Nantes is well-known for being a charming city in which to live in France, and it’s quite easy to see why. Home to many young professionals and students, there are plenty of new friends to make and an active nightlife waiting for you in Nantes. Once the capital of Brittany, Nantes has a rich history, which you can see firsthand by visiting the Cathédrale St-Pierre et St-Paul and the Château des Ducs de Bretagne. It’s also easy to walk around and explore the city by foot.
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. IES Abroad courses are taught in French by native French faculty, many of whom are professors at the Université de Nantes. You select from IES Abroad language and area studies courses, and can add a teaching internship and university courses to complete your schedule.
Nantes will also be your classroom. Visit some of the IES Abroad student hot spots, such as La Beaujoire Stadium to watch soccer games or Ile de Versailles to people-watch and explore. Tour the museum and home of Nantes’ own, science fiction author Jules Verne. Practice your French while ordering crepes in the region where they were first made. Welcome to study abroad!
We want you to feel at home in France, so we will do everything we can to help you integrate into life in Nantes. During your time there, you’ll stay with a local family, many of whom have been welcoming our students into their homes for years. Living with your host family will help you practice your Frenchspeaking skills and get to know what daily life in Nantes is truly like.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences.
We offer unique courses that explore French Language, History, and Culture, as well as other topics, through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors and course options at prestigious local universities enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.
While in Nantes, you take 15–19 credit hours per semester, and all courses are worth 3 credits unless otherwise specified. All courses are taught in French.
You will create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional components:
This is a list of planned course offerings. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings in your MyIESabroad account.
To learn more about IES Abroad’s innovative theoretical and pedagogical approaches to teaching language abroad, refer to the IES Abroad MAP for Language & Intercultural Communication.
Université de Nanteswww.univ-nantes.fr
IES Abroad students have been enrolling in courses at the Université since the IES Abroad Nantes Program opened in 1965. As an IES Abroad Nantes student with advanced French-language proficiency, you are eligible to enroll in courses at the Université de Nantes.
You may choose to enroll in just one course or in the majority of your courses at the Université in addition to your IES Abroad French Language course.
Most university courses are assigned 3 credits for a semester. At the Université de Nantes, most courses consist of the cours magistral (lecture course) and the travaux dirigés (discussion sessions). The lecture course is taught by a professor or a maître de conférences, and the travaux dirigés are generally taught by an associate professor.
You may select French-taught courses in:
Location & Commute Time
The main campus, called Tertre Campus, hosts the colleges of Language, Literature, Geography, History, Art History, Humanities, Political Science, Business, Economics and Management, Education, and Psychology. Tertre campus, situated on the Erdre River, is located in the outskirts of Nantes, in the northern part of the city. The Tertre Campus of the Université de Nantes can easily be reached by tram and buses. It is only a 20-minute tram ride from the city center and approximately 25 minutes from the IES Abroad Center.
The Lombarderie Campus hosts all courses in the sciences, and is a 10-minute tram ride from the city center and the IES Abroad Center, in the same direction as Tertre Campus.
Ecole Supérieure des Beaux Arts (ESBA)www.erba-nantes.fr
Fall and Academic Year IES Abroad students with prior training in studio art are eligible to enroll in one to two courses at ESBA, as space allows. As registration takes place in September only, spring students may enroll only if a spot becomes vacant.
ESBA courses are practical workshops - you work alone with advising from the class instructor. Your evaluation and grade is based on your work and progress in class. ESBA offers you opportunities in:
Courses typically earn 2 credits.
Location & Commute Time
ESBA is located in downtown Nantes, a 10-15 minute walk from the IES Abroad Nantes Center.
While adding study abroad to your resume is impressive enough, adding an international internship is even more powerful, and can help distinguish your application for graduate school or a job opportunity in today’s competitive job market. An internship provides an invaluable cultural experience, and helps you develop professional and personal skills.
You are given the opportunity to teach in French écoles primaires (elementary schools), collèges ( junior high schools), and lycées (high schools). The work requires at least four hours of supervised teaching each week. Interns are evaluated by both the teacher and the school principal. You are required to prepare a research project in connection with the accompanying seminar course. Previous teaching experience is not required.
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Nantes, it will feel like home.
Homestays - You live in a private room with a local family in a homestay. Many host families have been welcoming IES Abroad students into their homes for decades. Only one student is housed with each family. You receive breakfast daily and five evening meals per week.
Part of making you feel at home in Nantes is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it’s the orientation program that prepares you for what’s ahead, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.
The program begins with a 10-day orientation and language-intensive session that introduces you to the IES Abroad staff, your fellow students, and the city of Nantes, and prepares you for full French immersion.
Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.
A portion of your orientation takes place off-site in coastal resort towns, such as Caen, Quimper, or Vannes in the fall, and tours in the Loire Valley in the spring.
