IES Abroad Nantes - French Immersion & Area Studies
96% Rating
(44 Reviews)

IES Abroad Nantes - French Immersion & Area Studies

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.

Locations
Europe » France » Nantes
Europe » France
Program Type
Provider
Subject Areas
Art History
International Business
Sociology
Theater, Drama and Dance
Degree Level
Bachelors
Timeframe
Academic Year
Fall
Spring
Accommodation
Host Family
Language
French
Steps
Online Application
Official Transcripts
Age Requirement
Language Requirement
GPA Requirement
Health Requirement
Starting Price
$0.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
Contact IES Abroad or see website for details: www.IESabroad.org/
Other Locations
Nantes

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Academics
    83%
  • Support
    96%
  • Fun
    97%
  • Housing
    92%
  • Safety
    95%

Program Reviews (44)

Delaney
Female

French Immersion & So Much More

10/10

This program advertises that you'll be immersed in French language and culture, and that is completely true. But it's impossible to describe what all you'll get from this program. The staff at IES Nantes are very committed to making your stay in France the best possible. Anything you are worried about, they are there for you & willing to listen. The program provides the perfect mixture of a feeling of home in a foreign country, while also challenging you to go outside of your comfort zone. Most of your courses will probably be at the IES Center, with the rest of your American classmates. But, you have the option to take courses at the University in Nantes, with French students! This is one example of the combination of the comfortable but challenging aspect of the program. I took a sociology class at the university and the professor modified the course so that it would be a more level playing field with the native French students. It was definitely still a challenge, but nothing unmanageable. It is one of the most interesting experiences I took from Nantes, and I'm so grateful I had the opportunity. I highly recommend it!

Samantha
Female

Dream in Front of My Eyes

10/10

I use the title to describe my experience in only six words. The thing is the experience really takes up more words than what I can write. The program is nicely set up, super organized, you meet other American students from different parts of the country, you actually speak French most of the time (Nantes is a city with hardly any American tourists), and your host family will give you an idea of how French culture looks in a traditional sense. IES staff is extremely helpful (I miss them so much), there are social events organized every week by the social coordinator, and there is also opportunities to take courses in the local university (which I recommend), taking a gastronomy course, and taking a teaching internship to teach English in French schools. All these oppportunities are what make IES Nantes a dream come true!

How can this program be improved?

Maybe just by making the placement exams better (I was placed in a French class that was too easy).

Froggie
Female

An amazing semester!

10/10

This program was absolutely amazing! My french improved immensely, I made close friends that I still keep in touch with, and fell in love with Nantes, so much so all I want to do is go back! The staff here are 100% dedicated to the students, going above and beyond to make sure each student has an excellent experience. The homestay is a great opportunity and I loved my host family. The professors are all very understanding of the language barrier that exists, but also push you to improve. The city is gorgeous and there is always something interesting going on. The social coordinator also makes sure students know when there is an event and takes them there. Overall, a fantastic program that I would recommend to anyone hoping to improve their French and wanting an unforgettable semester!

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Tarin
Female
21 years old
NY
University of Rochester

The Place to Go for French Immersion

10/10

If you're looking to truly immerse yourself in french language and culture, this is the program for you. Nantes is the perfect city for a study abroad semester: it is large and young enough that there is always something fun to do, yet small enough to truly feel like home. The people are kind and generous and (unlike what you may find in more touristy study abroad destinations) always speak french back! The IES program itself makes sure that you have the opportunity to make the most out of your time here, with plenty of weekday city social events, weekend trips exploring the local region, and integration with french students at the local university through classes, conversation clubs, or other extracurriculars.

I loved having the option to take all my courses– even psychology– in french. If you’re pursuing an education beyond french language or the humanities, however, be forewarned that there may only be 1 or 2 class options offered at the local university. Another potential limitation is that your only housing option is a homestay, but don’t let that deter you! My host family was perhaps my favorite aspect of this program and where I learned the most. I met friends for life here– both in american and french students as well as in my host family– and am already counting down the days until I can go back!

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Taylor
Female
21 years old
Beverly, MA
Tufts University

All I wanted and more!

