2015 PROGRAM DATES: June 24 – July 23, 2015
Please go to the Forms page for forms and necessary paper work for the program.
Rennes is a fascinating blend of a center of higher education and a rich tradition of legend and history. This capital of Brittany is a town of over 300,000 which is home to many universities and institutes and to electronics and telecommunications industries. In its historic center there are architectural reminders of its long history, from a portion of the medieval gate to the lovingly restored 18th century Parlement to the most modern of shopping centers. Rennes is both a modern city--only two hours from Paris by high-speed train--and a town attached to its Celtic roots. Rennes has had a sister city relationship with Rochester for more than 40 years and has long welcomed UR students to study . A short distance away are landing beaches of Normandy, the port city from which Cartier sailed to the new world and the ancient abbey of Mont St Michel. As one of the students remarked, "It was perfect for our study. It’s small enouigh so that it’s not too overwhelming, but large enough to not get bored."
The UR program is taught by an MLC Faculty member. Students meet every weekday in a building located in a picturesque cobblestone street in central Rennes. Intermediate and more advanced students have a morning language and culture class, part of it shared and part divided in the appropriate levels. The French language classes include discussions of French culture and contemporary issues in the historical context of France, Brittany and the city of Rennes. While students also use an American grammar text as a reference, the daily newspapers and the ambiant culture provide part of the French course materials.
Afternoons and evenings are usually free for exploring the city, enjoying its cafes and restaurants, parks and markets. Along with a guided tour of the city, planned activities always include a stop at the lively Saturday morning market with a peek at the bridal parties gathered around City Hall, a visit to the Fine Arts Museum and the museum of Breton life. Weekends are free for personal activities, family excursions or an occasional optional trip to a nearby site of interest. The Fête de la Musique, an all-France, all-day and all-night musical festival, takes place every year at the Summer Solstice. Throughout Rennes there are groups performing rock and rap, classical and experimental, all of it free
Students receive 6 credits for either FR 157 or FR 207, "French in France," depending on prior language experience. Either course counts toward the French major or minor, and each is part of the Humanities Cluster: "Introduction to French Studies."
One year of college French or the equivalent.
Students are welcomed in the homes of host families in the city and the nearby suburbs. Breakfast and dinner and all weekend meals are offered by the families who in the past have included our students in family parties and vacations, weddings and christenings. All the students in 2000 agreed with the student who spoke of her family as "warm and extraordinarily affectionate. They definitely made the biggest contribution to my French progress."
When students arrive in Paris they are met by the program director and are housed in a hotel in the lively Latin Quarter.
Three days are devoted to a group orientation to all things French: food, language, customs and the stunning sights of the City of Light. On the itinerary are visits to the Gothic jewel of the Sainte Chapelle and Notre Dame de Paris, the ruins of a Roman arena and the 19th century engineering marvel that is the symbol of Paris, the Eiffel Tower. A short distance outside of Paris are the magnificent chateau and gardens of Versailles built for Louis XIV. Students may also pursue individual interests among the sights and attractions of one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
Once settled in Rennes students have weekly excursions which are an integral part of the curriculum. There are visits to the medieval abbey of Mont St Michel, perched on a rock in an estuary since the 13th century. American history is recalled on an expedition to the landing beaches of Normandy, the awe-inspiring American cemetery nearby and the Peace Museum in Caen. Shorter trips will be made to an intact castle in Vitré and to one of the mysterious megalithic monuments called menhirs which are found all over the region. Other visits in the past have included a Breton butter cookie factory, a working farm and a horticulture school and an automobile manufacture. The precise scheduling will depend on factors like the French calendar and the schedule at the Institut Franco-Américain which hosts the program, providing the classroom, the family placements and practical arrangements.
The program fee (TBA) includes hotel accommodation and some meals in Paris, all local transportation and museum fees, round-trip fare on the high-speed train from Paris to Rennes, homestay (with breakfasts, dinners and weekend meals), and instruction, excursions, some meals and the gala farewell dinner. Transatlantic airfare, incidentals and most lunches are not included in the program fee.
The application deadline for the program is January 23, 2015. Applications received after the deadline will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Applications may be obtained from the Forms page on this website. Write or call the Director Cilas Kemedjio (Telephone: 585-273-5346)
The Modern Languages and Cultures Mildred R. Burton Fund helps defray costs for UR undergraduates studying language abroad in the summer. Applications are due January 23, 2015, and may be obtained from the Forms page on this website.
Information about this program is tentative and subject to change. Please check with program director for most recent information.