IES Abroad Nantes - French Immersion & Area Studies

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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.

Questions & Answers


based on 47 reviews
  • Academics 8.2
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.7
  • Housing 9.2
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 46 - 47 of 47
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Do you want to BE French for the duration of your stay?

I chose Nantes because I wanted a smaller city than Paris where I wouldn't be overwhelmed by tourists, and I chose perfectly. IES is the only American study abroad program there that I know of, so I really learned how to speak French like a native!

My host family was definitely one of the best parts of my stay. We had dinner together every night as well as some lunches, and they included me in conversations and made me feel like a member of the family - I felt so welcome, and I still talk with my host sisters on Facebook over a year after my trip!

Nantes is small enough that you can find your way around fairly easily, but large enough that there is always something new. As president of my class, I found a lot of small concerts for us to go to, crêperies to visit, or festivals to attend. There was a kind of farmers' market every Saturday with homemade goods and homegrown vegetables and fruits, as well as clothes or toys to buy as souvenirs.

The public transportation system in Nantes was such a big help! The tram lines are pretty centrally located, and there are buses to go all over in between. I definitely wasn't used to that and it was awesome! It was kind of a pain applying for the student monthly pass, but it's worth it for the convenience once you have it.

Travel tip: if you plan on taking a lot of weekend trips, consider buying an SNCF carte pour 12-25 ans. It automatically gets you at least a 25% discount on TGV tickets, and sometimes as much as 60%! I think mine was around 50 Euro and it easily paid for itself within two tickets.

I hope your stay in France is as memorable as mine - make sure you take pictures because you will love looking back on them and reminiscing :)

How can this program be improved?
The initial orientation was so much fun, but then everything in the first few weeks was so demanding and hectic. Buying a phone, a tram pass, OFI appointment, picking out classes, etc was a bit overwhelming. It did teach us more independence though, so it's not all bad.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Do it!

Get out of your comfort zone, learn the language you have been studying and reviewing for countless hours in class in the U.S. Where better than in the country of origin, France?

I highly recommend this program to anyone who is seeking to immerse themselves fully into French culture, life, and language.

On various matters:

Though the French in general are considered timid and sometimes unfriendly, it is up to you to immerse yourself and make friends. Go out of the way and meet people, go to social functions and public events. Throw yourself out there, what is the point of studying abroad than to get yourself out of your comfort zone.

I had the most amazing and inclusive host family ever! They conversed with me always and included me in their day to day activities as if I was one of the family. I went to mass with them and they invited me to their house in Brive-de-Gaillard in the center of France.

The administration was an excellent one, and I can say that having been the President of my class. I got to work with the administration to ensure that the program was going well and that the students smoothly transitioned into daily foreign life. A very accessible, organized, and friendly administration.

The program is an excellent one and it is very well structured

Yes, I recommend this program

About IES Abroad

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...