10/10

IES Abroad in Nantes was literally everything I was looking for in a study abroad program: a homestay with a host family, all my classes (which were all super interesting) in french, a perfectly sized program (my semester was 40 students), a super fun city to make myself at home in, and opportunities to hang out with local french students at the university and at conversation club every week. The IES team in Nantes was really good at organizing events, from ice skating to karaoke nights, for all the students in the program to take part in. There were also several included field trips like to les Chateaux de la Loire and Tours, which all students could go on as part of their program tuition. I was also really excited about traveling - while I was in Europe, I wanted to see everything I could. Nantes was relatively easy to travel from, as it has its own airport and is a quick 3 hour train ride from Paris. I was able to do all the traveling I wanted on the weekends and took full advantage of our week long fall break by traveling to 5 countries in 9 days. When I was back in Nantes, I loved living in my homestay with my host mom. She was there for me when I needed advice or someone to talk to (in French, bien sur!), but also let me be totally independent and go out when I wanted to. I met so many people on my program who came from all over the US, most of which I am still in contact with today. The IES Center in Nantes was definitely good at encouraging us to speak french as much as possible, especially when we were in school, and I found my level of french increase exponentially during my time in Nantes. Overall, if you're looking for an opportunity to study abroad in France, live in a homestay, take your classes in french, and live in a clean, safe, and interesting city, go with IES Nantes! I would recommend this program to anyone and everyone I could, and would do it all over again myself in a heartbeat.

How can this program be improved?

Nothing to note!

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Adrian
Female
22 years old
Kingston, MA

Everything I wanted from study abroad

9/10

I could talk endlessly about this program. I had a fantastic time, and could not have been happier with my choice to study abroad in Nantes, France. Nantes is a beautiful city that is the perfect size for a semester. It is large enough to have everything you could need - shopping, movies, nightlife, and spectacular restaurants and boulangeries - while still feeling manageable. I was able to easily navigate the city within a couple of weeks, and it truly felt like home by the time I left. People speak very little English in Nantes, which forces you to grow quickly with French language skills. Also, everyone in the program lived in a homestay, which is definitely a highlight of the program. I got to improve my French while learning about French culture from French people. Some programs have an optional homestay option, but I'm glad everyone participated so none of us had FOMO about living in an apartment or missing out on the homestay.

The IES Abroad Center is terrific. The entire staff is French, and courses are small and adaptable to the students. They were always helpful and understanding of everyone's needs. We also got to go on 4 weekend trips which were all magnificent. France is a great country to stay in because each region is very unique and has something different to offer. All of the classes were taught in French with French professors, and you could also choose to take classes at the local French university. The classes were interesting and focused on a lot on learning about French culture.

I love Nantes and still am raving about my time abroad to friends and family. If you want a real, cultural experience of a European city, and want to improve your French, you won't regret choosing this program!

How can this program be improved?

Though the program has a French-only policy, it wasn't enforced very well and most of us spoke English. It was frustrating at times and you really had to push yourself if you wanted to speak only French.

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Emma
Female
22 years old
Los Angeles
Occidental College

Second Home in Nantes

10/10

I absolutely fell in love with Nantes during my four months there, and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. The city itself is beautiful and has such great energy, and with a big university, there are lots of young people around. There's also a really small anglophone presence so it's the perfect place for French immersion. If you want to improve your French, this is the program for you! All the classes are in French and my French improved so much, especially through speaking with my host family, which was one of the biggest highlights for me: they were so sweet to me, made me feel welcome right away, and my host mom made such amazing food!

The courses at IES were fun and engaging--I especially loved the art history course I took--and the professors were overall tuned into the level of French students had. The staff at the IES are so sweet, and the center provides a kind of home base for its students.

I also got to take classes at the university, which was challenging but really fun especially because it led to me making French friends. I met so many great people and some of my favorite memories are just exploring and hanging out in centre ville with other IES students. Studying in Nantes was an amazing experience for me and I definitely found a second home there. IES and often the host families provide you with guidance, but at the same time you are independent and free to explore as you wish. I definitely recommend this program to anyone looking to improve their French, meet really nice people and explore a beautiful city.

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Iggy
Female
22 years old
Henderson
University of Portland

