SYA France

Rennes, the capital of Brittany, allows you to experience the distinct Breton culture as you simultaneously master the French language and discover France’s place in the world. This lessertraveled corner of the country lets you focus on immersing yourself locally, and yet Paris can be reached by train in less than 90 minutes. French is the language of diplomacy and is considered the lingua franca of art, cuisine, dance and fashion. To complement this scope, SYA offers a wide range of courses, from humanities and environmental science to political science and global studies. All courses are taught in French except for English and math. Learning doesn’t stop in the classroom, however; you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities from crew and choir to cooking and community service. Time with your host family will further hone your skills.

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“I have fallen in love with my French lifestyle and routines from the after-school chats with my host mother, to the familiar routes to school and volleyball practice. I even catch myself wanting to slip French into my English conversations as it has become second nature to constantly speak it as much as possible. This year has truly been the best experience of my life.”
– Mary Grace,  France ’19, Norfolk Academy, VA
“My host family, my friends and my school have made this year in France one of the best of my life, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to study abroad with SYA France. For any rising sophomores, juniors or seniors reading this, I strongly advise you to apply to this program. I truly had the experience of a lifetime.”
– Katherine, France ’18, Providence Day School, NC
“At SYA, I had the opportunity to learn about something and then see it reflected in the real world through class trips, cultural experiences and simply exploring Rennes. It was powerful to learn something in the classroom but also understand its real-world applications through my own eyes. I also had the chance to delve into subjects - politics, and art history - that I am deeply interested in but did not have the opportunity to explore at my home school.”
– Defne,  France ’18, The Thacher School, VA



Quick Facts about SYA France:

  • SYA France located in Rennes, the capital of Brittany and a two hour train ride from Paris. 
  • The school opened in 1967, housed in a converted mansion and is a short walk from the majestic Thabor Park, a green oasis of calm in this vibrant college town.
  • Students typically take six classes; all but English and math are taught in French.
  • Students must have studied through the second year of a rigorous high school French curriculum to be considered for admission.
  • Ample co-curricular, artistic, musical, athletic or service opportunities are available to best meet student interests. Tennis, soccer, dance, music and choir are popular and several SYA France alums have played at the local conservatoire in recent years.
  • SYA France has a range of options that allow students to immerse even more directly in the community via language and culture exchange with local retirement homes.
  • Opportunities are available for participating in Model United Nations, the Global Issues Network and News-Decoder for the globally-minded student.

SYA France News

It's Just the Beginning

Stella M. summarizes her time in France in her final blog and thanks her Rennes community for an incredible year.

Many Thanks

For her last blog, Ella thanks everyone and everything that has made her year in Rennes special.

Trip to Marseille

Harrison W. writes about his recent class trip to the south of France.

Springing Into Capstones

No single class or activity captures the SYA experience quite like the capstone project. Not only does it provide students an opportunity to put their evolving skills to the test, it also gives them a chance to dive into a single topic that captures their imagination and interest.

Les Vacances de Paques

Stella M. lists her favorites experiences while traveling with her class on spring break.

Ella's April Vacation

Ella S. writes about helping plan a trip to Calanques, a natural park in the south of France.

Sun’s Out in Rennes!

After a grey and rainy winter, Stella writes about how Rennes transforms in the springtime.