IES Abroad Nantes – French Language Immersion & Area Studies

COVID-19 Program Updates

Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, IES Abroad has decided to offer flexible booking options for some of their upcoming programs. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

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About

The IES Abroad Nantes Program has two important goals: to improve your written and verbal proficiency in French through language and area studies courses and teaching internships, and to introduce you to contemporary France and its role in the European Union. Founded in 1965, the program is small enough to welcome you into the community, yet large enough to allow for a variety of academic and extracurricular activities. We offer you the opportunity to integrate fully into French society and function completely in French, due to the program’s focus on full immersion and the fact that there are few Anglophones in Nantes.

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 have many opportunities for enrolling in university courses.

Scholarships

IES Abroad Scholarships
IES Abroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

As far as we're concerned, financial limitations shouldn't prevent you from studying abroad with us. That's why we offer more than $5 million in scholarships and aid.

Value
$500 - $5,000

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.59 Rating
based on 56 reviews
  • Academics 8.3
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 9.2
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 8 of 56
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Emir
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Immersion!

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.
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Kelly
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing Experience!

I chose this program to improve my French comprehension and speaking skills, but I left with some of the best memories of my life! I was able to speak French every day with my host family, my French and American friends, and the amazing staff. I took classes at the local university which offered a unique view of everyday life. There were a lot of nice restaurants and creperies to eat in and a lot of them offered great deals for students. When I wasn't working Nantes had a lot of things to do, including museums, the chateau, shops, the Machines-de-Ile, and much more! Overall one of the most awesome adventures I've ever been on!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The most surprising thing I got to do was go to the petting zoo at the Jardin des Plantes which has goats that you can feed and pet! Definitely one of the more unique things I did while I was there.
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Genevieve
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A wonderfully transformative experience

I can't speak highly enough of the program here. IES is a great organization to study abroad with and Nantes, specifically, is an awesome city to be in. These factors combined, it was a fantastic semester. IES provides a lot of assistance with the Visa process, homestay situation, picking classes, and taking trips around Nantes (such as wineries and castles). Nantes itself is a really cute city-- it has a hidden culture of music and art, and is teeming with young people, thanks to the University of Nantes network.

I took four classes at the IES abroad center (so with other Americans in the program), one class at the University of Nantes, and one class at the local Fine Arts school. My IES classes were my favorite, because some were just four people, and never more than 15. The professors are all native French speakers from the Nantes region who are passionate about what they teach and want to bring you out into the community. For example, in my Art History class, we took a field trip to a covered mall (Passage Pommeraye) downtown to study the architecture, and in my Sociology class we sat in on a public trial. All these courses were in French, which is the aspect I was most worried about prior to the program, but which ended up being very positive. When I arrived at IES I quickly realized that people in the program have many different levels of French, which is great. There is a place for everyone, whether you're near-fluent or have only taken a few French classes.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice to future travelers considering this program is to GO FOR IT. Seriously- I recommend just taking the risk to do an immersion program, though it may seem daunting. From everyone I've talked with, it's a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I was the most nervous about the language aspect going into the program, but now I can confidently say I've improved my French immensely, and feel overall more confident. It's definitely a challenge, but taking on those challenges is what life's all about :)
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Saron
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

You won't regret it!

I was pushed out of my comfort zone, but the program had very supportive staff and many resources available if you need any guidance. I liked that the program had planned group outings and activities to do every week from paddle boarding to karaoke night, so there were always opportunities to meet new people and make more connections. All my classes were in French and I only spoke French with my host family, and that challenge made me grow immensely in my language speaking and comprehension skills, as well as my understanding of the French culture. I absolutely loved my host family- they were so accommodating, amazing cooks, hilarious, and really made me feel included and supported. The IES classes are more catered towards study-abroad students so there is more support to succeed in them. The university classes are a little tougher but doable- I would say that taking it with someone was helpful for me. The IES gastronomy class is a must take in my opinion- interesting, great field trips, and you try loads of new foods!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I have tried multiple things that are unfamiliar to me during my time here- for example I have tried stingray, frogs legs, snails, duck liver, and cow's tongue.
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Alyssa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience I'll Never Forget!

Choosing to study abroad with IES was one of the best decisions I have made in my college career. I knew that I wanted to do an immersion program so that I could become a better speaker and I significantly improved! Not only was I able to make connections with the other students but my host family was super supportive and loving; I plan on staying in contact with them! Not only was I looking for a program that pushed me to learn more and improve my French, but I also wanted to be able to travel and experience Europe. I had plenty of opportunities to travel around and visit different countries which was an important aspect for me. I think that if you are looking for a program that will push you out of your comfort zone and allow you the opportunities to get involved in the community then IES Nantes is the place for you!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Don't worry about messing up! Learning is all about mistakes. I messed up a lot and my host family would be super supportive and correct my mistakes.
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Yvonne
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a Lifetime!

Studying abroad in Nantes, France with IES was a fantastic choice! Upon arrival, the IES staff welcomes you with wide smiles and makes you feel at home! They ensure a smooth transition to a new French life by having about ten days of orientation before classes begin. Even after orientation, they check in on their students to make sure they are enjoying their experience. IES not only provides students with a great education, but also gives students the opportunity to engage in cultural events that really allow you to get to know the city. Students are also able to make plenty of French friends by going to the Club de Conversation and speaking to French students in English and French. Studying with IES Nantes is truly a fully immersive experience! By the time you leave, your French will have greatly improved and you will feel like a true Nantais(e)!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
When I first arrived in France, one of the biggest challenges I faced was the fear I felt when I had to speak to locals. I was only able to overcome this by embracing my imperfect French. I understood that I probably would not be able to speak like the locals, but they would understand me nonetheless. This is probably the biggest piece of advice I can offer to people studying abroad in a non-Anglophone country: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, you will find a way to make yourself understood. Also, don’t be afraid to have new experiences you wouldn’t be able to have elsewhere. You will look back at those experiences fondly when you think back to your study abroad experience.
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Jessica
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Un vrai bon temps!

For some people, studying abroad means partying and drinking all the time. For me, it was all about the experience of living in a different culture and learning a different language! I got to meet the most welcoming and warm people, eat the most butter-y and "delicieuse" food I have ever had, and see some of the oldest artifacts in the world. I truly cherished my time abroad, including the challenging moments that only made me a more rounded person. Traveling in Europe is extremely easy compared to the United States, allowing for lots of travel if that's something you want to do during your time abroad. I enjoyed my times in other countries but also time in my own city! Also, living in a host family is a great way to meet and get to know a local family to immerse yourself in the local culture while making new relationships!

What would you improve about this program?
Larger facility for students. Better communication about strikes.
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Anna
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing four months!

I absolutely loved my semester with IES Nantes! I would have done another semester with the program if I could. This program is great for anyone trying to improve their French because it is so immersive: you live with a host family, all of your classes are in French, and most people doing the program with you have a passion for French! Nantes is an exciting and welcoming city that gives you tons of opportunities to improve your language skills. I think you really gain a deeper understanding of the French language and culture through IES and the activities that it plans for you. This program also has a great staff who really go the extra mile to help you become integrated and happy in France. I had some of the best four months of my life with IES Nantes and I would strongly recommend this program to anyone who has a passion for French or who wants to have an authentic cultural experience!

What would you improve about this program?
I don't have much to say in the way of improvement for this program! I think that their meal plan/number of meals that you get per week from your host family could be improved.