IES Nantes: a fantastic semester in Nantes

10/10

My semester abroad in Nantes was incredible and I can't wait for the day I can go back and visit again. The IES program described itself as a full French immersion program, and that is definitely the kind of experience I received. All of my classes were in French, which forced me to become more and more familiar with the French language, culture, and history. The "French only" rule at the center helped push us out of our comfort zone and forced us to express ourselves in French, even if it meant using simplified terms or looking up words in an English-French dictionary from time to time. This program highly recommends staying with a home stay, which I also recommend. My home stay family was just a grandmother, but the time spent with her was incredibly valuable to me. We would chat about politics or cultural differences after dinner, and she would often ask me questions about English translations since she taught English lessons. My conversations with her improved my French comprehension and vocabulary immensely. The staff at the IES center were amazing. They were clearly passionate about the subjects they taught, and it was obvious that they were patient enough to try and understand our not-so-perfect French, which gave us much needed confidence. IES offers a wide range of classes, but if you're looking for something they don't offer, it is still easy to take classes at the university instead of at the center. The curriculum offered was very thorough and was probably the source of most of my improvements in the French language, in terms of increasing my vocabulary and understanding of grammatical rules. The amount of students at IRS during my semester was fairly smaller than usual, but the social life did not make it seem that way. During orientation, the staff gave us more than enough opportunities to make friends that will last beyond our stay in France. The field trips included with the program also helped create these friendships and by the end of the semester, it saddened me to see all of my classmates leave.
During the last two months, huge protests would break out across France, many occurring in Nantes. Even though many of these protests- usually peaceful, but sometimes violent- would occur not even a block from my home or and IES center, the staff made sure we knew what to do in case anything happened. Anytime we travelled outside the city, we had to follow a strict protocol so they knew exactly where we were just in case something happened. No matter the circumstances, the staff made sure we always were safe and knew what do to and who to go to in case of emergency, which I greatly appreciated. In fact, one of my biggest worries about going abroad were my many dietary restrictions (vegetarian and severe food allergies). However, IES made sure that they were not a problem. For example, if we were all at a restaurant, the staff made sure I was able to eat a meal there or asked the chef to make a special plate just for me, and I was very thankful they took the time to do those things for me.

Overall, the IES Nantes program was fantastic and I could not think of one thing that could be improved. If you're looking for a true French immersion program, this is the only one you will need.

How can this program be improved?

It honestly couldn't!

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Brigit
Female
22 years old
Portland, OR
Whitman College

Merci Nantes!

9/10

This program was overall great. I loved Nantes as a city, not too big and not too small, with plenty of students around due to the large University of Nantes. The IES program was great at welcoming us and helping us understand Nantes, and although the classes were not very vigorous and I had very little homework, my french improved a great deal. I loved my host family and my host mom's delicious, traditional french meals. I made some great American friends and a few French friends, however it was difficult to meet French people my age. I loved my time in Nantes and would recommend this program to anyone who loves France and the French language.

How can this program be improved?

I was frustrated by the amount of English spoken in the program center and by students in general on the program. The program in theory had a zero tolerance policy for speaking english, but this wasn't enforced at all and students pretty quickly found out that they could get away with speaking English. Part of the problem is that you have to be really self-motivated to speak only French when you're surrounded by Americans most of the time, but I think the program needs to figure out a better system for enforcing French speaking at all times.
Also, there was little interaction between the program administration (not professors) and the students (and to be honest, it sometimes felt like the staff really didn't like our group of students, which may be because of the excessive english speaking) but it was kind of a strange dynamic.

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Molly
Female
22 years old
Chicago, IL
Illinois Wesleyan University

Finding a Second Home

10/10

Nantes was truly an ideal place to study abroad, especially when it comes to what I was looking for, which was a moderate sized city that would allow me to use my French as much as possible. It was big enough that there was always something to do, but not so big that a lot of people spoke English which was great when it came to having to use French and practicing my skills. I also knew that IES Nantes offered a home stay option which turned out to be the absolute best part of my trip. Living with a family gave me the opportunity to really understand what life in France means, but also gave me a chance to form connections that will last for the rest of my life. The IES Nantes center does an incredible job at matching students with families, and is so helpful if problems do come up. The center staff was also helpful with other issues as well, anything from locating important places like the post office or the doctor, to having a band-aid if you needed one on the spot. The classes offered were very interesting and taught at a reasonable pace, and the instructors were very adaptive to student's needs and issues. IES Nantes also offers an option to take classes at the local university which is a great opportunity to experience class with French students and take a class that is taught at a standard pace that is not adapted to American students. All classes in France are focused around large tests and papers rather than smaller assignments, which is important to keep in mind. There is less work to do on a daily basis, but you are expected to keep up with you classes and do work individually. Overall the program was amazing and I had a great semester!

How can this program be improved?

I think the only improvement would be having activities that allow all of the students to get to know one another right at the beginning of the program. Everyone naturally split up into the groups that they would hang out with for the semester, but I think it would have been nice to get to know everyone not just a small group of people. Maybe having certain activities with predetermined groups so that everyone gets to know everyone.

