Summer Travel Study Program: Exploring Sustainability in Nantes, France

Protecting the environment and promoting sustainability are challenges both at the global and local levels. These are complex issues interweaving many different aspects: scientific, cultural, urban, political etc…

This summer program offers a unique opportunity to explore how Nantes started its journey on becoming part of the solution to climate change and how its citizens actively support their city’s sustainability. 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.

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. It can build an international community comprising UCLA students and French citizens who are invested in environmental issues. To reach this goal, students will work on strengthening their knowledge of the French language, which will allow them to forge meaningful connections with the people of Nantes and the region.

For more information, please contact Laurence Denié-Higney.

A ZOOM Presentation was held on October 8, 2021 to discuss this and other UCLA European Languages and Transcultural Studies travel programs abroad. The video can be seen below: