Normandy: studying in the great outdoors!
Ever been tempted to study with the seaside close by? If so, then why not choose Normandy as your destination? This lush green, forward-looking and internationally-inclined area of France is situated just 2 hours north-west of Paris …
Le Havre: a seaside town on the rise, a town that takes care of its students
This seaside town, located in the Seine-Maritime region and totaling 172 000 inhabitants, is home to the French aeronautical industry, with cruise ships that are the envy of the world constructed here, as well as French army plane carriers.
Le Havre: the perfect strategic location
Situated between the northern waters and the Atlantic Ocean, Le Havre can lay claim to being France’s number 1 port for external trade and container traffic, as well as number 5 in all of Europe.
The victim of WWII bombings, the town had to be completely re-built, hence its distinctively industrial urban look nowadays. The current architectural style is especially renowned due to the UNESCO World Heritage status conferred in 2005. Le Havre is also a seaside resort that boasts a 2km-long beach just 500kms from the town center, the EM Normandie campus being situated just 200m from the marina.
A sporting and dynamic place to be
With its 2kms of beach Le Havre is the perfect nautical resort for practicing all kinds of watersports. In fact, Le Havre is one of the most prominent spots in France, thanks to dominant winds, the south and north-west being perfect for practicing kite-surfing or windsurfing. The beach is also ideal for other types of leisure activities, including France’s largest open-air skate park, a volleyball court, a bowling green, and a cycling track.
Le Havre has a student community of over 12 000, 18% of whom are international students and all of whom enjoy highly pleasant living conditions and a host of cultural, intellectual and sporting activities.
An ambitious “Plan Campus” is underway, the aim by 2020 being to bring together several institutions (including EM Normandie) on the same Quai Frissard site, a highly attractive location bordered by river basins and greenery.
Support for student projects
- The town hall has implemented a service designed to provide methodological, material, logistical or financial assistance to student projects that provide impetus and value to town life.
- Costing €5, the FED’LH card (the Le Havre federation of student associations) provides a number of reductions with partner stores in town.
Welcome all international students!
Around the school and in town you will find services designed to welcome you and help you settle in, especially regarding administrative tasks (residence permit, social coverage etc.).
A hectic cultural life
All year long Le Havre offers its inhabitants a varied program of events and festivals hosted at its 10+ theaters and show venues: “Dixie Days” (jazz concerts by the sea, in June), “UpTown” (music and theatre, in April), MoZ’aïque (world music), « Zestivales » (street art, in July).
A comprehensive transport network
The Le Havre public transport network offers a full service comprising bus, tram, cable car, regional express lines, and bicycles (the latter supported by a significant cycle track network and associated services). Students in Le Havre benefit from reduced rates.
Easily accessible accommodation at affordable prices
Accommodation is one of the many assets Le Havre has to offer. A wide choice of affordably-priced studio apartments (monthly rent of €300-€350 on average) makes it one of the easiest university towns in which to find accommodation. On a more general scale, the CROUS de Rouen organization has close to 5500 accommodation offers across 25 university halls of residence in the Normandy area.
Caen: a town steeped in history, where tradition and dynamism meet
Perfectly located between Paris and the UK and just a stone’s throw from the ocean, the capital of the Calvados region provides a rich blend of historical heritage and economic, cultural and student dynamism.
A historical center offering luxurious living conditions
One of the highlights of the town has to be the castle of William The Conqueror, from where you can trace the entire history of Caen, from the 10th century to present day. The pedestrian center (in particular the quayside, Saint-Sauveur square and the medieval district of Vaugueux) and the many stores are the perfect places to amble around, whether you’re heading towards the harbor or heading in the direction of the town hall. History enthusiasts will especially enjoy the Mémorial de la Paix, a museum that re-traces the famous Battle of Normandy.
The economic capital of the region
With close to 200 000 inhabitants, the town of Caen remains the driving force behind the Normandy region and is home to major corporations from a variety of industries:
- Automobile (Renault Trucks, P.S.A., Robert Bosch Electronique, Valeo)
- Agri-food (Agrial)
- Micro-electronics and ICT (France Télécom R&D, NXP (formerly Philips semi-conductors), Net Centrex R&D)
- Logistics and distribution (Carrefour, Système U)
- Medical and pharmaceuticals (Groupe Batteur, Schering-Plough and Glaxo Wellcome productions)
- Stationery (Groupe Hamelin and its renowned “Oxford” and “Super conquérant” brands)
Evenings out and festivals galore!
With a student population of over 33 000 (almost 3000 of whom are international students), Caen is also a major university town, one that lives night and day via its many restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. The Caen student carnival, which every year is attended by several thousand partygoers, has been the must-see local event for the past 120+ years.
All year long a series of festivals are held one after another in and around Caen.
- Nördik Impakt (electronic culture, in November)
- Les Boréales (artistic creations from Nordic countries, in November) ;
- Plus… “Escales” (jazz, at Ouistreham, February); “Les Papillons de nuit“ (rock, at Saint-Laurent-de-Cuves, May), “Viva Cité “ (street performances, at Sotteville-lès-Rouen, June), the Festival Beauregard (French and international rock, at Hérouville-Saint-Clair, July), “Jazz en baie “ (at Mont-Saint-Michel, July-August)… And not forgetting the festival du Cinéma américain at Deauville (September)…
The practical side to Caen
A comprehensive transport network
The Twisto network comprises 30 bus lines and 2 tram lines across the town of Caen.
Easily accessible accommodation
The CROUS de Caen organization totals over 4000 accommodation offers in Caen and Hérouville-Saint-Clair, as well as partnerships for students with public and private lodgings in various neighboring towns.