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Tatianna
Female
22 years old
Minnetonka
Gustavus Adolphus College

Just Enough Guidance

9/10

Nantes was the perfect place for my study abroad experience. Going into studying abroad, I was looking to be fully immersed in French Language & Culture, and that is exactly what this program did for me.

When I was trying to choose a program, what stood out to me about IES is how they genuinely wanted to ensure that you had a good experience. They didn't just want you to sign up for their program and then completely disregard you once you got there. Their staff was involved from beginning to end making sure that every student had a good experience.

Another one of my favorite parts of the program was the home-stay experience. Everyone is required to live with a host family, which really helped everyone's french improved and allowed us to really get to know french culture. Almost all of my friends loved their host families, which is not something I have necessarily heard voiced from other people who have studied abroad. The host families in Nantes have been doing the program for years, so they are familiar with the student's experience. For me, having a host family was a great thing because it meant not being alone. I still had that home base to go back to every night where I was able to continue to learn about french culture and also build connections with a "second" family.

Academically, the program was great. Taking all of my classes in French definitely helped improve my french. The work load was a good amount. It wasn't so much that you had no time for anything else, but it wasn't too little to the point where it felt like you weren't even in school.

The IES staff and local french university teaching students also made this program stick out. The staff were always readily available to help you with any problem you had. There were also local french university teaching students who were there to help you with anything from academic problems to how to use the public transportation. Having other french students in the center were great because they helped hold us accountable to speak in french and they gave us an insight into the life of a french student. Not to mention by the end of the program we were all close friends!

The Nantes program was exactly what I was looking for in study abroad! They gave us enough guidance to feel comfortable living in a new country and city, but enough freedom to grow and explore on our own.

How can this program be improved?

Overall, I had a very positive experience with this program. The only thing that I was unsatisfied with was the amount of english that was spoken between the students. The IES center had a no english policy, but many students just ignored that policy. The staff enforced the policy from time to time, but maybe not enough. Once students realized that they could get away with speaking english, they would just continue to do so. While some of it is the fault of the student's, I think the program needs to find a more effective way of enforcing the french only policy.

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Margaret
Female
22 years old
Lake Forest
Illinois Wesleyan University

Just Walking Along

10/10

Living and studying in Nantes was one of the best semesters of my life. The center staff was always helpful, my host mother was just so nice and helpful, and the teachers gave interesting lessons over a variety of French subjects. Basically, IES provided a fantastic program that not only developed my French, but helped me understand the nuances of French culture which only strengthened my love for France.
Living in the city of Nantes likely made this process easier too. Nantes is just a fantastic city to live in, with so many things to do it can be a bit overwhelming at times. However, my favorite thing to do in Nantes was just go walk along the river. Every Sunday I would just spend the afternoon walking up and around the river Erdre, which was relatively close to where I lived. It was calming just walking along the nature trails and boardwalks built alongside this majestic ancient river, watching (and maybe listening to) all the people walking by on their afternoon strolls. It was also really fun to take the boat to the other side of the river, just because I could, and continue observing French life, and wildlife. It really was a nice way to take a break from whatever piece of homework I had to work on, while still being a part of French society.

How can this program be improved?

Maybe more weekend trips or activities scheduled by the IES center in Nantes and France.

Erin Steward
Erin
Female
22 years old
Fond du Lac, WI
Luther College

Right at Home

10/10

Oh, Nantes. My home away from home. How I miss you! But where should I start... Probably with my family. My French host family was absolutely my favourite. Coming from being one of two children, I was a little nervous for what to expect when I ended up being one of six kids during my semester abroad. However, let me tell you that this provided a really neat opportunity in that I was able to a) practice my French more, as there always seemed to be someone around with whom I could chat, b) end up being connected to a lot more people, as my family would bring me with them when they went places, and c) take part in lots of memories that I will cherish forever. My parents were awesome about spending one-on-one time with each of us, and their household ran on a well-oiled system that provided just enough structure but also a lot of fun. I loved taking classes. Personally, I took all of mine at IES, but that doesn't mean that you need to! I had many friends who thrived with a mixture of classes at the program centre and at the local university. Our professors were dynamic, witty, thoughtful, and helpful-- they allowed me to go beyond what we were learning in the text and to make real-world connections. I LOVED going on field trips-- what a neat way to truly see first hand how skilled French bakers make their phenomenal bread or how much work it takes to grow the grapes that will become the equally-as-famed French wines! I also did a teaching internship, even though I am not an education major or minor. This was particularly insightful for me as it allowed me to get to know more about how the French school system operates in comparison with that in the United States. Finally, just a brief commentary on the city itself-- Nantes is big. It may take a bit to find your way around, particularly if you're like me and not necessarily good with maps. :) That being said, it is not overwhelmingly large! I found myself making true connections with shopkeepers who I would pass each day. I loved the balance between familiar and new, routine and adventure! I would definitely recommend if you're looking to make new friends (and family!) and to truly call another place halfway around the globe home.

