France: CIREFE

Recognized as one of the best schools in France for foreigners learning French, the Centre International Rennais d'Étude de Français pour Etrangers (CIREFE) at Université Rennes II offers a completely immersive experience for foreign students learning French. All of the professors are native speakers or have native like fluency.


Program Details

Application Deadlines
Course Information

Students in the program who pass the standard entrance exam of the Université may take courses at the regular university level. In the past, these students have typically studied in the program for the academic year and have taken the exam in the spring.

Academic Program and Grading

All students begin in the Rennes International Center for French Study for Foreigners (CIREFE) at the Université by taking intensive French language classes at their ability level. Each semester, courses are available in general academic areas (history, art history) suitable for students who are still acquiring French language skills.

Whether in the International Center or at the Université, students may concentrate on French language, literature, culture, or may learn the language and take general academic courses (history, art history, literature, other languages, etc.). At the end of each semester, a student typically earns 15 semester credits through the International Center, through the Université, or in combination.

Language and Culture Program

The Language program at CIREFE is divided into four levels:

  1. 1er degre elementaire
  2. 1er degre pratique
  3. 2eme degre
  4. 3eme degre

The 1er degre elementaire consists of 15 hours of class per week and is the most basic level. You will take:

  • Methode (structure);
  • Expression Ecrite (writing and composition);
  • Expression Orale (speaking);
  • Comprehension Orale (understanding); and,
  • Laboritoire and Vie Quotidienne des Francais (culture).

For a more in-depth look at these elementary classes, go to CIREFE for this level.

The 1er degre pratique consists of 15 hours of class a week and is the level most students enter at who have completed a U.S. college-level "Advanced Composition - Conversation" course (such as Nazareth University's FRN 202W). At this level, students take:

  • Methode (structure);
  • Expression Ecrite (writing and composition);
  • Expression Orale (speaking);
  • Civilisation (culture); and,
  • Choose between the following options (one per semester):
    • Litterature
    • Presse
    • Cinema
    • Art Moderne
    • Histoire de France

For a more in-depth look at these mid-to-advanced level classes, go to CIREFE for this level.

*See the CIREFE website for general course information.

Students in the Nazareth Rennes Program regularly interact with other international students, many of whom are in the ERASMUS and SOCRATES exchange programs for the European Union (EU).

To Study at CIREFE

The CIREFE uses a placement test to make sure you are learning at your level of French. All your classmates will be at the same level of learning French, and they will be from all over the world.

At the CIREFE you have the opportunity to dramatically improve your French language ability as well as gain a much wider cultural understanding not only of French culture but of many diverse cultures.

Depending on the results of your French placement, you will be invited to take courses of your choice offered in subject areas such as Art and Art History, History, Literature, and satisfy your Nazareth University PEQ requirements in these fields (seek advisor's approval).

The CIREFE is recognized as one of the best schools in France for foreigners learning French. You may choose to take your Nazareth University language requirement (FRN101 and FRN102 or FRN221 and FRN222) at CIREFE for one semester. 

Views from Abroad

    At A Glance

    Term: Fall or Spring

    Program Level: Undergraduate 

    Program Type: Academic

    Major(s): French Language and Literature

    Language Requirement: None

    Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.5