You hear people say time and time again that studying abroad goes fast, but I never quite realized how right they were. One of my favorite things to do throughout my time in Nantes was go to cafés. I loved having a new atmosphere to do homework in or even just play cards and catch up with friends. More than all of that though, a café was one of the best places to immerse myself in. I loved people-watching and being able to overhear conversations in French. Just hearing everyday discussions was one of the best places to learn.
In our week, my friends and I went to kill some time at a café after our final. I bought a poster there with all the local coffee shops in Nantes, as I am a barista at home and I thought it was a perfect souvenir for my room. Once I looked at the poster though, I felt a little sad. There were so many cafés on there that I hadn’t gotten the chance to visit, and I had no idea when I would be in Nantes again.
That’s when the idea dawned upon me, a coffee crawl in Nantes!
On the last Wednesday in Nantes, I decided to take advantage of the one day that I did not have finals. I took some friends that also didn’t have finals and we managed to hit every other café on the poster in one day. (10 in total!) It was so fun to be able to take in the vibe of each café, and also a bummer that we hadn’t discovered some of them until our very last week. It’s crazy what you can make of a day in Nantes even after a whole four months. The café crawl was one of my favorite semester memories, and I didn’t even have to leave the city! The caffeine headache that I had afterward was like no other, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Afterwards was the IES Abroad reception where we had fun treats and an emotional last time with everyone in the program. Overall, it was a perfect Nantes sendoff!
We rated each coffee shop on a very specific and professional scale, and I’ll leave the ratings down below if you ever decide to stop and visit them. My biggest piece of advice from this experience is to go outside the box! It’s fun to find different spots to frequent during your semester abroad, and I loved getting to know the staff at my favorite coffee shop. However, you never know what’s right under your nose if you never explore! Even after four months, there are always new restaurants and spots that you haven’t tried. Look around and try them, and you might find your favorite new spot!
Our ratings: 1. Madeline: 8.2 2. Alaïa: 8.1 3. Kultivar: 7.8 4. Les Triplettes: 7.5 5. La Maison: 7.4 6. Bécot: 7.2 7. Chop Chop: 7.7 8. Cime: 6.1 9. Curieux: 4.6 10. Pangolins: N/A (it was closed!)
See ya soon,
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Hello! My name is Sophia Barton, and I'm a sophomore at the University of Portland, though I'm originally from Indiana. (Shout Midwest folks!) I'm currently majoring in Political Science and Global Affairs and French, with a Spanish minor. Can you tell that I love languages? I could not be more excited for the opportunity to immerse myself in the Nantes culture, and I'm so excited to take you all along with me. Rendez-vous à Nantes!! :)