How can this program be improved?

I feel as though there could be some better interaction between the staff (excluding professors) at IES and the students. I think that sometimes students felt like it was difficult to approach staff members, and I'm not sure whether or not that was just a difference in cultures/ personalities or if that was a true vibe that was being given off.

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Rosemary
Female
22 years old
St. Louis, MO
Pomona College

I found a perfect fit in Nantes!

10/10

I had an absolutely wonderful time in Nantes, France through IES Abroad. You take five classes through the program, one of which is a French language class (which you are placed into by the program staff, unless you test out of it), and you choose the other four. You can also take classes at the local university, which I did and had a great time! The classes at IES are geared toward U.S. students so, while they're ALL IN FRENCH, they are structured much more like an American college or University. I took four classes at IES and one at the university and was very pleased! As mentioned, the classes are taught completely in French, which really helped me to improve my language skills (my principal goal) very quickly. My host family, with our dinners together almost every night, also helped me improve my French skills very quickly. My host family was absolutely amazing. By the time I left, I felt like they were my real family; they treated me like one of their own daughters. Not everybody had this experience from what I heard, but most people liked their host families. Expect cultural differences regarding ideology and politics, though. Getting involved in athletics/dance at the university was a blast too! I highly recommend this program for someone looking for an immersive French experience, but who also doesn't want to be so bogged down on school work that they can't adventure. I definitely had time for both.

How can this program be improved?

Get better wifi at the IES center and a new printer. Make orientation less dense so we can retain more information.

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Abigail
Female
23 years old
Claremont, California
Scripps College

Absolutely Amazing

10/10

I had an incredible time while studying abroad at IES Nantes. It was really a magical experience. The IES staff was supportive with anything and everything that I needed and the language assistants ended up being some of my best friends. I took three classes with IES and two with the university and found that to be a perfect balance for me in terms of having classes with actual French students. IES classes are not as rigorous as I am used to, but that is not to say that I didn't learn a lot while and will take the skills and knowledge that I learned with me through my various academic endeavors and the rest of my life. My French also drastically improved, both through making French friends, and because of IES having a strict "en français s'il vous plaît" policy. It was a very encouraging atmosphere and I felt very comfortable speaking French and being taught how to speak better by making many mistakes. My host family was wonderful. They were some of the best people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting, let alone living with them in their house. I was immediately welcomed into their house as if I were actually part of their family, and they were wonderful in every way possible. Not to mention, I never spoke English with them, and my French drastically improved! The nightly dinners with my host family were simply magical -- I think that this is the memory that I will cherish the most from my study abroad experience. I also loved the way that I was able to learn about the French dining experience as a cultural phenomenon through a real French family. I tried my best to participate in the many cultural activities that were going on in Nantes, but it can be a bit intimidating at times. I was also looking forward to making more French friends, and while I did make a couple, it was hard to approach them in classes. That being said, the IES assistants did an amazing job of introducing us to various events going on in the city, and I did my best to attend every single one of them, which helped a great deal. The city had so much to offer!

How can this program be improved?

The classes at the program could be slightly more rigorous, but again, I learned a great deal.

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Abby
Female
23 years old
washington, dc

What a semester...

8/10

There are only two words I can think of to describe my semester abroad in Nantes: absolutely wonderful. My main reason for selecting this program is that I wanted to immerse myself in the French language and improve my speaking skills as much as possible. From the website and what I'd heard from friends, the Nantes program seemed quite immersive and had everything I was looking for: a homestay component, courses taught in French and the option of taking courses at the local university. I learned so much while I was abroad. My French improved drastically, and I now have a lot more confidence in my own abilities. Since returning I've read entire books in French, and I can even watch Netflix shows in French as well (without subtitles). I would highly recommend this program to anyone who wants a truly difficult but rewarding language immersion program.

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Megan
Female
23 years old
Chicago, IL
Loyola University Chicago

If you're considering France, you should be considering Nantes!

