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Application Information

Download application forms here.

Mail to:
Nazareth-in-Rennes Program
Nazareth College of Rochester
4245 East Avenue
Rochester NY 14618-3790

For More Information

Email Dr. Candide Carrasco, program coordinator or call the Center for International Education: 585-389-2371

Rennes Video

Are you thinking about studying abroad in Rennes? If so, please click here to view an informational video.

General Program Description

The Nazareth program in Rennes, France, offers students the optimal setting to learn language effectively, take a wide range of courses and participate in professional internships. French majors/minors and non-majors study for one academic year or for one semester (fall or spring). The Université de Rennes is home to 60,000 students from France and hosts annually more than 450 students from at least 45 countries. Living with host families helps students learn to speak quickly.

Program Highlights:

  • Students learn French quickly, as few Americans are at the University. Also, daily contact with host families encourages students to speak French in an accepting environment.
  • The Université de Rennes has one of the best International Student Programs in France, with strong student support to help adjust to the new academic and cultural life.
  • The City of Rennes is a major population hub and the capitol of Brittany. It has numerous major cultural events to fit student needs: International Music and Jazz festival; a National Theatre; annual festivals.
  • Rennes lies just 90 minutes by train from Paris. Soon, the bullet train - TGV - will put students within 60 minutes of downtown Paris.
  • Rennes is a Sister City of Rochester NY, and students studying with the Nazareth Rennes Program benefit in many cultural ways from this city-to-city connection.


Program Details


Students regularly attend a year or semester at Rennes in their junior year. In some cases sophomores are accepted, based on their academic performance and ability to work independently abroad. Normally, students have at least two years of college level French language and can negotiate simple language transactions. In some cases the Universite de Rennes, together with Nazareth College will accept students with minimal French language ability. The minimum acceptable grade point average (over all GPA) is 2.70. Students with little French preparation should expect to present evidence of promise in the language and other courses.

Students from other colleges and universities are welcome to apply to the Nazareth Rennes Program. In these cases students must acquire from their home campus: 1) formal approval to study in the Program; and 2) the home campus promise of acceptance of the study-abroad credits in transfer. All students must show evidence of good character and must agree to conduct themselves as representatives of Nazareth College, of their own country and to respect the dignity of others in our global environments.

Course Information

Courses at the Universite

Students in the Program who pass the standard entrance exam of the Universite may take courses offered at the regular university level. In the past these students have normally studied in the Program for the academic year and have taken the exam in the spring.

Academic Program and Grading

All students begin in the Rennes International Center for French Study for Foreigners (CERIFE) at the Universite by taking intensive French language classes at their ability levels. In each semester courses are available in general academic areas suitable for students who are still acquiring good language skills (History, Art History).

Whether in the International Center or at the Universite, students may concentrate on French language, literature and culture or may also learn language and take general academic courses (History, Art History, Literature, other languages, etc.). At the end of each semester, a student regularly earns 15 semester credits through the International Center, through the Universite or in a combination of both.

Language and Culture Program

The Language program at CIREFE is divided into four levels: 1er degre elemenraire, 1er degre pratique, 2eme degre and 3eme degre. The 1er degre elemenraire consists of 15 hours of class a week and is the most basic level. You will take Methode (structure), Expression Ecrite (writing and composition), Expression Orale (speaking), Comprehension Orale (understanding), Laboritoire and Vie Quotidienne des Francais (culture). (For a more in-depth look at these elementary classes, go to CIREFE for this level.)

The 1er degre pratique consists of 15 hours of class a week and is the level most students enter at who have completed a U.S. college level at the "Advanced Composition - Conversation" course (Nazareth College, FRN 202W). Here students will take Methode (structure), Expression Ecrite (writing and composition), Expression Orale (speaking), Civilisation (culture) and have a choice between the following options (one per semester): Litterature, Presse, Cinema, Art Moderne or Histoire de France. (For a more in-depth look at these mid-and-advanced level classes, go to CIREFE for this level.) See the CIREFE website for sample class syllabi for the 2eme degre and 3eme degre.

Nazareth Rennes Program students regularly interact with other international students, many of whom are in the ERASMUS and SOCRATES exchange programs for the European Union (EU).


Internships at the Nazareth Rennes Program are semester-long, credit-bearing courses that follow academic criteria applicable at Nazareth College.

Students interested in an internship may be placed with one of several major French companies located in Rennes. Internship positions are available in the business sector and in non-profit organizations. Internship appointments usually require a functional command of French, but companies often want to have students with good English speaking and writing skills. Any formal business courses or job experience will be a plus for students.

Students studying for the academic year (2 semesters) can be placed into an internship that more accurately reflects their professional interests. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Nazareth Coordinator of the Rennes Program to discuss their specific interests.

Semester Schedule

Students may choose to attend either semester or the entire academic year. The academic calendar for the Rennes Program roughly follows the academic semester calendar at Nazareth College: September 1 - December 15; Jan 10 - May 15. Students usually travel together to France and spend most of the first week in Paris. All Paris accommodations, meals and tours are included in the program cost. In Rennes, students spend the first week with professors in program orientation. Students then enter classes with other students in the International Program and take courses in language and culture. Students who can pass the language entrance exam may take additional courses in the regular university curriculum.

