France, Rennes | St. Lawrence University Patti McGill Peterson Center for International and Intercultural Studies

France, Rennes

Qualified St. Lawrence University students have the opportunity to spend the fall semester in Rennes, studying at the CIEE study center on the Université Rennes II campus. The campus is located one mile northwest of downtown, just an 8-minute metro ride from the historic center, and hosts 24,000 students, including 1,500 international students from all over the world. Created in 1971, this program is aimed at students with intermediate to advanced level French skills who want to perfect these skills, and improve their knowledge of French culture and society with a combination of French language and content courses.

The beautiful city of Rennes lies at the intersection of the Brittany region’s major routes and two rivers. Part of French history since before the Roman era, evidence of ancient times remains and Celtic traditions are still strong. Today, the city is a tech center with many cultural events – from festivals to opera to soccer. The high percentage of students keeps the city lively, and Paris is only one hour and thirty minutes by train.

  • Based in Rennes
  • Fall semester only
  • Pre-requisites: Overall 3.0 GPA; 3.0 GPA in French language , 4 semesters of college-level French (or equivalent)
  • All courses taught in French
  • Live with homestay families

Apply to Rennes, France

Location     Academics     Co-curricular     Housing     

Calendar     Orientation      Program Contacts


The program is based in Rennes, capital city of the region of Brittany in northwestern France. Rennes has about 700,000 inhabitants of which over 60,000 are students. 

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Students register for courses on campus in Rennes, after they have completed an online language placement test, at the Centre International Rennais d’Etude du Français pour Etrangers (CIREFE), a Rennes II department that teaches French language and content courses to international students. Students with Advanced Level French may also to take one or two regular courses at the Université Rennes II (Humanities) which offers courses in 12 departments.Students usually take between 16 and 18 credits per semester - which include required French language & culture classes plus three to five elective classes. More information on course offerings can be found here.

Required courses:

Students are required to take the core language courses in their level. During the first couple weeks, students take an intensive language and culture course that includes 30 hours of language and civilization coursework, and simultaneously attend 10 hours of cross-cultural analysis and cultural adaptation seminars. Immediately following this, and once placement adjustments are made, students register for CIREFE/Université Rennes II courses. 

Elective courses:

Students can take three to five CIEE or CIREFE elective courses in their level. All students are encouraged, regardless of their level, to at least consider auditing a regular course at Université Rennes II.

CIREFE provides appropriate levels of language instruction to all foreign students, while preparing them to participate in regular French university classes. Students are placed in one of six levels, depending on their performance during the placement examination. Each level has a prescribed set of courses. 

Course credit from CIEE's Rennes Republic program transfers back to SLU, provided students have received course approval from the department chair of the particular academic department in question. This process is explained at program orientation.

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  • CIEE incorporates experiential learning into the curriculum and conduct field trips to various French sites such as Normandy to visit the World War II Memorial and D-Day beaches, visiting the picturesque commune of Pont-Aven in Brittany to follow in the footsteps of French post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin, visiting the Mont St. Michel, a UNESCO World Heritage site, attending wine conferences and tastings, soirées interculturelles, and more. 

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Students stay with carefully chosen French families in their homes in Rennes or nearby suburbs  Students are expected to be sensitive to cultural differences and open to understanding and sharing fully in the life of the French family. As a norm, the families host only one student and provide an individual room. Host families provide breakfast and dinner, all weekend meals, and internet access. On weekdays, students purchase lunch at restaurants on campus or at local cafés or restaurants in downtown Rennes. Students receive a lunch stipend.

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Fall 2021 Dates: TBA

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Pre-departure: The CIIS office organizes in depth orientation sessions on-campus prior to the students participation in the program. This includes a program specific session(s) in which the students will learn more about the program, local culture, academic expectations, and any other important information. There is also an orientation session lead by the CIIS office on culture shock, and what to expect, as well as safety and security while abroad.

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Program Contacts

If you are interested in learning more about the Fall France program please contact one of the following people.


CIIS OfficeKaren Smith, Director of Off-Campus Programs - Questions about eligibility, program logistics, and other off-campus opportunities.

Faculty CoordinatorDr. Eloise Brezault - Questions about program academics.

Apply to Rennes, France 

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