Settling in to life in Nantes

July 7, 2017

We are arriving at the end of a full week, and everyone is starting to feel more at home in Nantes. Friendships have developed, students are becoming more accustomed to the rhythm of the program, and everyone is making progress in French!

To continue on the theme of our afternoon activities this week, we wanted to share a bit more about the sites the students visited this week. You can see pictures here of the giant mechanical creations students discovered at the Machines de l’Ile. Students were able to learn about the literary, historical and artistic inspiration behind the giant mechanical elephant, spider, ballerina, and much more. Students were also able to ride on the three-story carousel’s mechanical underwater creatures. Since the Machines de l’Ile are celebrating 10 years of existence this year, the visit was very appropriate.

The visit to the Museum of the History of Nantes, located inside the Chateau des ducs de Bretagne, was also a popular activity this week. Students were able to explore 32 rooms dedicated to the history of the city and the castle at their own pace. They particularly enjoyed the rooms about how World Wars I and II affected the city of Nantes and its people. Another popular stop during the visit was the virtual visit of Medieval Nantes: using computers, the students were able to compare reconstructions of Medieval Nantes with images from today and see how the city had evolved.

The visit to the Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery was a more somber activity, but essential to understand the complicated colonial and maritime past of Nantes, which was a primary port for the slave trade. Teachers provided materials to students to help them reflect on the monument, its meaning, and how Nantes is addressing its past today.

Students have also been seeing sneak peaks of the Voyage à Nantes, a huge city-wide festival of public art. They will have an opportunity to follow the Green Line, which links the installations with monuments and historical sites, later in the program once the festival is in full swing!

Tomorrow the students are off to visit the Loire Valley castles - we are excited to share more during our next post!

Already a week of adventure in Nantes! A little tour of Nantes! Dancing and exploring in Nantes