City overview

One of France’s top five best cities for studying, Nantes is a fantastic option to follow a degree abroad. An attractive destination for thousands of international students, as they get to select from numerous accredited programmes, available in French and English as well. Enjoy the vibrant city life and elegant lifestyle of Nantes, one of the most liveable cities in Europe.

Education profile

Universities and higher educational institutions in Nantes offer a wide range of study programmes, available for Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, PhD courses, as well as dual degrees, MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses), Erasmus Mundus programmes and MBA’s.

Most university programmes are taught in French and if you wish to enrol in a French-taught programme, TCF or DALF certificate are the most common accepted evidence for language proficiency.  Some programmes are fully or partly taught in English and TOEIC is the accepted certification for English language proficiency, for international students whose first language is not English.

After enrolment, you can learn or improve your French skills by attending French classes.

Within universities in Nantes, you can opt for study fields like: engineering, technology, political science, languages, art, pharmacy, medicine, accounting, business administration, sociology; interdisciplinary programmes, such as: food industry, sustainable development, marine sciences.

A significant number of university short courses are available, mostly for students interested in subject areas like: social media, marketing, communication, design.

Life in Nantes

Although not having the amazing architecture that you would see in other French cities, everywhere you walk in Nantes, you can feel the typical French elegance and charm. Some of the places that are worth visiting in Nantes are:

  • Cathédrale Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul (or simply “Cathédrale Saint-Pierre”)
  • Église (Church) Sainte-Croix
  • Bouffay district, including the Bouffay castle and cathedral
  • Place du Commerce, the city’s main square, including the Palais de la Bourse
  • Place Royale historical square
  • Place Graslin featuring the world famous brasserie La Cigale
  • Quai de la Fosse (the historical harbour of Nantes)
  • Musée d’Art de Nantes (Nantes’ Art museum)
  • Musée Jules Verne

Nantes has been drawing tourists with quite a unique attraction: Les Machines de l’île amusement park, inspired by Jules Verne’s tales. Here, visitors can ride on three levels mechanical sea creatures: squid and crab on the lowest level, suspended fish on the second and boats and jellyfish at the top, among many other interesting ride machines.

The entertainment scene of Nantes, covering bars, cafés, nightclubs and cinemas is mainly centred in the Bouffay area and the Place du Commerce. Do try some of the local specialties, like the Muscadet white wine, the galettes (a heavier, less sweet version of the crepe) or Curé Nantais cheese.

Working in Nantes

Nantes has a rich and diverse economy that is continually growing. The largest industries of the city are: aircraft manufacturing, finance, shipbuilding, renewable energy, food manufacturing, commerce.

Some of the top employers in Nantes are: Airbus Group, Credit Agricole, Decathlon, Unilever, Lidl, EDF, Carrefour, BNP Paribas, Accenture, Alstom Power, Société Générale.

As the second most successful city in France in terms of employment growth, you will be able to find a large number of internship opportunities available in local companies in Nantes.

Accommodation in Nantes

The CROUS is in charge of managing the university halls of residence. In Bordeaux, it offers accommodation in traditional halls of residence (rooms) or in more recent buildings (studio flats, 2 and 3 bedroom flats).

Rent depends on the type of accommodation. In 2010-201, it was 140€ a month for an individual furnished room and could reach 320€ for a 20 m² studio flat and 700€ for a 55 m² 2-bedroom flat in a new building.There are some thirty university halls of residence in and around Nantes.

Weather and climate

Covering all four seasons, Nantes has frequent rainfalls all year round and cool temperatures. Autumn and winter seasons are generally rainy with cold temperatures and moderate snowfalls in the coldest months. During December and January, the highest temperatures are usually around 9 °C (48 °F). Spring and summer average daily high temperatures are 24 – 25 °C (76 – 77 °F).