Rennes, France

Honors French Language & Culture

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Information for term Honors French Language & Culture

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jun 11 – Jul 8, 2023 (4 weeks)
$7,150

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jul 9 – Aug 5, 2023 (4 weeks)
$7,150

Overview

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Are you up for a unique challenge in Rennes?  

While all our Language & Culture programs offer immersion and college credits, this Honors program is for students with the drive to grow their French and cross-cultural understanding to the max! As an Honors student, you will:   

  • Take a language proficiency test to ensure you have enough fluency to speak in French at all times. Only intermediate and advanced French speakers will be accepted. 
  • Honor your Language Pledge to strictly use only French both in and out of class.  
  • In a weekly survey, reflect on your language learning and set goals to stay challenged.  
  • Live in a homestay and go on cultural activities and excursions only with other Honors students. 

Now, let’s switch to French. If you can continue reading the following without a translation tool... 

Inscris-toi aujourd’hui et vis la belle vie à Rennes ! 

Tu n’es pas prêt d’oublier ton expérience à Rennes ! Plonge-toi dans la langue et la culture française, tout en découvrant les traditions bretonnes. Des façades à colombages aux petites rues piétonnes, explore un patrimoine historique riche et vivant. Rencontre des jeunes Rennais de ton âge et goute avec délices aux spécialités locales, à commencer par les crêpes ! De retour dans ta famille d’accueil, chaque soir, partage un repas et les nouvelles de la journée. Reviens aux Etats-Unis avec de nouveaux amis pour la vie ! 

The Take-Aways

  • LANGUAGE GROWTH AND CULTURAL PROFICIENCY

    Come home with a higher level of French and a greater understanding of French culture. Use your STAMP 4S language proficiency pre- and post-test scores to demonstrate your language growth and help you earn a Seal of Biliteracy.

  • COLLEGE CREDITS

    Earn 4 college credits toward your future college degree. Take advantage of the credits to stand out on your college applications or to satisfy college language requirements.

  • LIFE SKILLS AND NEW FRIENDSHIPS

    Return with greater self-confidence, independence, and adaptability. Enjoy a broader worldview and friends of different backgrounds from across the U.S.

  • HOURS OF INSTRUCTION WITH A NATIVE FRENCH TEACHER

    60
  • COLLEGE CREDITS

    4
  • LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE

    1

Location & Culture

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Welcome to Rennes, a charming French city rich in regional identity and off the beaten tourist path. 

Fifteenth-century half-timbered houses with colorful facades, Renaissance buildings, cobbled streets, and cozy courtyards all make Rennes a feast for the eyes. Situated at the confluence of the Ille and Vilaine rivers, Rennes is a gem in France’s northwestern Brittany—a scenic region of medieval villages, rugged beaches, and dramatic landscapes, which you’ll explore on a two-day excursion to the southwestern coast of Cornouaille. 

Rennes—the capital of Brittany—is a blend of the quaint and cutting edge, ranked as one of France's “most livable cities” and a center for digital innovation. Centuries-old traditions—including its own language, Breton—intermingle with a vibrant cultural scene driven by the city’s young and student-friendly population. Rennes has a long roster of festivals—music, cinema, and now gaming—with no shortage of things to do! 

The city holds France’s second largest outdoor farmer’s market, known as the Marché des Lices, featuring local Breton specialties such as crêpes, galettes, and kouign-amann. Bring your appetite, be bold, and explore the city with an open heart and mind! 

CULTURAL AWARENESS 

CIEE wants all our students to feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to succeed while studying abroad. Local CIEE staff have provided details about conditions and cultural attitudes that students with specific identities might encounter in Rennes.

Daily Life

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Daily Life

Monday–Friday 

Each day offers a balance between interactive instruction and cultural activities with time on your own, too. Morning classes and afternoon activities may swap places. 

  • Breakfast at your homestay 
  • Engaging French classes with expert language instructors, all native speakers  
  • Lunch with your fellow Global Navigators 
  • Out and about for authentic conversations in the community and a Cultural Activity  
  • Dinner and evening discussions at your homestay 

Weekends  

  • Overnight or day excursions to top sites 
  • Quality time with friends and everyone at your homestay 

Check out the blog posts to discover more about daily life and excursions on program. 

  • Housing

    Carefully-screened homestay

  • 24/7 SUPPORT

    1 Program Leader for every 12 students and support from local staff

Weekly Learning Goals

WHICH CIEE LEVEL OF FRENCH IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

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CIEE’s Honors programs offer classes only at Levels 2 and 3. Level 2 is for students who can carry on everyday conversations in French, and Level 3 is for those who can participate in discussions on social and academic topics. In the spring before you depart, you’ll take a language proficiency test and when you arrive on site, you’ll participate in an oral interview. How you do on the test and in the interview will identify the level that is right for you. 

CIEE LEVEL 2 / WEEKS 1–4

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Each week, you’ll explore a Theme and create a Project. Each day, you'll advance your French—through activities and discussions in class and through conversations with locals in the community and at your homestay.  

WEEK 1: Settle in and meet your classmates as you explore the Identity Theme. Give information about yourself in interviews, make comparisons, and describe people in a host family tree. For your Project, create and present a Personal Profile.

WEEK 2: Explore French culture during this week’s Creativity Theme. Compare musical performances, express opinions on art, tell what happened in movies, and persuade a classmate to attend a cultural event. For your Project, create a Photo Gallery on French Culture and share it in a conversation.

