elephant of the machines

Studying in Nantes

Studying at L’École de design Nantes Atlantique

L'École de design Nantes Atlantique is situated in Nantes, one of the major French cities. It is located in the heart of the creative district, on the Île de Nantes, in a new building with a unique architecture, a place where students can study and socialize, open to the city and to the world. This new location reinforces the position of L'École de design Nantes Atlantique among the leading international design schools.

Nantes, an attractive metropolis

Nantes is located about 50 km from the Atlantic coast, and 2 hours from Paris by high-speed train.

A major economic and higher education hub

Nantes is the second city in France for job creation, and in particular in the digital economy. It has been awarded the French Tech label and was designated European Capital of Innovation in 2019.

The city is recognized for its economic dynamism but also for the excellence and influence of its higher education courses, which makes it a leading national and international hub of activity. Agribusiness, aeronautics, biotechnology, information technology, digital and creative industries are all developing sectors that are constantly looking for new talent.

Brahim Yaqoub

A hive of cultural activity

The cultural life of Nantes is abundant:

  • The Machines de l'Île (and its famous Great Elephant) - an exhibition and events space open all year round - are located right next to the buildings of L'École de design Nantes Atlantique; 
  • The "Voyage à Nantes" lets you discover works of art in the public space; 
  • Major events also punctuate the daily life of the people of Nantes, such as La Folle Journée, Hip OPsession, Les Rendez-vous de l'Erdre and the Scopitone festival...
  • Many museums such as the Museum of Arts, the Museum of Natural History, the Musée Dobrée or the Château des Ducs de Bretagne

A green city that's a great place to live and study

For many years, Nantes has been one of the top French cities for quality of life. It has many parks and gardens (including the magnificent Jardin des Plantes in the heart of the city or the amazing Japanese Garden on the Île de Versailles), waterways, historic buildings, bicycle paths...

View from the terrace

The Ile de Nantes: a place of culture and innovation

The Ile de Nantes is an effervescent site, emblematic of the city, which hosts many economic and cultural actors (startups, artists' collectives, exhibition halls, theaters and concert halls, bars and restaurants).

The school is located in the heart of the Quartier de la Création, which aims to promote synergies between higher education, research and the entire creative ecosystem. With nearly 5,000 students, this district has become a creative campus of international reference.

under the naves in Nantes
2024 - Le P'tit Guide / Practical guide

A new building, more opportunities for creativity

m² of floorspace
m² of manufacturing space

machine workshops, ceramics, resin/molding, flexible materials, paint booth, publishing/screen printing space, laser cutting and 3D printers

  • Media studios (sound, filming, motion capture, digital workshop) for media production and digital experimentation,
  • More than 120 computer workstations in Mac and PC environments, and rooms equipped with Cintiq screens,
  • A Learning Lab: a space for educational experimentation for students and teaching teams,
  • Design Labs to connect research, training and innovation,
  • A 180-seat conference room,
  • Project studios with 20 to 40 seats,
  • Rooms for plastic arts,
  • Classrooms for lectures and courses,
  • A cafeteria where students can eat and relax
Agora of the school seen from above
Agora seen from above
Agora seen from above

Student life in Nantes

The city of Nantes has an extremely wide range of educational opportunities and has nearly 60,000 students. Within the creative campus on the Ile de Nantes, L'École de design Nantes Atlantique aspires to be open to the world and to welcome more and more European and international students. L'École de design Nantes Atlantique has been awarded the "Bienvenue en France" label, attesting to the quality of its welcome for foreign students..

The school's association activities

The Students' Office (BDE)

The BDE organizes events, sports and cultural activities throughout the year for French and international students. It is particularly active at the beginning of each school year to welcome new students to the school. A group within the BDE specifically deals with international students: it organizes activities and ensures that everyone is included in the school's activities..

A group within the BDE specifically deals with international students: it organizes activities and ensures that everyone is included in the school's activities..

The Alumni Association

Alumni is the association dedicated to the former students of L'École de design Nantes Atlantique. It aims to promote them by highlighting their careers and creating a network of exchange and expertise. It has a community platform called We design.

BDE (student office) of L'École de design Nantes AtlantiqueMembers of the student council for the year 2022-2023

Practical information

Coming to school

Nantes has a network of buses and tramways throughout the city (La Tan). Several lines serve the creation district: 

  • tramway line 1 (Chantiers Navals stop), 
  • busway 5 (Prairie au Duc stop).

Students can purchase annual passes, monthly passes or per-ride tickets (transport is free on weekends):

  • Monthly ticket (under 26): 34 €. 
  • Monthly ticket (over 26): 57 €
  • Annual pass (under 26): 227 € (10 payments of 22,70 €)
  • Annual pass (over 26): 500 € (10 payments of 50 €)

For those who prefer soft mobility, the city has many bicycle paths and a network of self-service bicycles. A bike park is located in front of the school.

