4 reasons why you should absolutely come to Rennes for your studies
Rennes was ranked as the number 1 student city in the Thotis 2020-2021 student city rankings
Thotis media’s 2020-2021 ranking of student cities identified Rennes as the number 1 city in France for an outstanding student experience. But what makes Rennes so attractive to young populations?
A fast-growing hub of activity
Rennes is a midsized city in the heart of Brittany that is renowned for its culture, young spirit and innovative digital industries. It is not only a welcoming place for students, but also for entrepreneurs, researchers and young professionals.
Rennes is a pioneer of urban well-being and has successfully managed to create a synergy between higher education, research centres and the business world. The Rennes metropolitan area is home to 454,000 inhabitants and has one of the lowest unemployment rates in France. It is the second-fastest-growing city in France, with over 80,000 new inhabitants over the past 20 years.
In recognition of its booming start-up scene, Rennes was awarded the label of “French Tech Capital” in 2019 and Rennes Metropole continues to be seen as a hotspot for innovative entrepreneurship. Rennes School of Business has its own business incubator, aimed at encouraging innovation and supporting students as they launch and lead entrepreneurial projects.
A cultural hotspot
Rennes is a city with a particularly young population with as many as 60% of its inhabitants under 40 years old. Every year, 65,000 students (including over 6,000 international students) come to study in one of the many universities or management schools such as Rennes School of Business.
Cultural events are organised throughout the year in the Rennes, with activities ranging from music, sports, theatre, and arts to environmental actions and charitable events. Many of these events have a national and even international reach, namely the Biennial of Contemporary Art, the Transmusicales music festival, the Tombées de la Nuit and the Mythos Arts Festival.
Not even the Covid-19 pandemic can bring Rennes’ cultural identity to a halt. The art scene has moved outdoors with a range of free and socially distanced exhibitions and events that fully respect the sanitary guidelines. Find a list of upcoming exhibitions and where to find them here (in French), or visit some of the permanent Urban Art sites that are established throughout Rennes. History lovers can visit the many historic monuments throughout the city.
An affordable city with a great infrastructure
The Rennes metropolitan area benefits from excellent infrastructure. In 2002, it became the smallest town in the world to have an underground subway service. A second line is forecast to open in June 2021, enabling passengers to commute across the city in just 25 minutes.
It is also important to point out that the general cost of living, especially for accommodation and transportation is much lower in Rennes than in Paris. As a student, choosing Rennes allows you to save money while studying, meaning that you can make the most of student life without the accompanying financial burden! What’s more, since the new high-speed Rennes-Paris TGV train was put in implemented in 2017, you can be in the heart of the French capital in just 1h25.
At the forefront of the environmental cause, since 2018, Rennes has been in the process of implementing an extensive bicycle network throughout the city, meaning that its citizens can travel quickly throughout the city, all while beating the usual rush-hour traffic jams and lowering their carbon footprint.
In the pause before the return of bars, restaurants and cinemas, what better way to spend your time than exploring the great outdoors? Rennes is full of green spaces and hidden treasures that are just waiting to be explored. Why not have a look at these 5 outdoor micro-adventures suggested by the Rennes tourism board.
Rennes is a green city with plenty of parks, you could stop for a take-away coffee in the Thabor gardens, or head to the Prairies Saint-Martin for an afternoon walk along the canal. From April 2021, you can even explore the river from your very own boat.
Brittany is a region that is known for its wild coastlines. Keen hikers can head off to explore the GR34 coastal path, whilst those that like to relax can hop on a train in Rennes and be in Saint-Malo in just 55 minutes to sit on the beach and enjoy a crepe.
So, whether you’re looking for a business hub, a cultural hotspot, an outstanding and affordable quality of life, an environmental lifestyle or just because you like the great outdoors, there’s something for everyone in Rennes!