SYA France at 50

The evening receptions have reached capacity.
We are now on a waitlist. Please contact with any questions or complete the registration form to be added to the waitlist.
Thank you!

Join us in Rennes! March 24-27, 2017*

The founding of SYA France in 1967 and this milestone anniversary

Join SYA leadership, faculty, alumni, parents, host families, students and friends to reminisce and learn more about SYA France today

SYA France’s success in educating more than 3,000 SYAers over 50 years in Rennes

*As you make your travel plans, consider being in Paris on Tuesday, March 28, as we plan for optional group activities. More details to follow.


The evening receptions have reached capacity.
We are now on a waitlist. Please contact with any questions or complete the registration form to be added to the waitlist.
Thank you!

Join the waitlist today

Things to know:

  • Please note that we have reached capacity for the evening receptions. Waitlist registrations will be made on a first-come, first-served space available basis.
  • While the evening receptions are for adults, we have indicated family-friendly activities throughout the weekend program, which children under the age of 16 are welcome to attend as our guests.
  • Hotel and other helpful information to plan your trip can be found under Where to Stay, Where to Eat and Things to Do.
  • SYA regrets that it is unable to process any refunds. In the event of a cancellation, we can designate your payment as a donation to the Annual Fund.

See Who's Registered

Wonder which of your classmates or former faculty have registered, curious to see if your host parents are attending or would you like to encourage your classmates to join you? Please contact

See the guest list

Highlight Of Events

*Please note that times are subject to change.

Friday, March 24, 2017
Architectural Walking Tour of Old Rennes
3:00 p.m. | A faculty- and student-led architectural walking tour of Old Rennes to help reacquaint you with some old favorites and discover some new!
Family friendly

Mayoral Reception at Salons de l'Hôtel de Ville de Rennes, Place de la Mairie
6:30 p.m. | Join fellow alumni, faculty, parents, host families and local dignitaries as we celebrate the shared history of 50 years in Rennes, congratulate members of SYA France’s first class — the Class of SYA France 1968 — and honor the longstanding relationship with our French families.
For ages 16+

Leadership Recognition Dinner
8:30 p.m. | By special invitation
The Board of Trustees honors past and present leadership donors at a private dinner.

Saturday, March 25, 2017
Back to School: Classes with Faculty
8:00 a.m. | From French literature to history to language, go back to school for a lesson in today’s classroom as faculty expound on some of their favorite topics specially designed for you. Schedule to be provided. Class descriptions to follow.
Family friendly as space allows

Gastronomic-Guided Tour of le Marché des Lices
11:00 a.m. | Calling all food lovers, gourmets and culinary enthusiasts: the second largest open-air farmers market in France will get your taste buds tingling. From cheese to vegetables to oysters, we’ll explore a wide variety of foods from the best that Bretagne has to offer. Be sure to pick up a galette saucisse or kouign amann.
Family friendly

Open House at l’Institut Franco-Américain
TBD | The original home of SYA France, students attended classes here from 1967 until 1981 when SYA moved to its permanent home, Villa Alvarez. The longstanding partnership with the Institute continues today. For over 50 years, the Institute nurtured relationships between French citizens, Americans and lovers of American culture, to improve mutual cultural understanding.
Family friendly

Gallery Talk with J.P. Lemée at the Galerie DMA
4:00 p.m. | Attend a special, limited capacity gallery talk on the “Stoc An Vrac’h” exhibition, which brings together a summary of the past, present and future from Jean-Philippe Lemée. Following the talk, the group will walk to l’ Opéra for the Soirée de Gala.

Soirée de Gala at L'Opéra de Rennes
6:30 p.m. | The celebration culminates with the SYA France 50th Anniversary Reception at the grand Opera House. The festivities began with cocktail dînatoire and socializing before taking a seat in the performance hall for a formal program highlighting five decades of SYA France.
For ages 16+

Sunday, March 26, 2017 - Exploring Bretagne
In addition to the formal program, SYA is developing three optional per-person, fee-based excursions. To help us with planning, when you register please select the activity that interests you most from the list below. We will notify you when registration is opened for these activities.

Mont St. Michel
Travel to Mont St Michel by bus and be transported back to the Middle Ages to one of France’s most iconic images. From the slender spires, stout ramparts and rocky slopes of Mont St. Michel rising dramatically from the sea, enjoy an SYA guided tour and exploration of this fortified abbey steeped in art and history.

Omaha Beach and Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial
Travel by bus for an SYA guided tour of these historic landmarks of U.S. and France and history. Little evidence of D-Day remains as today Omaha Beach is a peaceful place with a beautiful stretch of golden sand.

A Day in Rennes
From Parc du Thabor to Musée des beaux-arts to Place Sainte-Anne, join a student-led tour through the centuries exploring the many charms of Rennes.

Monday, March 27, 2017
Café, Croissants and Conversation
8:30 a.m. | Over café et croissants, you will hear from students who will have just returned from a Global Issues Network Conference in Luxembourg and an opportunity to join the conversation about SYA's most recent undertakings and plans with President Tom Hassan and members of the Board of Trustees.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - Exploring Paris
Consider joining fellow SYAers in Paris after the weekend celebration. During the day you will be able to select from optional fee-based excursions. Enjoy the “City of Light” at night as we end the SYA France 50 celebration at the Ambassador’s Residence. We will notify you when registration is opened for these activities.

Daytime Excursions
Maison de Verre

TBD | Join us for one of two one-and-a-half hour docent-led tour of the architecturally and historically significant glass home built in the 1920s and painstakingly restored by its owner, American architectural historian Robert Rubin FR’70. Each tour is limited capacity and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Museum Tour
TBD | Stay tuned for details on a docent-led tour at one of the museums. Art historian John Finlay FR’68 will be our guest commentator.

An Evening in Paris
6:30 p.m. | Save the date for a cocktail reception celebrating 50 years of SYA France at one of Paris’ historic buildings. An invitation will be emailed to include more information after January 20. Please note that space is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Where To Stay

Below are just a few of the hotels in Rennes and Paris available for your stay.
In Paris, SYA has secured a limited room block at the Marriott Opera and Renaissance Arc de Triomphe for the evenings of March 27 and 28. Reservations must be made by February 20 and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Cancellations are non-refundable.


Novotel Spa Rennes Centre Gare
22 avenue Janvier

Mercure Rennes Centre Parlement

1 rue Paul-Louis Courier

Hôtel de Nemours

5, rue de Nemours

Balthazar Hotel and Spa
Rue du Maréchal Joffre


Marriott Opera Ambassador Hotel

16 Boulevard Haussmann
Choice of 1 King or 1 Queen or 2 Singles
235 eur/night
Book here

Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe

39 Avenue de Wagram
Choice of 1 King or 1 Queen
255 eur/night
Book here

Where To Eat

We’ve put together this list of some of the favorite cafés, crêperies, bakeries and restaurants as shared by faculty, students and alumni.

Things To Do

We’ve put together this list of some of the favorite places to visit as shared by faculty, students and alumni.

Travel Tips and Map of Rennes

Need a refresher on how to get from Paris to Rennes? Where to park a car? This list and map of Rennes should help you. The map includes locations that will be visited during the celebration weekend.

Host Family Project

Ever wondered if your French family hosted additional SYA students? Help us build an historical list of France families. Fill out this form to help us build that SYA French host family tree.

France Favorites
What were some of your favorite cafés, crêperies, or other places in Rennes that you savored? Share your favorite spots and who knows, they may end up on a walking tour!

Please contact with any questions.