Located on the Loire River, Nantes—France’s sixth largest city—has all the amenities of a big city: world-class museums, breathtaking cathedrals, a great public transportation system, and even its own château. But the best thing about Nantes for study abroad? It’s small enough to feel like home.
Before long, you’re blending in with local residents and university students, and saying “bonjour” to the shop keepers you pass on your way to class every day. This livable, accessible, and exciting city was the official EU 2013 Green Capital. It’s something to celebrate when you study abroad in Nantes and can get around easily on the bus, tram, or by foot.
Immerse yourself in French language and culture in this city full of history and vibrant city life. You won’t want to leave. Dreaming of French food, culture, and city life?
A group of four friends and I spent our February break in Aix-en-Provence, a small city in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region of France. Our goal: a relaxing week in a warm place with no formal itinerary. We booked an AirBnB in downtown Aix. Aix’s downtown area is about a kilometer in diameter, encircled by a major road. By the second day, we felt comfortable exploring these streets and got to know the layout pretty well.
Some tips we learned in Aix-en-Provence, and general travel advice for young people:
1. It is always a great idea to go to the local tourism office (if one exists) in person, because they can often provide great deals and advice on trips! If there is a website for the tourism office, that can work too. For us, it worked best to verify the bus schedules and fees in person at the tourism office.
The days, and now the weeks, continue to be filled with new discoveries, mishaps, laughter, delicious cuisine, and furious note-taking. From the morning walks to class to the IES Abroad community we have to the vulnerability in walking into a classroom as the sole American, growth and appreciation is at every step.