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Devin Ryan ('13)

Midland, MI
Majors: International Studies and Management
Minor: French

Reasons to visit Rennes

My time in Rennes through the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) was not only a great time, but also definitely a life-changing experience. The semester began with a three-day orientation in Paris, during which we took a guided tour of the city and visited the Louvre Museum, the Cathedral of Notre Dame and several other cultural landmarks. At the same time, I got to know other CIEE exchange students from all over the United States, people who would later become good friends and with whom I still maintain contact. En route to Rennes, capital of the coastal Brittany region in Western France, we made a stop at the Cathedral of Chartres, one of the most well known gothic Cathedrals in France. This would be the first of several CIEE excursions to other famous sites in France, including the abbey of Mont Saint-Michel and châteaux (castles) of the Loire Valley. Upon arrival in Rennes, I met my host family, the Le Carvennecs, and started another lifelong relationship over a traditional Breton dinner of galettes, a type of crêpe made of buckwheat flour. About a week later, I began courses at the University of Rennes, studying in the part of the university meant for foreign students. I was able to participate in courses alongside students from countries all over the world, sharing a love of learning the language we all had in common. The university offered courses that encompassed nearly any discipline imaginable, with subjects ranging from the evolution of medieval architecture to the different perspectives represented in modern French media. Since the courses were taught entirely in French, I was able to study subjects that interested me as well as improve my language skills. For five months, I had one of the best experiences of my life, with incredible people. I would recommend studying abroad to every one of my classmates. The broader perspectives I gained and numerous relationships I formed while abroad are justification enough for anyone to experience and learn from another culture.