The IES Center in Nantes, France, provides students with an opportunity to study exclusively in French with French professors either at the IES Center or at the University of Nantes, or other local universities. The IES Nantes Center offers courses in art history, history, literature, politics, psychology and sociology, and the local universities offer courses in additional fields such as comparative literature, biology, studio art, music and economics. Nantes is a thriving city of half a million residents on the Loire River, just off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and two hours from Paris. Because Nantes has fewer tourists than many other French cities, it provides a special opportunity for linguistic and cultural immersion, which is reinforced by the IES host family program.

“This program was one of the best four months of my life. I discovered a new independence and confidence in navigating a city, exploring new bars/cafes/restaurants, meeting people, living life in another language. I began to dream in French, think in French. I learned more in the first month than I did in a year of studies of French. Living with a host family is the best option because you will learn culture and practices and have a personal connection to the city.” - Matthew S. '19

Student Blog:

Megan Gleason | Spring 2017

Fields of study:

French language, art history, history, literature, politics, psychology, sociology, and other fields


Minimum cumulative GPA requirement 2.8 (Whitman requirement)

Language Prerequisite:

Four semesters of college-level French or the equivalent


15-19 credits per semester - Required Courses
IES Abroad French language course  (3-4 credits)
French-taught area studies courses at IES Center (3 credits each)
French-taught courses at a local university (optional, 3 credits each)
Teaching internship and seminar (optional, 3 credits)

Credit Conversion:

1 IES credit = 1 Whitman credit


Available in education as English teaching assistants in public schools


In French homes with a host family


Students take breakfast daily and five dinners per week with the family. The remaining meals students prepare or purchase themselves.

Semesters Offered:

Fall, Spring, Academic Year


Late Agust-December; January-April


IES Abroad Scholarships

Program Link:

IES: Nantes French Language Immersion and Area Studies