10/10

IES Abroad changed my life. If you've read and other reviews of this program, you know that there is no better program for French immersion. Between the IES Nantes staff, the professors, the home stay families, and the friendly people of the city, if you're looking for the opportunity to improve your French in 4 or 8 months, this is definitely the place to do it. But this program is about so much more than immersion. It's about spending Sunday's eating a leisurely lunch in the garden, it's about weekend trips to the coast with your host family, it's about afternoon walks along the Erdre, it's about sharing a baguette with your friends on the Cour Cambronne, or enjoying a monaco and some alternative music at the Lieu Unique. There's so much to discover about yourself and Nantes through this program. I highly recommend IES Abroad Nantes if you're looking to truly experience all France and it's people have to offer.

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Rebecca
Female
Boston, MA
University of Rochester

An incredible semester!

10/10

The IES Nantes program is perfect for someone wanting to become immersed in the French language and culture! I loved living in the city of Nantes. It was the perfect size with plenty of things to do and quickly felt like home. It is also a very walkable city, which I came to love. The home stay was one of my favorite aspects of the program and was definitely where I made the greatest strides in my language skills. I felt that the classes were very manageable and enjoyed the opportunity to take a class at the local university. I would highly recommend this program to anyone interested in improving their French!

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Conrad
Male
24 years old
Columbus, Ohio
Ohio State University

Nantes 2015

9/10

Nantes is a charming city in France, the 5th or 6th largest in the country. Not quite as big or bustling as Paris, but that makes it more accommodating for students studying abroad. The Nantes program is focused on French language learning and in that is a success, and you will thoroughly miss Nantes by the time you have to go.

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Amanda
Female
24 years old
Pennsylvania
Other

Wonderful!!!

10/10

When looking for a study abroad program in a French speaking country, I wanted to have a strong academic program, full cultural immersion, and a teaching internship. I was happy to find everything I wanted in the IES Study Abroad program in Nantes. Besides all these three that I was looking for, Nantes is a smaller city than Paris but still has enough to do during the semester. It was a perfect city for study abroad, definitely a plus for me.

How can this program be improved?

I honestly don't think there is much to be improved. The staff was incredibly supportive. I am an international student already in the US and, honestly, I don't think you will get more support in a study abroad experience than the IES Nantes staff offered to my whole group during my semester abroad.

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Emily
Female
24 years old
Atlanta, Georgia
Wofford College

I left my heart in Nantes

10/10

IES Abroad Nantes gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. I improved my French both in the classroom and in everyday conversation through the challenging but enjoyable academics and host family living situation. Nantes became a second home to me as the semester continued, leaving me wishing to stay with my amazing host family, the supportive staff, and adventurous new friends. This program allows students to be fully immersed in the French culture through living with a host family, incorporating important lessons into orientation, and allowing students to meet other French students in Nantes. I cannot imagine having a better semester abroad In four short months, I was welcomed into not only a host family, but the entire IES Nantes family, who will always be dear to my heart. With an amazing city, filled with friendly citizens who want to speak French, you can't go wrong with IES Nantes.

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Rachel
Female
24 years old
Lexington, Kentucky
College of Wooster

The Semester of a Lifetime

10/10

IES Abroad Nantes is the perfect program for anyone looking to be fully immersed in French language and culture. Every student lives with a French host family, which allows them to learn about French culture firsthand, and requires them to practice their language skills on a daily basis. I enjoyed trying all sorts of local foods and discussing the differences between typical American and French lifestyles with my family. The program also gives students the chance to study at both the IES Center and the local university in Nantes. I really appreciated having the opportunity to experience the French education system, and I especially enjoyed the opportunity to complete a teaching internship in the local schools. The internship was a very useful experience, and gave me a better idea of what kind of work I may want to pursue in the future. As well, the program is very well established (it had its 50th anniversary this spring), so health and safety measures are well developed, and the IES Center in Nantes provides a whole host of extracurricular activities that really enhanced my semester abroad. If you are like me and don't want to live in a city as massive as Paris but would like to study in France, take a look at IES Nantes!

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Savannah
Female
24 years old
Wooster, OH
College of Wooster

"Now I've Had the Time of My Life"

10/10

Borrowing the title from a song from the movie "Dirty Dancing" I think this is the most accurate way to describe my semester abroad. It was a incredible semester filled with new friends and lots of new experiences. From living with my French host family, to taking classes all in French, to getting to explore France everything about the IES Nantes program was incredible! I truly enjoyed my time and my French improved immensely. Nantes is an really fun city to live in and perfect for practicing French. The classes offered as well as the places you visit as part of the program really give you a good understanding of the French culture and way of life. Studying abroad in Nantes taught me so much and helped me to expand my world view and grow as a person and I would honestly recommend this program to anyone!

