Rennes, with a population of just over 220,000 and just two hours west of Paris, is an ideal setting for study in France. The city is known as a center for technology and offers a rich variety of cultural events and activities from theatre, opera, and live music to soccer and hiking. As the capital of Brittany, Rennes also provides students with an opportunity to learn about the unique Celtic (Bretan) culture of the region.
About the Program
The Rennes program, offered through Hobart and William Smith Colleges' affiliation with the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), is based at the Université de Haute Bretagne’s (UHB) division of humanities (Rennes II). The program is taught entirely in French and students are expected to interact with one another, with fellow students, and with their host families in French as well. A cultural orientation begins in Paris and then the program moves to Rennes where all students begin with an intensive language and cultural competency course. Following this course, students choose from a variety of electives ranging from French language, composition, grammar and conversation, to literature, history, cultural studies, and the like.
French language courses are delivered by UHB’s Centre International Rennais d’Etude du Français pour Les Estrangers where CIEE students study alongside other non-native French speakers from around the world. Students with more advanced language skills also have the option of enrolling in one UHB class alongside local French students and may choose from any department at Rennes II.
Students are required to take two language courses according to their level of proficiency, the initial Preliminary Language and Culture course plus another required language workshop during the term. In addition, students will select from a menu of course choices in their own proficiency range. Students will combine a number of different courses worth 14-16 "semester hours" to earn a total of 4 HWS course credits. The following list gives some examples of electives typically available:
Contemporary French Civilization
Techniques in French Writing
History of France
The French Press
Contemporary France through Current Events
French Literature (Poetry, Theatre, Novel)
History of Art and Architecture
Students may also elect a credit-bearing teaching internship in lieu of an elective. Placement may be in an elementary or high school class, and usually involves teaching English as a Second Language.
Students who enroll directly at the University for one course may elect from disciplines such as history, anthropology, art history, sociology, economics, philosophy, and Breton language, to name a few. For more detailed information on curriculum and the Institute, students should review the CIEE website Liberal Arts in Rennes here.
This program is particularly designed for students who wish to major or minor in French and Francophone studies and who are committed to a full immersion experience. However, as the partial list of available electives and internships indicates, this program can contribute to a variety of academic disciplines.
This program is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors in good academic and social standing with a minimum overall GPA of 2.75 and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in French. Students must have completed the equivalent of 5 semesters of college-level French prior to participating in the program. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.
Students will live in French homes, the best way to experience French daily life first-hand. Students have breakfast and dinner Monday through Friday and all weekend meals at their homestay. Meal tickets are distributed for lunches during the week.
The academic program is supplemented by a range of cultural activities and excursions, which include the initial orientation in Paris, visits to museums, a Rennes city tour, theater performances, and group dinners. In past semesters, students have participated in excursions to the southwestern coast of Brittany, the beaches of Normandy, and a tour of the castles along the Loire Valley.
Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and fees, room and board fees, and a $600 administrative fee. This will cover tuition for a four-course semester, health insurance, homestay accommodation, all meals, and program-related activities and excursions.
Additional expenses not covered include airfare, books, visa, and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, ground transportation and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $1000-$1200 from the East Coast, books/other course materials at $225, and visa-related expenses at approximately $230 (note that students are required to apply for their visa in person in New York City and will need to return there to pick up the visa—please budget accordingly, as these trips are not included in the $230 visa estimate.) It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1,500. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation.
NOTE: CIEE has supplemental scholarships available to students who have been accepted to the Rennes program. Please see Amy Teel at the CGE for information on how to apply for these scholarships.
HWS students must complete all components of the Global Education application in order to be considered for admission to this program.
This program is offered every semester.
All components of the application must be submitted online by the published deadline. Specific deadline dates are set each semester and typically will be in October (for Fall programs) and late February/early March (for Spring programs).
IMPORTANT: The handbook(s) below is/are the most recent handbook(s) published for this program. A new version, with updated information, will be made available each semester. Program participants will receive their updated handbook approximately 2-3 months prior to their program’s start date.
FALL HANDBOOK / SPRING HANDBOOK
Please DO NOT MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS until you have received final confirmation of the program start/finish dates for the specific semester you are attending. Dates included in versions of the program handbook intended for previous semesters do not necessarily apply to future programs.
NOTE: The information above is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.
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