some of my closest friends on this program and created an incredibly close relationship with my host family. I genuinely enjoyed being around everyone in my program and consider all of them my good friends. Just being able to immerse myself into a different culture truly allowed me to see and experience different ways of life. The French that I learned here is nothing compared to any class I’ve ever taken. It is so fun to see how actual French speakers talk on a daily basis, including all of the fun French slang. In all, I would not trade this experience for anything!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I can out of this program loving so many more foods than I came in liking. With living in a host family your are constantly trying new things and adjusting to this new family’s lifestyle. I ended up eating many classically French foods such as oysters and clams, as well as duck and escargot. Now I can confidently say that I love eating all of these things!
  • Language immersion
  • New cultural understanding
  • Making the best relationships
2 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying Abroad Makes for an International Family

In Nantes, I experienced incredible academics, community, and travel. I stayed with a French family who took me in like I was one of their own. They invited me to events with them, supported me when I took part in a theatrical performance in French (ahh!), and generally were so kind and interested in my life. School-wise, I took classes at the local university where I met college students my age from France. I truly felt like part of the student community. I also took an acrylic painting class at the Académie des Beaux Arts where I met a variety of people of a variety of ages, making my community larger. And finally, I took classes with other IES Abroad students taught by IES staff. Finally, the staff at IES Abroad Nantes is truly remarkable. They care so very much about their students, and are so invested in our health, safety, and happiness. This staff included 4 social and academic “tutrices” our age. They helped us improve our French language skills and also get involved in our Nantes community. They made us a family at IES.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I was so nervous to only speak French with my host family, but they were so patient and understanding - same with the IES staff!
  • Small but large city, plenty to do but you can walk
  • Amazing public transport
  • Elite staff
  • None
  • None
  • None
20 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Wesh la cité !

IES Abroad Nantes truly provided me with the experience of a lifetime. Originally, I never wanted to go abroad, despite how one of my majors is in Francophone Studies. I attended multiple study abroad information sessions and turned down each one. Then, hours before the deadline to declare if you were going abroad, I told my college that I’d go.
I looked through all my options, searching for a program that would be similar enough to my home in Maine. I found IES Abroad Nantes and, based on how it was near the Atlantic Ocean, thought I’d give it a try. I filled out their easy application, and IES Abroad walked me through the more complicated Visa application process. When it came down to a month before departure, they sent me plenty of information on what to do once I arrived in France.
Upon arrival, IES Abroad Nantes faculty met me at the train station and made sure I made it to their centre, and then home to my host family. My host family was so wonderful and understanding of the shock that comes with experiencing a new culture and language without the support of people you know. I quickly grew very close with my host family. I ate dinner with them each night, and they left breakfast out for me in the mornings. My host mother and I drank tea by the fireplace each night before bed, then I’d watch the news with my host father. When they weren’t home, my youngest host sister and I made dinner together and chatted into the night, exchanging stories about our lives and cultures. I was even invited to my host brother’s fiançailles (engagement party), and I hadn’t even officially met him yet! That night spent in celebration with my five host siblings is one of my best memories of being abroad.
As for the IES center, I took three classes there. The classes were small and consisted entirely of exchange students, yet they were all entirely in French. The small class sizes allowed me to get close to the professors, who were natively French. Additionally, there were tutors at the center who hosted events which encouraged us to immerse ourselves further into the culture of Nantes. A few examples are study sessions in local cafés, seasonal festivities happening throughout the city, weekly karaoke at a local bar, and a weekly Conversation Club that invited French university students to come chat with and then go out to dinner with our group of exchange students. On top of all this, IES Abroad Nantes provided us to go on excursions to visit other parts of France. As a group, we would leave for a weekend and IES Abroad Nantes provided us with room and board, as well as transportation and guidance. A few of the 12 places we visited in France outside of Nantes through IES Abroad were Guérande, les châteaux de la Loire Région, and Caen.
I also took two classes outside of the center at the local French university, Nantes Université. My self-confidence improved immensely during this experience, as I realized I could excel in a classroom setting that was designed for native French-speakers.
Outside of France exploration, we were given a week-long fall break. During this time, I was able to explore the countries of Austria and Scotland. I enjoyed immersing myself in these cultures that I originally knew very little about, as well as learning that I am capable of organizing a successful trip on my own.
Because of this experience as a whole, my fluency in French skyrocketed. Not only that, but I also now have connections with people in France, as well as some exchange students from Lithuania and Germany. I also have a new knowledge of and love for a city I would not have discovered otherwise. I hope to return soon to my second-home and reunite with my host family and friends.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Don’t take yourself so seriously. Let go of your views and your culture a little and learn from where you are. Laugh at your mistakes—they’ll happen. But you’re learning. Give yourself grace.
  • Host family
  • Academics
  • Aid
  • Large city
  • Watching for pickpockets
  • Strikes
18 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Life-Changing Experience

Studying abroad in Nantes with IES Abroad was nothing short of a life-altering adventure, an experience that has profoundly impacted my personal and academic growth. From the moment I set foot in this picturesque French city until my bittersweet farewell, IES Abroad orchestrated a study abroad program that was both intellectually stimulating and culturally enriching.

Academic Excellence (5/5):
The academic facet of the program in Nantes exceeded my expectations. The curriculum seamlessly interwove the French language and culture, enabling us to not only master the language but also deeply understand the local way of life. The professors demonstrated an unwavering commitment to our success, ensuring that we were intellectually challenged and engaged throughout our studies.