How can this program be improved?

The integration of the semester students with the full year students is not very strong and so this leads to a kind of separation of the two groups.

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Rebecca
Female
24 years old
Seattle, WA
Pacific Lutheran University

Best decision of my life

10/10

Participating in the IES Abroad Nantes program was the best decision of my life. Not only did my French improve immensely from the intense language immersion focus, but I also made lifelong friendships and connections with the program staff, participants, and my host family. Having a homestay was very important to me, and, as I had hoped for, it made my experience wonderful in just about every way. The staff at the IES Nantes center is amazing and they are willing to help with just about any problem one might have, whether big or small! I enjoyed all my classes through the IES Center, and was able to take a class at the local university, which extended my outlook on the French education system and my own personal experience. I highly recommend this program, especially if someone is looking for a chance to improve his/her French language skills and truly experience an authentic French lifestyle for four months. I wish I could have stayed forever, but I will certainly cherish my time in the beautiful city of Nantes with the best host family a girl could ask for, my whole life. It is my second home, and will always have a special place in my heart.

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Olivia
Female
24 years old
Wooster, Ohio
College of Wooster

My Second Home

10/10

I was extremely impressed with IES Study in Nantes and my stay there ended up being some of the best five months of my life. The program is very well organized and the staff is professional, enthusiastic, and truly cares about the students. They made it clear that they were there to help us and they were all very approachable. All of the assistants were great-our TA went out of her way to answer our questions and help with our homework assignments and we never had a lack of planned activities. We were provided with everything we needed both physically in the form of our school center and mentally in the form of information and preparation. They offered a nice variety of courses and one had the option of taking courses at the University of Nantes of they were so inclined. Both through my IES courses and my course at the university, I greatly improved my French and learned so much about their education system. The four fieldtrips that were included in the program were also well-organized, fun, and took us to places that we greatly enjoyed and probably would never have gotten to on our own. I personally absolutely loved my homestay. My host family and I got along so well! Not only did they make sure I had everything I needed, but they really cared about me and we enjoyed spending time together. They were very inclusive with me and by the end of the semester we were all so sad that I had to leave! We still keep in contact and plan to for years to come. There was no better way to learn the French language and culture than with my host family! I was lucky to go the semester that I did because I ended up with a wonderful group of peers. We all got along really well and making friends was never an issue! Nantes itself is a lovely city. I loved the fact that it is not tourist-y and so I got a real feel for French life. The city is a nice size, not overwhelming but plenty to explore. I also felt very safe in Nantes and in my host family’s neighborhood. With all of the wonderful experiences I had, I hardly felt homesick at all! I have nothing but positive things to say about my time in Nantes! Overall, my semester abroad through IES Study in Nantes was very educational and a great adventure! I was able to make Nantes my home away from home and hope that future students will have just as successful of a semester!

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Jane
Female
24 years old
St. Paul, MN
University of St. Thomas

Looking for French Immersion? This is it.

10/10

If you are seeking a study abroad program to help improve your French language skills, IES Nantes is an excellent choice. It is an exceptionally well-organized program (they are very experienced and just celebrated their 50th anniversary!) with support staff who are always there to help. The city is a nice size--a big city but not so big that you encounter English speakers (read: NOT the touristy maze that you find in Paris). I loved my semester and was able to immerse myself in my host culture, but I also had the opportunity to travel extensively outside of France. The Spring semester students generally get two separate week-long breaks in addition to multiple three-day weekends. Take advantage! I would re-enroll in a heartbeat.

How can this program be improved?

There isn't anything specific that I can think of to be improved. I would have liked better weather in Nantes. ;)

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Gail
Female
24 years old
Chicago, IL
Northwestern University

Everything I hoped for (and more!)

9/10

IES Abroad Nantes is an amazing program! Specifically, the host families and the program/university classes are two things I will highlight that were a huge part of everyone's day-to-day experiences. The host families are your home base: they really do welcome you in with open arms (which is rather difficult when you think about it, inviting an almost complete stranger into your home!) and want to help you immerse into the French culture. Most nights, I had dinner with my host mom and it was the perfect opportunity for me to speak with her and for me, those dinners were the main reason for the improvement in my French communication skills. The program offers its own classes, but also allows you to take courses at the local universities. I split my course load between the program and the local university: at first, the classes at the local university were difficult, because the professors spoke rather quickly, but I got used to it after a few weeks (as most people did once our French improved) and began to enjoy taking classes that I would not have thought about taking at my home university!

