IES Nantes

  • Location: Nantes, France
  • Language of Instruction: French
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Class Eligibility: Sophomores, junior and seniors


The once vital port city is now a leader in technology and international industries, and was recently ranked one of the best cities in France for quality of life. Nantes is located at the mouth of the Loire River just 30 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. The city is rich in tradition, offering a quintessential image of French society. The IES Center occupies two floors of a 19th Century residential building that is a few steps from the city’s historical center. It is the only permanent American study abroad program in Nantes and allows ample opportunity to practice French.

  • Requirements

    Sophomores, junior and seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or higher may apply. Students must have completed four semesters of college-level French (intermediate or the equivalent). Students must have taken an appropriate level French course no more than one year prior to the program start date. Some university courses may not be available to sophomores. Students must also enroll in an appropriate-level IES French language course. Students must sign a language pledge that they will speak only French. The application requirements can be found on the IES website.

    Academic Credit

    Each semester, students must carry 15 semester credit hours. Students are not permitted to take less than 15 credits unless they have the permission of their dean and advisor in advance. Major, minor, and concentration transfer credit will only be granted for courses in which students received a grade of a C or above. French Majors/minors must take the majority of their courses in French at one of the Universities. Non-French Majors/Minors must enroll in at least two courses at one of the Universities. There are no English options in this program! Students with intermediate level French or above are expected to take courses at the University. Students must pre-register for a university with IES prior to departure.


    IES courses in French Language, Art History, Comparative Literature, Economics, French, History, Literature, Music, Political Science, History, International Business, Literature, Theater, Political Science, and Sociology. Courses are available in humanities and social and natural sciences (Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Physics. Lab component must be arranged in advance) at the Université de Nantes, Ecole Polytechnique de l’Université de Nantes, Fine Arts courses in Drawing, Painting, Sculpture and Photography at Ecole des Beaux Arts, Audencia (Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Nantes), and Conservatoire National de Région.

    Course Highlights

    Africana Studies, Anthropology, Art History, Archaeology / Archeology, Architecture, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Classics, Comparative Literature, Computer Science, Drawing, East Asian Studies, Economics, Education, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Feminine & Gender Studies, Film, Fine Arts, French, Geology, Health Studies, History, Instrumental Instruction, Language and Literature, Latin American Studies, Law, Life Drawing, Linguistics, Literature, Management, Math, Music, Painting, Peace & Conflict Studies, Philosophy, Photography, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health, Religion, Sculpture, Sociology, Theater

    Note: Changes occur frequently. Students are responsible for finding the classes they need and consulting the official site of the institution.

    Review the Full Academic Requirements for Studying Abroad

  • Non-Academic Overview

    Orientation: Includes travel outside of Nantes and one-week intensive language course before the start of courses.

    Number of Students: Approximately 50-60 students attend each semester.

    Housing/Meal Plans

    Students are housed private rooms with local families who live close to  downtown Nantes and the IES Abroad Center and students are able to travel easily on public  transportation or by foot. In order to facilitate immersion, only one IES Abroad student is housed  with each family in a private room. Host family provides breakfast daily and 5 evening meals per  week. Housing is not provided between semesters. Academic year students who remain in Nantes  during this period are responsible for arranging and paying for their own housing and meals during  this time. Haverford students may not opt for housing not arranged by the program.

    Opportunities / Cultural Events

    Cultural Activities: Visits to museums, factories, or exhibitions are arranged twice a month. The IES Abroad Social Coordinator (a local university student) arranges Franco-American social encounters, which include weekly conversation club for French and IES Abroad students. These events give students the opportunity to become familiar with and better integrate into the local French student community. IES hosts a French Culinary Exchange during the spring semester.

    Field Trips: Throughout the year, IES Abroad organizes several one and two-day trips to surrounding sites and cities. The cost of these trips is included in the program fee.  Previous field trips have gone to the Loire Valley, Mont Saint-Michel and Saint Malo, Normandy, and Clisson.

    Teaching Internships: Experience French culture, gain new insights and further professional goals by applying for an IES Abroad internship! Internships are offered in teaching and are offered as academic options earing IES Abroad academic credit. IES Abroad offers you the opportunity to work as a teaching assistant in French ecoles primaires (elementary schools), colleges (junior high schools) and lycees (high school). Priority is given to students receiving home school credit for a teaching internship placement. The internship requires at least four hours of supervised teaching each week and students are evaluated by both the teacher and the school principal. In addition, students must enroll in the accompanying Teaching Internship Seminar (1.5) hours per week) and are required to prepare a research project in connection with the course. Haverford has approved this credit through the Education Program.


Program Notes: Strict “French Only” policy applies at all times; students must speak French for the entire program. Upon enrolling in the IES Abroad Nantes, students are automatically registered at the Université de Nantes, and have access to university facilities, including libraries, computer labs, cafeterias, and sports facilities and are welcome to join student clubs such as the University Chorale Society and other social and sports organizations.

View Scholarship Information

Apply to Study Abroad!

  • Semester/Year
  • Science/Math/Pre-Health/CompSci Approved
  • Semester I: Early September to mid-December
  • Semester II: Mid-January to mid-May
  • Year: Early September to mid-May
Application Deadlines
  • Semester I: March 1
  • Semester II: October 1
  • Year: March 1
Faculty Contact

Koffi Anyinefa

David Sedley