UCLA Travel Study

ELTS: Exploring Sustainability in Nantes, France

*2024 Program Information Coming Soon!*

This summer program offers a unique opportunity to explore how Nantes, a green capital of Europe, started its journey on becoming part of the solution to climate change and how its citizens actively support their city’s sustainability.  Protecting the environment and promoting sustainability are challenges both at the global and local levels. These complex issues interweave many different aspects: scientific, cultural, urban, political, and more.

Students will dive into Nantes’ experimentation and, through community engagement, will learn about Nantes’ sustainable choices. They will meet and directly interact with the citizens who are actively involved in the life of their city. They will study the city’s complex history and layered identity to understand how the city decided to create a more sustainable present and future. They will explore unique local ecosystems, which are essential for the protection of biodiversity: le Parc naturel régional de Brière and les Marais salants de Guérande.

This summer program promotes values that embrace a sustainable future, respectful of cultural diversity and identity. We will build an international community comprising UCLA students and French citizens invested in environmental issues. To reach this goal, students will work on strengthening their knowledge of the French language in order to forge meaningful connections with the people of Nantes and the region.

Scholarships:  To help cover the cost of the program, the Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies (formerly French and Francophone Studies) may be able to offer limited scholarships based on merit and need. See the Scholarships page.


Program Courses

All students will select one of the following curricula while attending the program:

  • Curriculum I – Intermediate French
    • FRENCH 4 (4 units)
    • FRENCH 5 (4 units)
  • Curriculum II – Advanced French
    • FRENCH 135* (4 units)
    • FRENCH 140* (4 units)
      *Note that course numbers & titles have been updated effective winter quarter. Course content and descriptions did not change.

Course Descriptions

Curriculum I

Prerequisite: One year of college French (French 1-3) or equivalent

French 4: Intermediate French (4 units)

French 5: Intermediate French (4 units)

French 4 and 5 emphasize the development of oral skills through readings and discussion of current socio-cultural topics as well as the study of excerpts of La Forme d’une Ville by Julien Gracq on the city of Nantes. Students will discuss issues related to climate change, the 17 UN sustainable development goals, and the Nantes’ actions to become a green city. Students will also explore Nantes’ complex past. A fast-paced review of grammatical structures helps students speak and write with accuracy.

Curriculum II

Prerequisite: Two years of college French or equivalent with instructor’s approval. (B average required in previous French courses.)

French 135: Eco-Citizenship: Encounters with Eco-Citizens (4 units)

This course aims to introduce students to key concepts (i.e. eco-citizenship) in the field of the environment, climate change, and sustainability through the lens of the local culture of the city of Nantes. Students will learn to communication in a professional manner. They will practice their newly acquired language skills and knowledge by interacting with the local population. They will organize meetings and discussions with the Nantes community in order to deepen their understanding of Nantes’ commitment to sustainability. In order to support sustainability, which includes cultural diversity and multilingualism, this course will be taught in French.
*Not open to students who have completed FRENCH 165.

French 140: Nantes: Shape of City (4 units)

This course invites students to take a stroll in the streets of Nantes and across time. We will explore different neighborhoods and learn about projects designed to support the city’s development while respecting the environment and improving its inhabitants’ well-being. We will study the city’s rich but difficult past and how it informs the city’s sustainable choices. It will help us understand how and why the city was the first French city to be elected European Green capital in 2013. In order to support sustainability, which includes cultural diversity and multilingualism, this course will be taught in French.
*Not open to students who have completed FRENCH 170.

Optional Course

French 199: Directed Research (4 units)

If desired, students may choose to enroll in one FRENCH 199 course in addition to the two required courses. There is an additional fee for this independent study course.

Students can enroll in optional courses by submitting the Optional Course Registration Form, as well as proof of instructor consent, to info@ieo.ucla.edu. You can enroll up until the Friday of the second week of your program.


Please refer to the course syllabus for grading details.


You are responsible for purchasing your own textbooks. Information about required texts will be sent to participants in the spring.

The texts ordered at the UCLA bookstore and Course Reader Material should be available by June 1. If you cannot come to the UCLA campus, please call the UCLA bookstore (310) 206-0791, and Course Reader Material (310) 443-3303, to arrange for shipment.

Budget and Financial Aid

Budget UC Undergrads UC Grad Students Visiting Students
Program Fee $6400 $7000 $7000
Textbooks (estimate) $150 $150 $150
Airfare (estimate) $1800 $1800 $1800
Meals (estimate) $1000 $1000 $1000
Spending Money (estimate) $800 $800 $800

Program fee includes registration and course fees, accommodations, program excursions and health insurance.

Airfare, textbooks, optional courses, meals, and any COVID-19 testing required for travel are additional.

Fees are subject to change by action of the UC Regents. View full fee disclaimer.

Document Fee

Non-UCLA students will be charged a $50 Document Fee. This is a one-time document fee which covers fees for first-class mailing of official transcripts, diploma and much more. Please visit the Registrar’s Office Website for more information. Matriculated UCLA Students: Please visit the Registrar’s Office Website for document fee information.


All undergraduate students will be charged a $61 IEI fee per summer. The IEI (Instructional Enhancement Initiative) fee is a course materials fee that is charged in order to support the use of technology in undergraduate education at UCLA. For more information please click here.


We recommend that you budget accordingly to cover optional sightseeing, laundry, Internet cafes, emergencies, etc.  How much to budget depends on your travel, entertainment, and souvenir choices. It is always best to overestimate your spending. Take the time to research the cost of living in your destination and the activities you want to participate in while abroad.

Purchasing Airfare

Please do not purchase airfare until instructed to do so by your Travel Study Program Coordinator.

Optional 199 Course Fee
Optional 199 UC Undergrads UC Grad Students Visiting Students
Course Fee $279 per unit $349 per unit  $360 per unit

Fees are subject to change by action of the UC Regents. View full fee disclaimer.

Financial Aid

Financial aid for Travel Study programs is available to qualified UCLA students. All other students should inquire about financial aid at their home institution. For details about the financial aid application process, please visit the Financial Aid section of this website.

On Location

More About Nantes…

Nantes, located in the Western part of France, is the first French city to have been elected the 2013 European Green Capital. The European Union created the European Green Capital Award to promote and reward efforts to fight climate changes. For the past twenty-five years, the citizens of Nantes have been committed to developing a sustainable future for their city. At the heart of this project is an eco-neighborhood named ‘l’Île de la créativité’ (the isle of creativity). Formerly the location of a shipyard, the buildings that were factories are reimagined and rehabilitated to become sustainable multicomplex housing private residences, classrooms, restaurants, art galleries, and office spaces, among other things, for the locals.


Students will reside in aparthotels with kitchette space.  All housing is double occupancy.

UCLA Travel Study reserves the right to change housing location. Should this be necessary, we will arrange comparable accommodations elsewhere.


No meals are included, however, there are numerous eateries and markets nearby.  Students have the ability to cook in their rooms.

If you have strict dietary requirements, this program may not be able to accommodate your needs. Please let us know when you apply for this program if you have any special dietary needs as well as any physical or medical conditions. We will advise you accordingly.


This program includes several excursions as part of its curriculum. A full schedule of excursions will be available at a later date. We recommend you review the following websites for more information about locations you may visit in and around Nantes.

Limited free time is built into this program for independent sightseeing. If you plan on traveling extensively after the program concludes, we recommend that you budget additional spending money.

Program Video