Students have the opportunity to travel on weekends and national holidays, to round out their cultural education. Those who wish to remain in Europe at the end of a semester may do so, provided they have made their own arrangements for accommodations and travel.

Costs and Financial Aid

Nazareth Students pay the on-campus cost for the Nazareth Rennes Program and continue to use their financial aid package and payment plan, except for Room Grants which are only available for on-campus housing.

Visiting Students to the Program will be assessed the standard semester fees for the Program in addition to a modest administrative Fee.

Students will be provided with a cost estimate for out-of-pocket expenses for the semester or year. Nazareth College does not include the cost of travel to and from the study site in its list of charges to the College for study abroad.

Room and board are covered in Rennes from the time of arrival until day of return, excluding the January break for full year students or times when students are traveling on their own. (Students may wish to remain in Rennes during the winter semester break but must first come to an agreement in advance with the host family. In this case they may have to pay an agreed-upon daily fee directly to the family.)

Federally subsidized loans can be used for the purpose of study abroad through Nazareth College. In addition, all students should apply for outside scholarships and grants to supplement their support resources. Annually, numerous travel and study stipends available to U.S. students go unused. Go to "Student Scholarships for Study Abroad."

Undergraduate students matriculated at Nazareth College are eligible for all financial resources for which they would qualify if they were studying on the Nazareth College campus, except for the Room Grant which is only available toward on-campus housing. Detailed information is available in the College Catalog or in the Financial Aid Office, Smyth Hall, Room 132 (tel. 585-389-2310). Visiting students are advised to consult with their home campus Financial Aid Office for any other support they may receive from their institution. There is no opportunity for students to receive U.S. Federal "work study" funding while studying in Rennes.

The Refund Policy is accordance with the Bursar's Office of Nazareth College (585-389-2033).

Transportation and Documents

Nazareth College does not include the cost of travel to and from the study site in its charges for study abroad. Since the program begins in Paris, all students are advised to fly on the together to be met at the airport by the Program Coordinator. Students accepted to the program will be provided with travel information.

Each student must possess a valid passport that should remain valid for at least six months after the estimated return to the United States. Study in France presently requires a study visa. Once admitted to the Nazareth Rennes Program each student receives the appropriate visa documentation, who must then complete it and return it to the appropriate French consulate.

Normally, it is not necessary to obtain special medical documents. It is necessary to take proof of health insurance coverage. Students may wish obtain an International Student ID card, although one will be provided through the University program in Rennes. It is advisable to take a valid student ID from the home campus.

Living Accommodations

The Nazareth Rennes Program houses all students with host families in the Rennes area. The family atmosphere provides the best kind of environment to learn the idiomatic spoken language. Students also learn about French culture at meal time and on special family occasions. The commuting distances from the host family homes to the university area are quite reasonable.

About Rennes

Rennes is a major city in France and is the capital of Brittany in northwest France. The region, rich in tradition and history, is known for its religious art and Celtic mysticism. The industrial base in and around Rennes is supported by electronics, food processing industries and telecommunications firms.

The city proper counts more than 330,000 inhabitants and is home annually to more than 60,000 students. The university and other research institutions host over 3500 people in basic scientific research. The cultural life of Rennes is rich, with its rock festival in December, a film festival in February and midsummer twilight shows featuring concerts and plays. Rennes is a place where "intelligence meets culture."

The old European character of the city makes it a comfortable place to live and learn about French culture. Students can easily go by public transportation or on foot from their homes to the university area, to their internship sites and to surrounding shops.

Living in Rennes

Students accepted to the Nazareth Rennes Program are provided with an orientation booklet that introduces topics such as: university life; family life; culture shock; friends; travel; money; safety; clothing; etc.

Rennes is a mid-sized city with a large city atmosphere. A student orientation session in Rennes at the beginning of study will introduce students to the layout of the city and local transportation. Students will learn about the best places to eat and buy personal items and how to get to the major cultural venues (concerts; plays; restaurants).

Quick transportation to and from and from Rennes is usually with the national train service (SNCF). Travel inside the city on public transportation is available for students at a reduced rate.

Paris and Other Cultural Tours

Students regularly arrive together by plane in Paris and are met by the Program Coordinator. The first four days of the program are spent in Paris, where all the regular expenses are covered by the cost of the program. Students take tours of the main sights, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and the Musee d'Orsay, the Latin Quarter and its famous churches (St. Sulpice, etc.), Mont Martre, the shopping district, Ile de la Cite and Notre Dame Cathedral.

There is also a day trip to the Palace at Versailles. On one evening students eat at an upscale restaurant to become introduced to the art of fine French cuisine. While in Paris, students become acquainted with the transportation routes, such as the METRO, the local rail connections and the major train stations for transfer to Rennes and other parts of France. (Rennes is only 60 minutes away by the high speed TGV train system. The Program includes some group tours during the semester.

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