Redefine the way you live and learn in Nantes through our cultural events, such as:
University Clubs & Events
Upon enrolling in the IES Abroad Nantes Program, you are automatically registered at the Université de Nantes and have access to join student clubs such as the University Choral Society and other social and sports organizations
Although your adventure begins in Nantes, our field trips take you to other great sites and cities in France to provide contrast and context for what you are learning in Nantes. The cost of the field trips is included in the cost. Past destinations are listed below.
Mont Saint-Michel and Saint Malo
1 Day | Fall & Spring
Visit the famous abbey on Mont Saint-Michel and explore Saint Malo, a walled port city on the English Channel.
2 Days | Spring
Visit the historic D-Day beaches of Normandy.
2 Days | Fall
Visit five of the most famous castles in the region.
1 Day | Spring
Tour this small, Italian-style town and the vineyards of the Nantes region.
IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and length of stay may vary according to term and availability.
The IES Abroad Nantes Center occupies two floors of a gorgeous 19th-century residential building located just steps from the historic center of Nantes and the Passage Pommeraye—a narrow passageway of galleries that fill three levels and is covered by a canopied glass ceiling.
Thibaut de BerrangerIES Abroad Director
Dr. Thibaut de Berranger has been the Director of the Study in Nantes program since 2004. He holds a master's degree in International Relations and European Law from the Université Paris 2, a master's degree in Public Law from the Université de Nantes, and a Doctorate in Public Law from the Université de Nantes. He has been Associate Professor of Public and European Law at the University of Nantes since 1993, Chair of the Institut de Préparation à l’Administration Générale (IPAG, 2009-2012) and his association with IES Abroad Nantes dates to 1988. He has published several articles and authored several books on the constitutions of European Union member states and their policies.
IES Abroad Staff
Béatrice de la BretescheSenior Accountant and Academic & Administrative Coordinator
Eugénie FouréHousing Coordinator
Nathalie HeinryAssociate Director
Julie OuvrardAcademic Advisor and Registrar
Dominique BeloeilHistory & Religion
Professeur d’Histoire-Géographie au Lycée Notre Dame de Toutes Aides ; Chargé de cours à l’Université ; Doctorat d’Histoire contemporaine ; Chercheur post-doctoral à l’Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Section des Sciences religieuses)
Mylène ChauviréFilm Studies Professeur au Collège et Lycée Notre-Dame de Toutes-Aides; Certifiée en Lettres et Cinéma Audiovisuel, Master de Français Langue étrangère
Sylvie de la FoyeInternational Relations
Docteur en Histoire, Université de Nantes et Enseignante à l’Université de Rennes 2
Michel de VilliersPolitical Science
Professeur émérite à l’Université de Nantes; Doctorat d’Etat en Droit Public, IEP (Sciences Po) de Paris
Directeur de l’Ecole Supérieure des Sciences de la Communication et du Management (ESSCOM); DEA de Sciences Economiques
Carine Deschanel DelacourPhonetics
Enseignante de Français Langue étrangère à la CCI; Licenciée d’anglais
Marie-Thérèse DuportailTeaching Internship Coordinator & Instructor
Professeur à l’Ecole Notre-Dame de Toutes Joies; Maîtrise de linguistique anglaise
Maître de Conférences, Département d’Anglais à l’Université de Nantes; Docteur en Littérature américaine
Professeur certifié en Anglais au Lycée La Perverie
Catherine Josse-MolteniArt History
Professeur au Lycée St Dominique; Conférencière à l’Ecole Régionale des Beaux-Arts; Doctorat d’Arts Plastiques – Agrégée d’Arts plastiques
Marc JoyauPolitics and EconomyProfesseur des Universités, Université de Nantes, Docteur en Droit public
David LagedamonMarketingAgrégé d’économie et gestion commerciale, Inspecteur pédagogique régional, Académie de Nantes
Eric SchnakenbourgHistoryMaître de Conférences à l’Université de Nantes; Doctorat d’Histoire Moderne
Laurence de MassotLiteratureProfesseur au Lycée Guist'hau, Agrégée de Lettres classiques
Comédien, auteur et metteur en scène, Théâtre de l’Entr’Acte; Directeur de « La Ruche », Cours théâtral Werler-Bouquet
Anne-Emmanuelle Murgier-GirardEconomics & Sociology
Professeur d’Histoire-Géographie, classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles, Lycée Vial et Lycée Guist’hau; Agrégation d’Histoire – Géographie, DEA d’Histoire
Philippe PostelFrench Literature
Maître de conférences en Littérature comparée à l’Université de Nantes; Doctorat en Littérature comparée, Agrégation de Lettres Modernes, IEP de Paris
Caroline UrbainInternational Business
Maître de Conférences à l’Université de Nantes; Doctorat en Sciences de Gestion
What is it really like to live in Nantes? Check out our virtual tour of all the places you’ll come to know and love when you study abroad there—GO!