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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Rennes, France
  • Program Terms: Fall Semester, Spring Semester
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: Merrimack applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Semester 2019 09/28/2018 10/26/2018 TBA TBA
Fact Sheet:
Areas of Study: French Housing Options: Homestay
Language of Instruction: French Minimum GPA: 2.8
Class Standing: 3-Junior, 4-Senior
Program Description:
Semester Program


RennesWith six levels of French instruction and a stunning city to explore, the Rennes Liberal Arts Program is the place to put learning on fast-forward in Brittany and come home more fluent. Inspire and enrich your studies with visits to beautiful parks and gardens, medieval landmarks, cathedrals, and more in this unspoiled area. Join the thousands of students who are already here – and see what makes Rennes perfectly French.

Created in 1971, this program is geared for students with intermediate- to advanced-level French skills who want to perfect these skills, and improve their knowledge of French culture and society with a combination of French language and content courses.

Students register for courses on site at the Centre International Rennais d’Etude du Français pour Etrangers (CIREFE), a department within Rennes II that teaches French language and content courses to international students. Students may also to take regular courses at the Université Rennes II (humanities) which offers courses in 12 departments.

Courses and Credits

During the first couple weeks, students in the Rennes Liberal Arts Program take an intensive CIEE language and culture course that includes 30 hours of language and civilization coursework and 10 hours of cross-cultural analysis and cultural adaptation seminars.

Immediately following this, and once placement adjustments are made, students register for CIREFE/Université Rennes II courses.
  • Students are required to take the core language courses in their level.
  • Otherwise, they are free to choose the elective courses enumerated in the CIEE course catalog in that level.
  • The normal load is 18 credits per semester.
Students are placed in one of six levels, depending on their performance on the placement examination. Each level has a prescribed set of courses. Since placement is determined after arrival, students should have their Merrimack language advisor evaluate courses at all levels for credit.

For course listing, descriptions and some syllabi, go to the Rennes Liberal Arts Program page and scroll to Curriculum (under ACADEMICS) at the bottom.

If you would like to get a course approved, print off the form NEW GEO Course approval form.pdf. Take the completed form and syllabus to the appropriate department chair. Make sure that you return that course approval form and syllabus to the GEO.

TRANSFERRING OF CREDITS: All credits taken abroad come back as transfer credits. Grades will be reflected on the transcript, but not figured into the student's cumulative GPA. Students must earn a 'C' or above for credits to transfer to Merrimack. Please note carefully that most of the courses taken abroad are only 3-credits rather than 4 as at Merrimack.


rennes housingHOMESTAYS: Students live in carefully chosen French homes in Rennes or nearby suburbs. Host families provide breakfast and dinner, all weekend meals, and Internet access. On weekdays, students purchase lunch at restaurants universitaires on campus, or at local cafés or restaurants in downtown Rennes.
MEALS: All meals except weekday lunches are provided by host families. Students are responsible for lunches in town on weekdays.


Merrimack students attending a CIEE semester program pay Merrimack's Global Semester costs which cover covers tuition, program costs included, housing, and international insurance for the semester. 2018-19 Fees include:
  • Global Semester costs: $24,830
  • Additional program fee: $3,300
  • CIEE Fall 2018 scholarship for Merrimack students: $1500
  • Total Fall Fees: $26,630
  • Total Spring Fees: $28,130
CIEE has scholarships and grants for which Merrimack students should apply. See their Scholarships & Grants page.

BILLING: Payments for the semester abroad are made to the Bursar's Office per usual. Students should discuss payment plans with the Bursar's Office. For additional billing questions, please contact the Bursar's Office: Room 12, Austin Hall,,  978.837.5310.
FINANCIAL AID: Merrimack institutional aid is recalculated for the semester off-campus**. When students return to campus, Merrimack aid returns to the on-campus rate. We encourage you to consult the Financial Aid Office early on to see what this recalculation might mean for you. Office of Financial Aid 15B Austin Hall,, 978.837.5186.

**N.B. NCAA scholarships and Federal Aid are not affected by this recalculation.
  • CIEE Application Fee: $50
  • Weekday lunches not included
  • International Airfare:  $1,200
  • Local Transportation: $200
  • Books & Supplies: $200
  • Visa fees: $165
  • Personal: $2,900


Students interested in studying in a GEO program must first apply for permission to study abroad through Merrimack's Office of Global Education (GEO). To qualify Merrimack students must be:
  • Second-semester sophomores and above
  • In good academic standing with a minimum 2.8 cumulative GPA, and 3.0 GPA in French language + 4 semesters of college-level French (or equivalent)
  • In good disciplinary standing 
To apply students must submit the following by March 9, 2018:
  • Online application
  • Faculty reference (form included in online application)
  • Student affairs reference (form included in online application)
  • An Interview with GEO staff to be conducted soon after the application has been submitted, or during the week of March 12th.
After students have been approved by the GEO for semester's study abroad, they may proceed with CIEE's online application.

CIEE's Application deadline for Fall 2018: April 15, 2018