Our French Language Immersion & Area Studies Program has two important goals: to improve your written and verbal proficiency in French through language and area studies courses and to introduce you to contemporary France and its role in the European Union. A beautiful and bike-friendly city on the Loire River, Nantes offers wonderful food, outdoor spaces, and stunning modern and classic architecture. Nantes is also the ideal place to perfect your French—with few Anglophones and a focus on full immersion, you’ll have the opportunity to fully integrate into French society and function completely in French.
This program has a close relationship with the Université de Nantes, so you will have many opportunities to enroll in local university courses. IES Abroad courses are taught in French by native French faculty, many of whom are professors at the Université de Nantes. You also have access to the university libraries, computer labs, cafeterias, and sports facilities, and you are welcome to join student clubs and other social and sports organizations. You may also enroll in an art course at the Ecole Superieure des Beaux-Arts (ESBA), or study Business and Communications at the AASCB- and EQUIS-accredited Audencia Business School.
Nantes is your classroom. Visit 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. Take a stroll around town or near the Erdre and Loire rivers and explore what makes Nantes a model “green” city in France. Practice your French while ordering crêpes in the region where they were first made. You can also enroll in a teaching internship, which includes time spent working at your placement in addition to an academic seminar that helps you contextualize what you’re learning.
During your time in Nantes, you stay with a local family who can help you practice your Fench-speaking skills and get to know what daily life in Nantes is truly like. Get around the city on foot, by public transportation, or by bike, as Nantes was named the “biking capital city” in 2015. We want you to feel at home in Nantes, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.
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 institutions enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.
While in Nantes, you take 15–19 credits per semester, and all courses are worth 3 credits unless otherwise specified. All courses are taught in French.
Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional components:
This is a full list of courses offered in Nantes. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings for your term in your MyIESabroad account. The final course list for each term will depend on faculty availability, students interested in each course, and discipline diversity.
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.
The amount of credit awarded by partner institutions varies and depends on the number of contact hours for the course. Course offerings vary from semester to semester, and course listings and syllabi are not available until shortly before the beginning of the academic year.
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. All students will be automatically registered at the Université de Nantes and are encouraged to enroll in at least one university course provided you have the appropriate prerequisites. You may choose to enroll in just one course or you can take the majority of your courses at the Université in addition to your IES Abroad French language class.
Most university courses are assigned 3 credits for a semester. At the Université de Nantes, most courses consist of a cours magistral (lecture course) and a 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. The 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.
Audencia Business Schoolwww.erba-nantes.frConsistently ranked as one of the world’s top 100 institutions for Business & Management, the Audencia Business School is one of France’s elite Grande Ecole institutions, ranked sixth in the nation. Audencia has AACSB and EQUIS accreditation and offers French-taught courses. The Audencia Business School is ranked 6th in all of France and is highly international, with a third of the student body made up of international students.
IES Abroad students have access to French-taught courses within three parts of the institution:
Ecole Supérieure des Beaux Arts (ESBA)www.erba-nantes.fr
Fall and Academic Year IES Abroad students (with priority given to students with experience) may enroll in one course at this fine arts school. 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.
Interning while you study in Nantes gives you a rewarding job experience with a wealth of long-lasting career benefits. You will:
All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. You participate in a 3-credit seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship.
Teaching PlacementsParticipating in a teaching internship in Nantes as part of your study abroad experience gives you the opportunity to learn about the French education system and teach English to French students. No prior teaching experience is required. A teaching internship abroad will help distinguish your application for graduate school or a job opportunity. It’s an exhilarating challenge, and we’re here to help guide you in securing your placement and succeeding in your internship.
You complete at least four hours of supervised teaching each week, and participate in a seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship.
Placements are available in écoles primaires (elementary schools), collèges ( junior high schools), and lycées (high schools).
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.
HomestayLive in a private room with a local family in a homestay. Many host families have been welcoming IES Abroad students into their homes for years. 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.
A portion of your orientation takes place off-site in coastal resort towns, such as Caen, Quimper, or Vannes in the fall; and the city of Tours in the Loire Valley in the spring.
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.
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 and other social and sports organizations.
Even though your adventure starts in Nantes, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. These trips are subsidized by IES Abroad. Here are a few possible destinations:
1 Day | Fall & SpringTour this small, Italian-style town and the Muscadet vineyards of the Nantes region.
2 Days | FallVisit five of the most famous châteaux in the heart of the Loire Valley.
Mont Saint-Michel and Saint Malo
1 Day | Fall & SpringVisit the famous abbey on the island of Mont Saint-Michel and explore Saint Malo, a walled port city on the English Channel.
2 Days | Spring
Visit the historic D-Day beaches and the American Cemetery of Normandy.
IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and length of stay may vary according to term and availability.
About the Center
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.
Anna Shoemaker joined the Nantes Center in the summer of 2016. She brings with her years of IES Abroad experience. Since 2008, Anna has been at the Paris French Studies Center serving in many different roles, ranging from accounting and student affairs to managing customized programs and organizing the internship program. In 2013, she served as Interim Director.
Anna attended the IES Abroad Paris French Studies Program as a student from the University of Texas – Austin, where she received a BA in French, Art History, and Plan II Honors. Anna then went on to complete her Master’s Degree in Training Management from the Université Paris-Dauphine, where she wrote her thesis on training faculty to use learning technology.
IES Abroad Nantes Staff
Béatrice de la BretescheSenior Accountant and Academic & Administrative Coordinator
Eugénie FouréHousing Coordinator
Julie OuvrardAcademic and Cultural Coordinator
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!