Located about 2 hours west of Paris and 45 minutes from the coast (Mont Saint Michel, Saint-Malo), Rennes is the vibrant capital city of the region of Brittany. With a population of 400,000, including over 60,000 college students, Rennes is youthful and dynamic and is seen by the national press as one of the best places to live and study among France’s largest cities (1st city in the magazine ‘‘20 minutes’’ ranking, February 2016).
It offers the advantages of a large city, including modern sports facilities, museums, restaurants and cafés, great public transport, and plenty of arts and cultural events, while still feeling friendly in size. On Saturday mornings, you can stroll through one of the largest markets in France, the Marché des Lices with nearly 300 vendors, and buy produce and all sorts of other foods. Take in a soccer match at Roazhon Park, go ice skating at Le Blizz, catch a show at the Théâtre National de Bretagne, or spend a sunny day at one of the many parks such as the Parc du Thabor or Gayeulles. And don’t forget to enjoy the traditional Brittany dishes: galettes and crêpes in one of the many crêperies.
With over 60,000 students in the city, there are two main campuses that make up the University of Rennes: Rennes 1 and Rennes 2, and there are a few dozen other specialized schools that have partnerships with colleges in the U.S. such as INSA (Engineering School) and ESC Rennes School of Business.
At Rennes 1 students study :
And the Rennes 2 campus is for those studying:
If you come to study French, you will most likely be on the Rennes 2 campus.
These universities offer a wide variety of programs for coursework that will count toward most degrees. The study abroad office on your campus can help you select the courses you need for your degree requirements. It will be similar to a normal course load (about 16 credit hours) you would have in the United States.
Fall terms at most French universities typically run September through mid-January, and spring terms late January through early June. You’ll need to check with each prospective university for exact dates.
Our goal is to have gospel-centered student-led movements that are built through authentic relationships. Though Catholicism had major influence throughout the history of France, a great majority of young people today are completely indifferent or profoundly ignorant of the gospel because they have never had meaningful exposure to it. Of the 66 million people of France, only about 1% are dedicated Christ-followers. Young people in France are confused and looking for hope for the future. Traditional family structures are breaking down and unemployment is high. With the rising presence of Islam and the recent influx of refugees, the French are grieving the ever-changing nature of their cultural identity. But all of this has left many students looking for answers, and they are spiritually open.
Your mission would be to build relationships with students at your campus and residence hall and get them connected to our city-wide French movement. You’d be invited to take part in small group Bible studies, on-campus evangelism, bi-monthly “Refresh” meetings for Christian students, community-building events, prayer, and outreach to the homeless. We’d love to get to know you and learn how you’d like to serve with the particular heart and gifting that God has given you!
Check out our Agapé Campus Rennes Facebook Page and our website to get a glimpse of the life of our group.
In addition to weekly events there are also seasonal weekends, conferences and mission trips to help you grow in your walk with Christ, get you connected to students in other cities, and give you opportunities to learn how to share your faith.
Although host families may be an option with the study abroad program of your university, we’d encourage staying in a student residence. Relationships can develop so naturally there and they can be great mission fields! Here’s a link to the site for information (in French) about student residence housing.
Even if fluent French is not required, it will be good to know the basics of French to be able to communicate well and integrate more quickly. Most French college students speak some English but may be shy with it. It may take some time for them to build trust and dare to speak English.
The cost of tuition and fees varies by each campus and by the university you currently attend. If your university has a direct exchange with a campus in Rennes, the tuition will be similar to what you are currently paying. Check with your school’s study abroad department for pricing; they will be helpful in the process.