Built atop ancient Roman ruins and named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lyon is no rusty relic. The third largest city in France and its second largest economy, this “Capital of Lights” is a haven for the business savvy, the food-addicted, and the history buff.

Located in the Rhône-Alpes region of eastern central France, Lyon is home to a million and a half residents and has developed the reputation of being the capital of gourmet gastronomy in a nation known for just that. Founded by the Romans in 43 BC, the city boasts remarkably well-preserved remnants of the civilization, placed in charming contrast with its bustling high-tech and manufacturing industries.

Culture and Immersion

Lyon has something to offer students of all interests. Visit the Musée Lumière and see the home-turned-museum of the inventor of the movie camera and filming location of the first ever motion picture. We also recommend taking a stroll through the narrow streets of the Roman district and UNESCO World Heritage Site Fourviere. A renowned silk trade enjoys a home in Fourvière, just as it has for thousands of years. If visiting in December, check out the Festival of Lights or Fête des Lumières, a celebration of Lyon's sparing from the plague that's marked with dazzling light shows all over the city.

More interested in yelling Allez! at the top of your lungs with tens of thousands of other screaming fans? Then head over to the Stade de Gerland to watch Lyon's soccer team Olympique Lyonnais dominate the French top-tier circuit Ligue 1 and compete in the UEFA Champions League.

Lyon has not forgotten the gourmand, either. Home to many of France's most famous chefs and located between two of the world's most famous wine-growing regions, Lyon has its own signature local dishes. Start your day like the 19th-century silk workers this snack is named for, and have a mâchon of fresh-sliced deli meats and a glass of red wine.

Culture Shock and Support

The pace of life is slower in France, and while many students find the charm in this, it can be frustrating for many. Expect many shops to close their doors from Noon to 2 pm daily for a siesta, and expect your waiter to not visit again after taking your order. People are not rude, but perhaps not as over-the-top friendly as they are in the States. Take these changes in stride, and try to remember that the French way is neither better nor worse, but simply the way it has always been in Lyon.

If you're feeling like you could use a little more support, the Erasmus Student Network is present in Lyon for those looking for help with the local language, students that may be studying in Lyon from your area, and a little camaraderie on the weekends. With the second-largest university in France located in Lyon, as well as several others, expect no shortage of young people out and about.

If traveling with a study abroad provider, be sure to check in with them regularly. Odds are they're sure to have lots of group excursions planned, as well as local culture classes to help ease assimilation.


Prices for programs in Lyon vary, but students can expect a general range of $10,000 to $15,000 a semester, depending on services included in the program fee. These services run the gamut from airport pickup and drop-off , to alpine skiing trips to nearby Switzerland. Cost of living in Lyon can hit students with a bout of sticker-shock, but you get what you pay for; Lyon was named one of the world's Top 40 Most Livable Cities.

If you're interested in attending an Olympique Lyonnais game at Stade de Gerland, tickets range from 100–250 Euros, depending on the opponent and the tournament.

France's currency is the Euro, so keep your eye on the international exchange rates and strike while the iron is hot to get the most “use for your Euro.” Most large or chain establishments will accept American credit and bank cards, with a somewhat smaller percentage of local shops doing the same. Also expect many museums, cinemas and nightclubs to offer special packages to students with a valid ID.

Contributed by Jason Rogers

Study Abroad Programs in Lyon

Displaying 1 - 12 of 12 programs
France: Lyon - French Language, Art History, and Francophone Studies
9.31 •13 reviews

Lyon is one of the most attractive cities in France, creating a fresh...

UC Education Abroad Programs (UCEAP)
UCEAP: University of Lyon Language & Culture Abroad
10 •1 review

Study abroad through the University of California in an Education...

Catholic University of Lyon
UCLy: ESDES Study Abroad in Lyon, France
9 •1 review

The programs at this school allow both exchange and free mover...

Alliance Française of Lyon
General French & Writing Language Program in Lyon

Contents - General French: All our courses are in line with the CEFR...

Catholic University of Lyon
Catholic University of Lyon Study Abroad

This school offers courses in both French and English and also offers...

NRCSA French Language Programs in Lyon, France

Come study the French language abroad in Lyon, France with the NRCSA...

IPSL Global Institute at NUNM (National University of Natural Medicine)
IPSL France: French Language

IPSL’s Language program in either Cannes or Lyon, France offers...

AMOS Sport Business School
Global Sport Business Master
Multiple Countries

The AMOS Global Sports Business Master’s Programme has been designed...

