A Day in My Life in Rennes, France

Programs for this blog post

Liberal Arts

Authored By:

CIEE Rennes

When I decided to study abroad in France, something I had always dreamed of doing, I knew that my life here would be a lot different than what I was used to in the United States. But knowing that my daily life would change did not scare me, instead, it excited me. I had lived and traveled within the same country my whole life, and I was anxious to see how other cultures lived.  Here in France, I’ve found it easy to have a healthy balance between school, friends and family, and time for myself.  I think it’s safe to say that I enjoy my life in France, so let me take you along on a typical day. 

I usually wake up each morning around 8 or 9 o’clock. On most weekdays, my classes don’t start until 10:45, so I have plenty of time to wake up. Usually, I go ahead and get dressed and ready for the day before I head downstairs for petit-déjeuner. Breakfast was my first big cultural adjustment here in France because in the States, I would go all out for breakfast. I would take advantage of the dining hall, treating myself each morning to eggs, bacon, pancakes, and more. Breakfast has always been my favorite meal of the day. But here in France, breakfast is typically a smaller meal. Usually just a pastry or piece of toast accompanied by your hot beverage of choice (typically coffee). However, I’ve gotten used to only having a croissant and hot chocolate in the mornings, and it’s still a meal I look forward to. 

After I’ve eaten and brushed my teeth, I head to the bus stop. I usually check my phone to verify what time the bus will arrive. The bus stop is about a 3-minute walk, during which I put in my earbuds and shuffle my “French Commute” playlist including but not limited to: Taylor Swift, Boygenius, Gracie Abrams, and Olivia Rodrigo. I take the bus 4 stops to the Gare, or train station. From there, I take the metro 6 quick stops to the university. In total, the commute takes between 15 to 20 minutes, and I enjoy it as a time to listen to music and prepare for my day. The consistency and ease of public transportation here is something I don’t take for granted.

After I exit the metro at the University stop, I walk about 2 minutes to the CIREFE building, where I take all my classes. My classes have about 15 students and last for 2 hours. After class, I usually meet up with a friend and take the metro 3 stops to Saint-Anne, a popular area for students due to its proximity to the university and its variety of café and restaurant options. I usually order my favorite sandwich plus pastry plus drink combination at a discounted price for students. Depending on the day, I’ll either go back to the university for class or head back home for the day. Once I get back home, I usually relax for a bit. I’ll pet my host family’s kitten, Phénix and watch a bit of Netflix before turning to my homework.  I don’t have nearly as much homework as I do at my University in the States, so I rarely spend more than an hour on it. 

My host parents get home from work around 6 p.m. and we eat dinner around 8. Dinner can range from omelets to soup to hamburgers, depending on the night, but it is always homemade and delicious. I enjoy dinner with my host family as a time to talk about our days. It’s a time for me to practice speaking and comprehending French in a very forgiving and risk-free environment. After dinner comes the bread and cheese and then dessert, which for me is typically yogurt.  Once we’re done eating, I put away my dishes then go back to my room to finish my homework if I haven’t already and get ready for bed. I take time to relax before I decide to hit the hay close to midnight.  This concludes my typical day in Rennes, France. 

Lillian ROBINS 

Furman University 

CIEE-Rennes Liberal Arts FALL 2023