La Rochelle is a city in western France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Charente-Maritime department. A city with maritime heritage, La Rochelle is an idyllic place to spend a semester abroad. In addition to being a part of the national and international boat sporting circuit, La Rochelle is also known for being a clean city, making it a model of urban ecology. Join the city of 80,000 inhabitants and enjoy the pleasant climate. On the weekends, take a trip to Paris, which is only three hours away on the TGV.