Finding accommodation in Nantes

As a student city, Nantes offers a wide range of accommodation (from private owners or real estate agencies) or residences for an average rent of 350 to 500 € per month.

To facilitate your research, L'École de design Nantes Atlantique provides access to an accommodation platform studapart for rent or for sharing. With Studapart, you can access hundreds of exclusive and verified offers for periods of 1 to 24 months near your campus but also throughout France during your search for internship. From the rental file to the reservation of the accommodation, all the steps are done online. If you don't have a guarantor living in France, Studapart can be your guarantor for the whole duration of your rental. To be eligible, all you have to do is submit your ID and proof of admission on the platform. A multilingual team awaits you at booking@studapart.com.

It is also possible to find accommodation via the website of La Nantaise d'Habitations which currently manages over 13,500 homes.

As L'École de design Nantes Atlantique is recognized by the State, our students are eligible for university rooms managed by the CROUS (allocation on social criteria).

In France, housing insurance is a mandatory document to obtain the key to a dwelling. It covers its occupants, as well as the dwelling itself in case of fire, water damage, theft, etc.

Eating on campus

A student catering center managed by the CROUS is situated 100 meters from L’École de design Nantes Atlantique.

It is also possible to eat in one of the many food outlets near the school (snack bars, food trucks, restaurants, salad bars, Food Hall...).

The school cafeteria is equipped with microwave ovens and snack and sandwich machines.

Financing your studies
Scholarships for higher education

As L'École de design Nantes Atlantique is recognized by the State, students can benefit from higher education grants based on social criteria for all courses, except for preparatory classes in art, design and media and apprenticeships.

Applications for scholarships are made to the CROUS at the end of January for the following academic year. Once your application has been entered and your documents have been sent to CROUS, you will receive a conditional notification of the grant to be sent to L'École de design Nantes Atlantique at the beginning of the school year.

View this PDF (only available in French) document to get L'École de design Nantes Atlantique in the choice of the institution when entering your wishes.

The student loan

Most banks offer specific loans for students between the ages of 18 and 25. They benefit from a particularly attractive interest rate.

Student jobs

Many shops, bars and restaurants, tourist and leisure sites in the Nantes area offer student contracts all year round.

CVEC (Student and Campus Life Contribution)

Collected by the CROUS (Regional Center for Student Affairs), the CVEC is a tax that validates your enrollment in an institution of higher education and aims to improve the quality of student life, social support, healthcare and access to culture and sports.

Exchange students are not subject to the CVEC. Students with CROUS scholarships or Campus France scholarships are exempt from paying the CVEC and must obtain their certificate of payment.

Since the launch of the CVEC, L'École de design Nantes Atlantique, with the help of the Nantes CROUS, has been able to finance a lot of projects.

logo cvec
Health Insurance

Since September 1, 2019, all new student remain affiliated with their current Social Security organization (usually their parents': Assurance Maladie, MSA...). It is recommended that students over 18 years of age create a personal account on Ameli.

In addition to Social Security, it is strongly recommended to take out a mutual insurance policy with an insurance company.

The cost of living for a year of studies at L’École de design Nantes Atlantique

The table below shows the estimated budget for a year of studies at L'École de design Nantes Atlantique, taking into account the different areas of expenditure:

Estimated budget
Procedures for international students
Visa application and OFII procedure

For any stay in France of more than three months, it is mandatory to obtain a long-stay student visa before arriving in France. The application must be made to the French embassy or consulate in the country of residence at least 3 months before departure, or to Campus France.

Since April 7, 2021, international students can apply for their visa online on France-Visas (subject to available online service).

Holders of a long-stay visa validating their residence permit must validate it online within 3 months of their arrival in France on the website of the French Office of Immigration and Integration (www.ofii.fr - website available in French, English and Chinese). Students wishing to extend their stay beyond the dates indicated on their visa must apply for a residence permit at the Nantes Prefecture.

The Feel Français platform

Feel Français is a unique platform that offers a wide range of services to help international students settle into their new life in France, including finding housing, opening a bank account, buying a phone card, applying for a visa, housing allowances, health insurance, transportation and electricity.

More information is available at www.feelfrancais.com.


Health insurance

International students from outside Europe who enroll for the first time in a French higher education institution are required to join the social security system, which is free for all students. It is also strongly recommended that you take out complementary health insurance after your arrival in France. Find more information on this website.

European students must provide proof of a European Health Insurance Card covering the period of their study stay.

It is also strongly recommended to take out complementary health insurance after arrival in France.

The French government CROUS scholarship

International students can benefit from higher education grants based on social criteria under certain conditions:

  • being from an European country AND you can justify at least 1 year of living in France and a sufficient level of integration (a full-time/part-time job or you can prove than one of your parents have some income in France).
  • being from another country AND have been living in France for at least 2 years AND you or your parents have declared your incomes in France for the last 2 years.
  • being refugee or stateless person.

Find more information on the CROUS website


Updated on 13.06.24