Cultural Immersion (5/5):
Residing with a host family was undoubtedly one of the program's highlights. It granted me a unique opportunity to interact with Nantais locals, refine my French language skills, and gain profound insights into the fabric of French culture. IES Abroad thoughtfully organized cultural excursions and activities that allowed us to explore Nantes and the surrounding regions, providing us with an authentic taste of France's rich heritage.

Supportive Staff (5/5):
The dedicated IES Abroad staff in Nantes were our pillars of support throughout our journey. From guiding us through administrative processes to offering invaluable advice on adjusting to a new environment, they demonstrated an unwavering commitment to our well-being. Their warm and caring approach fostered a sense of belonging within our diverse student community.

Safe and Inclusive Environment (5/5):
Nantes proved to be a safe and welcoming city, known for its amicable residents and secure surroundings. IES Abroad took additional measures to enhance our security, ensuring that we could focus on our studies and exploration without concerns. The program's dedication to inclusivity created an environment where diversity was celebrated, and all students felt valued and respected.

Life-altering Experience (5/5):
My time in Nantes with IES Abroad has indelibly changed me. Beyond linguistic proficiency, I gained a global perspective, forged lasting bonds with locals and fellow students, and underwent significant personal growth. The memories and lessons from this transformative journey will forever shape my life.

In conclusion, the opportunity to study abroad in Nantes with IES Abroad was truly a dream come true. I wholeheartedly recommend this program to anyone seeking to discover France, deepen their language skills, and embark on a voyage of self-discovery. It is an experience that not only enriches your academic and cultural horizons but also leaves an indelible mark on your personal growth. My heartfelt gratitude to IES Abroad for crafting an unforgettable study abroad experience in Nantes!

48 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best semester ever!

Studying abroad was one of the best experiences I could've had. Every day I noticed personal growth and confidence within myself and I am proud that I went on this journey fully by myself. After studying abroad I realized how much growth I made academically and personally. Any problem or question I had on the program was answered by the IES staff and was taken seriously. I was also supported by my peers and IES staff who I will remember forever. The relationships I made on this trip, the personal growth, and immersive experience has positively affected me forever!

  • Weekend adventures
  • Fun classes
  • Great people
  • Takes a lot of independence
  • Strong academic focus (negative if wanting to travel)
  • Not enough time!
51 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best college decision ever

This was the best decision I made in college. IES Abroad, and specifically this location, Nantes, France gave me the chance to meet so many amazing people, including the professors, my host family, and other locals. The town is big enough that you can find pretty much anything you need, but small enough to get to practice your French on a daily basis with locals. People are very welcoming of you, especially the staff and your host family for this program. I can't say enough good things about it.

  • Language learning
  • Transportation
  • Cultural immersion
  • Harder to get to Paris/the South of France if you are looking to do that
  • Only one week of break to travel
  • Required language class
73 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best French study abroad program!

If you're looking for a French immersion program, look no further than IES Nantes. Aside from the program itself, the city of Nantes is perfect for college students who want to practice their French. It is decent-sized city with tons of restaurants, bars, cool events, and things to do, but it's also not overwhelming and is very easy to navigate. It also has a solid airport that makes it easy and relatively cheap to travel throughout France and Europe. It's also not very touristy, so there are plenty of opportunities to speak French with locals. I found that locals were very willing to practice with me and my friends, and we were also able to make friends with French and international students. The program is AMAZING. All of the staff at IES work so hard to make this an amazing experience for us. They are some of the nicest people I've ever met and will help you with every problem (even problems as crazy as the impending coronavirus!!). The social activities and travel opportunities provided by the program are so varied--we went to the Loire Valley castles, Normandy, and Mont Saint Michel/ Saint Malo in the two months that I was there. I appreciated that we could take classes both at IES and the local university. The IES classes were so interesting--take gastronomy if you want to try amazing new food and drink each week! The staff help you take pretty much any class you'd want at the university, and I even knew people who took STEM classes there. At the university, I highly recommend the translation class. The professor knows IES well and loves working with IES students, and it's a great way to learn some new vocabulary. IES also recognizes that you are not just here for your studies, so the workload isn't overwhelming. If you work steadily, you'll have plenty of time to take advantage of the city and Europe! IES's homestay program also makes this program so strong. My host family was so welcoming and wonderful, and most of the homestays are located within easy access to everything--I was about a 20-minute walk away and lived right next to the main cathedral. You'll leave with a second family.

These were some of the best two months of my life. I wish they weren't cut short by the coronavirus, and I wish I could go back, but I learned so much during my time in France. And I definitely came back more confident in my French. Don't be intimidated about the immersive side of this program--you are required to speak French when at IES and during IES activities, but you'll be glad for it. There were people of all levels in my program, and everyone improved significantly over the semester. Come to Nantes!!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Bring a warm jacket and sturdy umbrella! Nantes is much colder and rainier than I expected.
128 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


An amazing program that exceeded all of my expectations! I managed to develop my French exponentially through all the field trips, supportive faculty and program directors, interactions with my host family, social outings coordinated by the program and more! I also loved the course offerings and how easy it was to take courses at the university and adapting to a foreign education system. Overall, I managed to make a lot of new friends who I am still in contact with, learn a lot about French culture and create unforgettable memories!

What was your funniest moment?
When I was trying to explain why I came to France despite being a Turkish student studying in the US to my host family.
130 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers