Autumn in Nantes

Next Offered
Autumn 2024

The Department of French and Italian Studies offers an autumn quarter program at the University of Nantes in France. Nantes is the capital of the region named Pays de Loire and the old capital of the Bretagne areas. It is a beautiful city where almost 500,000 people live.  Nantes is a dynamic, culturally rich city, only 2 hours away by train from Paris. There are no prerequisites for this program. Students with or without previous French language skills can apply. This program will be offered in Autumn quarter 2024.

Program Description

This program takes place in Seattle's sister city of Nantes, France, and allows students to take French language classes on the campus of the University of Nantes, while living in dorms with French and international students. Beside classes, the program entails three field trips (Mont-Saint-Michel, the castle of Chenonceau, and a tour of Brittany), as well as weekly or bi-monthly (depending on the size of the group) conversation classes at the home of the on-site coordinator. Thanks to the academic and social nature of the program as well as to its length, students are able to be fully immersed in a French-speaking environment, and experience living in one of France's most dynamic cities for four months. Students take classes on the campus of the University of Nantes (a longtime partner of the University of Washington, home to some 38000 students.) Classes take place at the i-FLE (Institute for French as a Foreign Language,) which is part of the SUL (Service Universitaire des Langues.) Language assessment at the beginning of the quarter allows for placement in courses at the appropriate level (CEFRL levels B1 through C2). The CEFRL or Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is increasingly used worldwide to construct pedagogical approaches, allow for the assessment, measure progress as well as outcomes for students studying languages. Students obtain 15 UW credits at the appropriate level and can satisfy language or other requirements of a number of majors and minors (French minor and major, Linguistics minor and major, European Studies major, JSIS major, etc.) The 10 weeks + length of the program also satisfies study abroad requirements for majors such as European Studies.  

Prior to the beginning of the fall IRFLE program, you will be required to participate in a short pre-session program in Paris and Nantes, which will be arranged by the UW. You will receive more detailed information after you have been accepted to the program. 

During the fall term, you will participate in excursions and various cultural events. Some of these activities will be offered and organized by the UW on-site coordinator who will stay in Nantes for the first week of the program. A two-person team of local coordinators will be available for assistance and conversation classes throughout the semester.

Spring Semester Option

Students who have completed the UW's fall semester program in Nantes have the option of continuing with their studies in Nantes during spring semester (winter and spring quarters). Interested students can do so in two different ways: continue studies of French language for foreigners at the IRFLE, or participate in a direct exchange at the University of Nantes. For further information about these programs, please contact the UW Study Abroad office or Program Director Hélène Vilavella-Collins at

Program Status