One thing I wish I had done differently was I wish I had talked to more French students at the local university. From my own experiences and what I heard from previous students, it is rather difficult to speak to them, because it is intimidating trying to speak to a native French speaker with his or her friend group who have probably been friends for years. However, once you make a French friend, you become very close and have a bond that you might not have with friends at your home university.

How can this program be improved?

As many activities as there were to help us speak to French students, I wish I had more opportunities to speak to them one on one. We need to take the initiative, but the program should provide a stronger platform for us to meet with French students and connect with them one on one outside of the weekly conversation club.

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AAndrus
Female
24 years old
Walla Walla, WA
Whitman College

The Experience of a Lifetime

10/10

I absolutely loved my time in Nantes. The staff was friendly and helpful, I forged a lasting bond with my host family and made friends I will never forget. The city is so easy to get around in with the public transportation system. It is a charming city, big enough that something was always happening but small enough that I was able to get to know it well in just one semester. It was beautiful, and walkable.

How can this program be improved?

The acedemic schedule is difficult. In the first part of the semester, there is absolutely know work and the last month is midterms, papers and finals. I wish they would spread the work out a bit more.

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Taylor
Female
24 years old
Sacramento, CA
Grinnell College

Putting It Into Words - The Hard Part

9/10

Nantes is a beautiful city and I think it's a great place to study abroad if your goal is to improve your language skills. While people do speak English to you on occasion, I found it to be true far less in Nantes than in other areas of France. Living in a host family is a key part of this program. The opportunity to take classes at the local university with actual French students and professors is possible; however, many choose to take all their classes within the program. While I think their curriculum is very helpful in improving your academic French (reading literature and writing essays/research papers) it's hard to improve your conversational French when the majority of people in the building are other Americans who speak French. Speaking French in the school is a requirement in the building but when you're speaking to people who you share a first language with in another language you can get them to understand your meaning through direct translation. So I felt I made most of my improvement in this area with my host family. A lot of the host families have been hosting students for years so they're very understanding and great. The staff members are always open to helping with any problems or misunderstandings that may arise between the students and host families. Overall, I think the experience was incredible and the friendships I made their will last a lifetime. A couple weeks back in the United States and I already can't wait to visit Nantes again!

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Carly
Female
24 years old
Corvallis, Oregon
University of California- Irvine

A supportive program with wonderful immersion opportunities

10/10

When I first started planning my semester in France, I was convinced that I wanted to study abroad in Paris because, well-- it's Paris! Looking back on my experience now, I could not be happier that I chose Nantes instead. I truly believe that I gained so much more from living in a smaller city where English is not commonly spoken than I would have in a more international city like Paris. While I did enjoy a weekend trip to Paris, returning to Nantes felt like coming home.

What really stands out in my mind about the IES Nantes program is the opportunity it presents for complete immersion in the French language. All students are placed in a homestay with a French family, and many of these families have been hosting American students for years. While living with a host family can be a bit uncomfortable in the beginning, the adjustment process is just another part of the experience and is well worth the linguistic and cultural benefits of being part of a French family. The post-dinner conversations I had with my host mother were some of the best learning experiences for me as far as improving my speaking skills and gaining a better understanding of French culture. She even made me a little book filled with my favorite recipes of hers when I left at the end of the semester so I can try to replicate her wonderful cooking!

The IES Nantes center also has a French-only policy. All of the classes are taught in French and students are required to speak French when in the building and on IES excursions. One of the reasons I chose to study in France was that I wanted to really focus on improving my language skills, so this aspect of the Nantes program was wonderful. Unfortunately, not all of the students were so eager to speak exclusively French, so by the end of the program, almost everyone was speaking a lot of English, which was a bit disappointing for me. That being said, there were always opportunities to practice French, whether at the university, with locals, or with a host family.

IES also does an amazing job of creating a sense of community among its students and staff. The directors were so supportive and helpful and because it's a relatively small program, it's easy to get to know the other American students. I met some of the most wonderful people and I truly felt at home in the IES center. I absolutely recommend this program to anyone looking to study in France!

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IES Abroad offers 140 programs worldwide for college students. We are a highly charged force of study abroad enthusiasts. Every day we have the privilege of witnessing how study abroad changes our students’ lives. We also believe that every student should have the opportunity to

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