Nantes, France: Year Abroad Program

The Nantes Year Abroad Program has been an integral part of the French Studies program at Trent University since 1978. Join the hundreds of students who have benefited from this life-changing experience of linguistic and cultural immersion, global citizenship, and opportunity to travel throughout France and Europe.

If you have any questions along the way, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will gladly answer your questions. 


Our study abroad program with the Université de Nantes is open to all students, with priority given, in order, to French Studies single majors, joint majors, and minors.

Duration: Two terms (fall and winter). The academic year in Nantes runs from September to April, more or less following the same pattern as Trent.


-Minimum 70% cumulative French average 
FREN 1101H and 1102H (or 1100Y)

Single- and joint-major Honours students

Single- and joint-major Honours students planning to participate in the Nantes Program in their third year should take the following courses in their second year:
FREN 2051H and 2452H


Students should meet with an academic advisor or the Nantes program coordinator early in their second year, or before, to ensure that program requirements are being met. Joint-majors or students in another program should meet with an advisor from their other department(s) too.

Application process 

Trent Application for the Nantes Program for 2020-21 is due no later than Wednesday, December 4th, 2019. Applications will be reviewed in January, and decisions or further selection information will be made available as soon as possible thereafter.

  • The application is available on-line through the “MyTrent” Portal
  • Under the Academics Tab
  • Click on the Trent Year Abroad in Nantes folder on the left column
  • Click on the Nantes YAP file


  • Trent University full-time tuition (minus the ancillary fees) paid to Trent
  • $200.00 Administration fee* due once accepted to the program, March 1st
  • $1,600.00 Program fee* due once an application to Nantes is completed, May 1st

Charges for the Program fee and Administration fee will be applied directly to the student's Trent account.
*Note: Once students are admitted into the program and have accepted their offer, the Program and Administration fees are non-refundable.
It is also recommended that students consider the following when budgeting for their year abroad:

  •  Airfare (A group flight is arranged for all students [recommended], but you may opt to buy your own tickets.) (The usual departure time is on the Labour Day weekend; the return flight is typically booked for mid-April.)
  •  Living expenses (e.g., health insurance, residence [approx €255/month], groceries, transit, cell phone, etc.)
  • Pre-departure expenses (e.g., passport, birth Certificate, 15 (3.5cmx4.5cm) passport-size photos, and visa)
  • Arrival expenses (e.g., Sécurité sociale [approx. €216], carte de séjour, residence damage deposit, etc.)
  • Additional expenses (e.g., books [minimal], travel, shopping, dining out, health insurance, etc.)

You will receive further details on all of the above throughout the spring and summer before your departure for Nantes.


Students going to Nantes are responsible to pay their normal tuition fees to Trent. This allows you to still be eligible for OSAP grants and loans, or for Trent University academic scholarships, you will remain eligible as long as you meet the requirements of OSAP and your academic scholarships.
Financial Aid

Students going to Nantes are eligible to apply for the Trent Study Abroad Bursary Program.

Applications are due May 1st, 2020 and are located on-line through your “MyTrent”

  • Under the Academics Tab
  • Click on the Study Abroad Folder on the left column
  • Click on the Nantes File


Students are required to take four full (i.e., eight half) French courses while in Nantes, with the option of a fifth course. The four core courses and their course codes are listed below. Grades are posted on your Trent Academic Summary in January and May, once grades have been received from Nantes. Grades are reviewed by the department to ensure consistency with Trent grading practices.

Required courses
Students are automatically enrolled in the following 4.0 credits in July for the fall and winter terms. You do not need to register yourself in these courses. 

  • FREN 3053H: Langue et expression écrite / Language and Written Expression (fall)
  • FREN 4053H: La communication en contexte / Communication in Context (winter)
  • FREN 3203H: La vie littéraire française / French literature I (fall)
  • FREN 3204H La vie littéraire française / French literature II (winter)
  • FREN 3306H: La pensée française I / French Thought I (fall)
  • FREN 3307H: La pensée française II / French Thought II (winter)
  • FREN-HIST 3506H: La civilisation française I / French Civilization I (fall)
  • FREN-HIST 3507H: La civilisation française II / French Civilization I( (winter)

There are two options open to students for the fifth course:

1. In Nantes: Students will be offered a variety of courses outside of the Trent-Waterloo program, within the IRFFLE faculty, with other students at their language level (B2/C1). The offered courses are typically made available by the Nantes coordinator during the first or second week of classes. The fifth course will be credited as FREN 4901H/4902H: Lectures dirigées / Reading Course 

2. Online Trent University courses: Students can take online courses offered by Trent University. Students enroll themselves in the course of their choice through My Trent Portal. 


Students generally live in the on-campus student residences (Cité la Bourgeonnière or Cité Launay-Violette). Students will apply for residence during the Nantes registration process and are then informed of their room assignment in their acceptance letters from Nantes. The acceptance letters are typically received in late June or early July.

The rooms are approximately 100 sq. ft. and are furnished with a bed, desk, closet/dresser, and mini-fridge. Each room has a private bathroom. Each residence is equipped with a shared kitchen on every floor or every other floor.

Costs (approximate values based on 2017-2018 academic year):

  • Rent: 255 € (monthly)
  • Security deposit: 280 € (one-time payment, will be refunded if there are no problems)
  • Housing insurance: approx.. 100 € (one-time payment)

Tip! Students are able to subsidize their monthly rent through a housing aid called la Caisse d'Allocations Familiales (CAF). This aid is calculated according to your income and students can apply for this aid once they are in Nantes. 

