Liberal Arts in Rennes, France (CIEE)

  • Location: France - Rennes
  • GPA Requirements: 2.75 overall, 3.0 in French Language GPA
  • Other Requirements: 4 semester of college level French or equivalent
  • Application Deadline: February 20 for fall programs and September 20 for spring programs
  • Program Term(s): Fall, Spring
  • Official Website: Liberal Arts in Rennes, France (CIEE)

Program Dates:

Fall 2023: August 23 – December 16

Spring 2024: January 10th – May 18th

Fall 2024: August 28th – December 21st

Where: Rennes

With its population of 60,000 students, Rennes is a perfect setting for study in France. Just an hour and a half west of Paris by train, and 55 minutes from the sea, Rennes is the capital of Brittany. Economically very dynamic, the city is known as a center for technology, and is consistently rated as one of the best places to live in France. The city offers an excellent variety of cultural events and provides study abroad students the opportunity to learn the distinct Celtic traditions particular to this region of France.


This French language immersion program is designed for intermediate to advanced level French students who want to take their language skills to the next level while learning about French culture and society. Prior to coming to France, students take an online placement test. Once on site, they take an intensive two-week language and culture course that includes 30 hours of language and civilization coursework, and 10 hours of cross-cultural analysis and cultural adaptation meetings. Upon completion of the preliminary language and culture course, students are placed in one of six language learning levels, each with a prescribed set of courses at the Centre International Rennais d’Etude du Francais pour Etrangers (CIREFE) at Université Rennes II. All students are encouraged, regardless of their language level, to consider auditing a regular course at the Université Rennes II; however, students in the advanced language levels (C1/C2) may opt to take one or two regular university courses for credit alongside French students. Students agree to speak only French during the program to encourage language and cultural acquisition.

Academic Structure

Students take most of their classes at CIREFE with other international students. Our students often describe their experience at CIREFE as studying at an international school and enjoy this mutually enriching diverse environment and intercultural experience. The average class duration is 2 hours. The average class size is 14-18 students depending on class subjects and levels. All CIREFE courses are taught in French. Université Rennes II classes are open to French students. Advanced CIEE students may enroll in one or two courses at Université Rennes II and must attend lectures, complete assigned work, and take exams as scheduled. Classes meet Monday through Friday. Students usually take 2 two-hour classes per day.

Course Credit

CIEE courses: 2-3 U.S. semester/3-4.5 quarter credits; 30-45 contact hours
Université Rennes II courses: 2-6 U.S. semester/3-9 quarter credits; 26-78 contact hours


For a full list of course offerings, visit CIEE’s website here.


GPA of 3.0 in French language, 4 semesters of college-level French (or equivalent)

Housing & Student Life

Homestays: Students live in carefully chosen French homes in Rennes or nearby suburbs. Host families provide breakfast and dinner, all weekend meals. On weekdays, students purchase lunch at restaurants on campus or at local cafés or restaurants in downtown Rennes.

Apartment: Students may opt to live in a single studio apartment in a residence. Students are responsible for purchasing and preparing their own meals. Studio apartment has a kitchenette equipped with microwave, cooking plates, mini-fridge, dishes & kitchenware.

Fees & Costs

Students pay Allegheny tuition, double room (homestay), meal plan C (if choosing homestay option), and an off campus study fee of $800. Allegheny financial aid, except work study/campus employment, is applied to program costs. Tuition includes housing, international travel insurance (CIEE iNext), field trips, and transcript administration fees. Allegheny students do not have to pay the program deposit requested by CIEE. Estimated additional costs include: weekday lunches, all meals (only if choosing apartment option) CIEE application fee, books and supplies (approx. $100), international airfare & local transportation, visa fees ($450), and personal expenses.

Visa & Immigration information

If you are a U.S. citizen, you will apply for a visa before departing the United States. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact the French consulate in your home country for visa requirements.

Application Process

Allegheny students must apply for approval to study off-campus from the Global Education office AND apply directly to their chosen program.For this program, students should work on the Allegheny approval application at the same time as the host program application. The Allegheny approval application deadline is February 20 for fall programs and September 20 for spring programs. Study away approval applications will be reviewed immediately following the appropriate semester deadline. The separate application deadline to apply directly to this program will vary and could be before or after Allegheny’s approval application due date. Check directly on their website (linked at the top of this page) for deadline information. For more information about the study away application process, please visit the application steps page.