WEEK 3:  Delve into Rennes in this week’s Discovery Theme. For your Project, create and present a Neighborhood Tour in Rennes. Describe the city and what happens there. Role play scenes in a market and restaurant. Report on Rennes's past and future.

WEEK 4: Consider the impact of your summer during the Personal Growth Theme. Tell what happened in memorable moments and how you felt about it. Make cultural comparisons and persuade a friend to study abroad. For your Project, create a Study Abroad Album and share it in a panel discussion.

CIEE LEVEL 3 / WEEKS 1–4

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Each week, you’ll explore a Theme and create a Project. Each day, you’ll advance your French—through activities and discussions in class and through conversations with locals in the community and at your homestay.  

WEEK 1: Settle in and meet your classmates during the Cultural Encounters Theme. Tell what happened on a first encounter abroad. Summarize past and current events in Rennes. Express your opinions as you compare cultural norms and stereotypes. For your Project, create and present a Field Report on Rennes.

WEEK 2: Explore French culture in this week’s Creativity Theme. Describe street art and profile artists, express opinions on magazines and movies, and compare musical performances. For your Project, create an Arts & Culture Magazine and share it in a conversation.

WEEK 3: Continue advancing your French as you delve into the Discovery Theme. For your Project, create and present an Awareness Campaign about a global threat. Give information on its causes and effects, explain solutions, and persuade others in debates, justifying your arguments.

WEEK 4: Consider the impact of your summer in this week’s Personal Growth Theme. Conduct a class survey on experiences in France and make cultural comparisons. Tell an original story about a memorable moment and speculate on what’s next for you. For your Project, create a Study Abroad Album and share it in a panel discussion.

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs

Activities

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Sample Activities

Just imagine all the fun you’ll have!

  • Dabble in the art of pastry-making with a local chef. Make (and taste!) traditional specialties, such as sablé breton. Bon appétit! 
  • Travel to Mont Saint-Michel, a tidal island and UNESCO World Heritage Site with breathtaking views. Hike barefoot through the wet sands, explore the medieval town, and climb to the awe-inspiring abbey at the top. 
  • Discover Rennes from a new perspective while canoeing or kayaking the canal Saint Martin. 
  • ​​​​​Meander across misty moors, by lakes, and through the magical, mysterious Brocéliande forest, birthplace of Celtic legends like King Arthur and Merlin.  
  • In Rennes, art is everywhere—in museums, galleries, and streets! Tour its vibrant graffiti scene and design your own tags and murals with local street artists. 
  • On excursion, visit quaint Breton towns like the 2000-year-old Vannes, the seaside Concarneau where you can dive into the Atlantic, and the fairy-tale Locronan. Tour the stately castle of Trevarez and its gardens!  

Please note activities are based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when arranging activities is always to enhance your experience. 

What Students Are Saying

  • "It’s a great program that immerses you in the language with a family and classes every morning. There are too many fun experiences to choose a favorite. I loved our visits to castles and beaches, and I loved getting through escape rooms in French. Having to think quickly in French helped me a lot!"

     

    Mason P., Global Navigator Alum
  • "My most memorable experience was being able to not only live in Rennes for four weeks but also visit other cities and learn their history. I also enjoyed all our excursions. They were fun and helped broaden my knowledge of the world around me."

    Ella M., Global Navigator Alum
  • "I think the trip to Mont Saint Michel was very fun and it was awesome seeing not only the castle but the surrounding area too. Loved being able to spend time with friends in such an awesome setting and atmosphere."

    Adam E., Global Navigator Alum
  • "This whole experience has been amazing. I have learned so much about myself, how to interact with people better, and have made so many new memories with new friends. I will remember this entire program in Rennes for a long time and hold it very dear."

    Shea S., Global Navigator Alum

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees

Eligibility

Program open to all current high school students— Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors—who have: 

  • Completed high school French Level 2 or higher by the start of the program, and  
  • Attained a minimum ACTFL proficiency level of Intermediate-Low on the pre-program STAMP test that determines language proficiency. 

Don’t meet the above criteria? See our other French Language & Culture programs in Toulouse and Paris. Pick one as your second-choice program to increase your chances to travel to France next summer. You will be asked to transfer to another program if your STAMP score is too low for the Honors program. Please sign up for the earliest possible STAMP test date. Information about the STAMP administration—including test dates—will be released in the spring.   

For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our Scholarship page

Application Fee

$25

Optional College Credit Fee

$150

Learn more about how to get college credit for your future college degree 

Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insurance, but do not cover the cost of flights.   

More questions? Find answers, get application support, sign up for virtual presentations or contact us.

Program

Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Costs

Summer Session I 2023 4 weeks Deadline Passed Jun 11, 2023 Jul 8, 2023

$7,150

Summer Session II 2023 4 weeks Deadline Passed Jul 9, 2023 Aug 5, 2023

$7,150

Looking for funding?

What's Included

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What's Included

Interactive Classes
Housing
3 Meals/Day
(Dietary Needs Accommodated)
All Ground Transportation
(Once In-country)
Optional Flight Chaperone
(Flight Cost Not Included)
Pre-departure Advice and Orientation
Access to Local Phone and WIFI
All Cultural Activities and Excursions
Comprehensive Medical and Travel Protection
24/7 Emergency On-site Support

Our Staff

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Ready to change your life?