Pre-departure tasks 

  • Mandatory Pre-Departure Meeting – TBD for March: all day (important information about studying abroad, as well as a Nantes-specific session dealing with the next steps in the process)
  • Nantes Registration - Deadline to submit the final application online (details to be provided by Nantes staff): around mid-May 2020
  • Passports/Visas*

All students must have a valid passport to study abroad. It must be valid for six months after your visa expires in France, so your passport should expire no earlier than early 2022.

If you do not have a passport or it expires before the timeframe above, you must apply for a new passport.
As of November 2018, the passport fees are $120 for a 5-year adult passport or $160 for a 10-year adult passport. The processing time will vary depending on your method of submission. Submitting your application in person always yields the fastest processing time. For detailed information, please visit the official government website.
*If students have dual citizenship in any country within the European Union and hold a valid passport, the visa is not required.

Useful links

Birth certificate – long form and translated into French

A long-form birth certificate (sometimes called Certified Copy of Birth Registration in other provinces) is required for the Carte de séjour (part 2 of the visa application) and the CAF housing aid application.

For those born in Ontario, you must order it from ServiceOntario. If your birth certificate is not bilingual you will need to have it translated before you go by a certified translator (the French Consulate in Toronto has a list of accredited translators)*. In addition, both the original and the French translation of the long-form birth certificate will need to be legalized. The French Consulate in Toronto can legalize these documents for you by appointment; however, they will not legalize a document unless it has been translated by someone on their list of accredited translators.

*Regardless of the translation agency used, please make sure to verify all information on the translated copy to ensure accuracy before bringing it to the consulate to be legalized.

Based on feedback from previous students, the cost of translating the birth certificate was approximately $70-100. The translation service was quite quick, as students normally had it within a couple of days. The cost for legalizing both documents was approximately $20 and the Consulate normally did it for them in person upon appointment.

3B VISA application

We highly recommend that you begin reviewing the visa procedures in May and begin preparing your documents along the way. This is a two-part process. Part one is completed prior to departure and part two is completed once you are in Nantes.

Always follow the procedures provided by the visa pages of the Consulate General of France website. They will provide you with the most up to date information.

The information provided here is simply a supplement to help you prepare your visa application.

Please be aware that neither the Department of French & Francophone Studies nor the Study Abroad Program has any authority or jurisdiction with respect to your visa application.

Applying for a 3B Visa (Inter-University Exchange)
Definition: A visa is a stamp or sticker placed by officials of a foreign country on a passport that allows the bearer to visit that country. Visas are obtained from the proper embassy or local consulates of the country to be visited.

Download the application kit for the 3B visa from the France-Canada Youth Mobility Agreement website. Carefully prepare your application package and submit it to the Consulate General of France of Toronto. Incomplete applications cannot and will not be processed.

You apply for your visa as early as possible after your letter of acceptance from Nantes arrives. Usually, a group visit to apply for the visa in Toronto is arranged for students in May/June. However, since May 31, 2018, application procedures have changed (visa applications have been outsourced), so you will be informed about the process in the spring.

Note: Only nationals of the following countries are exempt from entry and long-stay visa
requirements: Member States of the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA),
Andorra, Monaco, and Switzerland. Go to the France Diplomatie website for more information on visa exemptions.

Informing the Ministry of Health you will be out of Country and will need to revise your Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)

To confirm your continuous OHIP coverage during your temporary absence from Ontario, contact your local ServiceOntario centre before you leave Ontario. You will need to show a document explaining the reason for your absence. The Study Abroad Advisor will provide you with a letter. Call your local Service Ontario Centre prior to going to ensure that process this service at their office, as not all Centre’s provide full services.
OHIP only covers emergency health services at very limited rates. It is strongly recommended that you obtain additional private medical insurance.

Useful Links

Subscribe to travel updates – Global Affairs

Subscribers to the Travel Updates service receive daily emails on the latest updates to our Travel Advice and Advisories section.

Register with Global Affairs

Registration of Canadians Abroad is a free service that allows the Government of Canada to notify you in case of an emergency abroad or a personal emergency at home. The service also enables you to receive important information before or during a natural disaster or civil unrest. You may do so here.

Complete the following administration forms

Online through your “MyTrent” & Blackboard complete:

  • Agreement for Participation
  • Release of Consent
  • Responsibility Waiver
  • Understanding of Academics Conversion
  • Trent Emergency Contact Program
  • Health & Safety Assignment
  • Review the checklist

Once in Nantes

The exchange coordinator from Waterloo or Trent will assist the group during the first week. They will meet you at the airport with a shuttle to take you to campus. Some meetings that take place during the first week are listed below.

Visa Part 2 -- Carte de Séjour

This is the second step of your visa application. Your Visa will be valid for a period of 3 months.
For a stay lasting over 6 months, you will need to obtain a Carte de séjour (a temporary residency card).
The international relations office at Nantes University will help you with the paperwork for the application.
You will need to bring your Long Form Birth Certificate with you from Canada.
Please note: you will have to undergo a medical examination as part of the process to obtain your Carte de séjour. You will also be advised to get a chest x-ray prior to your departure for Nantes.


  • Most stores, including grocery stores, are closed on Sundays.
  • Offices, including residence offices and post offices) are typically closed over the lunch hour (between 12-2pm).
  • A handout containing other advice (from staff and students) will be provided at the pre-departure session in March.
  • A current Nantes student will be assigned to you as a student ambassador. That person can answer your questions about living and studying in Nantes.
  • You will have the opportunity to be associated with a "famille d'accueil" who will introduce you to French life and culture in various ways.
  • Teaching placements (teaching English) in a local high school can be arranged.
  • The Association France-Canada in Nantes will organize various trips and events to allow you to experience Nantes and the surrounding region.

Resources from Université de Nantes