University Claude Bernard Lyon
University Claude Bernard Lyon Abroad Programs

The Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, also known as Université Lyon 1...

University of Jean Lyon III
University of Jean Lyon III: Direct Enrollment

If you come to University of Jean Lyon III, you will have the...

Institut Paul Bocuse
Bachelor's Degree in International Hotel & Foodservice Management

Through a highly personalized approach based on the core values of...

Ecole Nationale Sperieure de Patisserie
Bachelor in French Pastry Arts at ENSP

Choose an educational path of excellence and acquire in 3 years the...

Other Study Abroad Programs in France

Not enough options in Lyon? Check out these other Study Abroad programs in France!
  • Forum-Nexus Study Abroad
    Ultimate Summer in Europe: 10 Cities in 5 Weeks with Forum-Nexus
    Multiple Countries
    9.71 •62 reviews

    Spend a summer in Europe while earning credits toward your degree...

  • Atelier Neo-Medici
    Renaissance Painting Techniques for Contemporary Artists - Atelier Neo Medici
    10 •8 reviews

    The Atelier Neo-Medici, invites students and professional painters to...

  • International Business Seminars
    Winter One: International Business Seminars
    Multiple Countries
    9.5 •2 reviews

    Visit 4 countries in 16 days! Winter One is perfect for undergraduate...

  • Voyager Europe
    Study Abroad in Europe - Madrid, Paris, Florence and More
    Multiple Countries
    9.75 •4 reviews

    There’s an entire world out there filled with culture, art and once in...

  • Class Afloat
    Class Afloat - Travel and Study at Sea
    Multiple Countries
    9.75 •4 reviews

    Founded in 1984, Class Afloat - West Island College International is...

  • Savannah College of Art and Design
    SCAD Study Abroad Program in Lacoste, France
    10 •4 reviews

    Study abroad with Savannah College of Art and Design in Lacoste...

  • IES Abroad
    IES Abroad Paris – Business & International Affairs
    9.43 •44 reviews

    Paris is also known as the fashion capital of the world, hosting...

  • Sweet Briar College-JYF in Paris
    Discover, study, explore Paris: The perfect balance
    9 •6 reviews

    The JYF program offers an advanced and immersive learning experience...

  • Ironhack
    Coding & Web Development Bootcamp in Spain, France and Mexico
    Multiple Countries
    10 •2 reviews

    Looking to make a transition into a technical career? Ironhack’s Web...

Tours & Trips in France

Looking for something to do during your time in France? Check out some of these tours and trips!
  • Stoke Travel
    Stoke Travel: Van + Surf + Good Times = Surfari
    Multiple Countries
    9.33 •3 reviews

    We can’t guarantee you’ll see any lions or elephants on this Surfari...

  • GapForce
    Europe Tour with Gapforce
    Multiple Countries
    9.8 •15 reviews

    Do you want to experience the best of Europe this summer? This...

  • AESU Travel
    Great Escape: 24-Day, 9-Country European Adventure
    Multiple Countries
    10 •2 reviews

    Escape everyday realities to discover the wonders of Europe on this 24...

  • IAU
    Study Abroad Tour: Visit 11 Cities in 3 Weeks
    Multiple Countries
    9.5 •2 reviews

    Can't choose just one country? IAU offers January Term Traveling...

  • Aliore
    Family Eco-holidays in a cooperative village in Ardèche!

    Spend eco-holidays with your family in the heart of an environmental...

  • Ardmore Educational Travel
    French Language and Cultural Trips

    School trips to France are without doubt one of the most popular...

  • The H.O.F.N.A.R Experience
    Winter Tours: Ski and Snowboard Trips

    Our ski and snowboard trips are perfect, whether you are a beginner or...

  • Eurailing Packages
    Europe Encounter (7 nights)
    Multiple Countries

    Our Europe Encounter package takes you to 3 of Europe's most popular...

  • Back-Roads Touring
    Battlefield Tours: WWI Battlefields
    Multiple Countries

    This introductory tour allows visitors to see the major areas of...

What People Are Saying

How I wish I could go back right this moment. I don't even know where to start in terms of giving this program and this city a positive review. The city of Lyon is absolutely beautiful and unique...

My school abroad

I absolutely love Lyon! It's a wonderful location that is beautiful, central, large enough to get all of the benefits of living in a big city, yet much smaller than overcrowded cities like Paris or...

Trip to the Alpes

The city was great for university aged students. There was a lot of night life, museums, and coffee shops. Also, the public transportation was very accessible and easy to use. Because it is one of the...

Nice, France

Related Study Abroad Articles