• France
    • Lyon
Academic Year, Fall, Spring, Summer
Subject Areas
European Studies
Need-based funding, Merit-based funding, General grants/scholarships
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Host Family
Apr 08, 2024
May 15, 2024
10 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

The Lyon semester and yearlong program offers an intensive language approach at L’Université Catholique de Lyon (Lyon Catholic University), where you will be able to earn up to nine credits of French in one semester. Depending upon your language level, you will choose electives in culture, political science, cinema, economics, or literature taught specifically for USAC students. The university itself also offers the opportunity to enroll in courses with French students, taught in either English or French.

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

LGBTQIA+ Support

There are LGBTQIA+ friends, colleagues, and allies throughout the world. However, cultural understanding of gender identity and sexuality does vary from country to country. USAC has compiled a lot of resources to help you through that learning process.

Accessibility Support

USAC is dedicated to working closely with students with disabilities to ensure the best study abroad experience possible. You may request reasonable accommodations after your initial application is complete. We routinely receive requests for scheduling, material, and environmental accommodations for the classroom setting, which may include assistive technology, scribes and readers, printed material, and interpretation.



Environmentally-conscious students choose USAC because many of our programs are held in some of the most sustainable countries in the world. There are options to take coursework in sustainability and the environment, as well as field trips and studies where students can leave a lasting impact on their host country.

Program Highlights

  • Live in France’s third-largest city, home to an international mix of people and architecture from over two millennia
  • Study intensive French language, from Second-Year French and up, and an array of electives taught in both French and English
  • Enjoy field trips to the French Alps and Bourgogne
  • Take the optional tour through Provence including visits to Orange, Avignon, Arles and the Mediterranean coast
  • Walk or bike along the banks of the scenic Rhône and Saône rivers; take weekend trips to ski or snowboard in the French Alps; enjoy some of Lyon’s famous home-style cooking; explore shops and make international friends

Program Reviews

4.81 Rating
based on 26 reviews
  • 5 rating 80.77%
  • 4 rating 19.23%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4
  • Support 4.55
  • Fun 4.75
  • Housing 4.2
  • Safety 4.5
Showing 1 - 8 of 26 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

First of many trips!

I came into college as a sport business major and a French minor. After loving my classes and wanting to study abroad, it was easy for my professor to convince me to turn my French minor into a major. I decided to go to France to complete my requirements for the major then be done with French classes. Once I arrived in Lyon, France I quickly realized I didn't want those classes to be my last French classes. During my short four months in France, I traveled to 15 cities across 6 different countries. I fell in love with traveling and realized I could picture myself working abroad. Studying abroad was the best thing I have ever done in my life! When I returned from France, I became a Global Ambassador for my university's study abroad office. I was so passionate about sharing my experience and wanting others to have the same great experience as I did. My top three takeaways from studying abroad are:
1. You gain lifelong friends
2. You become more independent
3. You create lifelong memories
From the very first night I made some of my closest friends. Our entire program got along and we would cook meals together to save money, we would go out together, and we would travel together. After being back in the United States for 4 months, we are already planning a reunion so everyone can see each other. Going into studying abroad I expected to make friends, but I never expected the whole group to do activities together. It made the whole experience less intimidating because everyone was always up for an adventure.
Even though I had made many friends, I still became more independent while living in France. It was a little bit of an adjustment knowing that I wasn't in the same country as my family, but it made me more independent. I had to learn how to navigate the public transportation system, speak to native French speakers, plan my own travel agenda, and do my own shopping. Learning to do these activities on my own made me a more confident person and I took this confidence back to the United States with me.
The last takeaway I gained from studying abroad were the memories. There wasn't a single night that I wasn't doing something with my friends. Whether it was staying in and playing a card game, trying a new restaurant, visiting a museum, going to a rugby match, celebrating a birthday, celebrating Thanksgiving together, or shopping at the Christmas markets, there was always something to do and something to help improve your French. I went in to France with no confidence in my speaking at all, but when I returned to America I had much more confidence and my speaking improved so much.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice for future travelers is to tell yourself yes! No matter what, if you think it is a good idea, it's not illegal, and you'll have fun with it, say yes to yourself. If you are walking by a bakery and you see a new pastry you want to try, say yes. If your friends invite you out, but you feel tired, still say yes! You only have so much time in the country you choose to study abroad in. You don't want to get home and have regrets about what you wish you would've done. Put your fears aside, and be as open minded as you can. You will have the time of your life as long as you embrace their culture and try to experience as much as you can. I would also highly suggest writing a journal! I have never been the kind of person to write in a journal because I was never consistent enough for it, but I forced myself to do it for my study abroad experience. I'm so happy that I have my memories written down because a picture can only help me remember so much. I love going back and looking through all my memories! It's one of my favorite souvenirs from the trip, so try to motivate yourself enough to write in a journal!
  • Travel opportunities
  • Friendships
  • Well organized
  • We couldn't have people over past 10pm in the dorm
4 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Never-ending Nostalgia

Not a day goes by where I don’t think about my time spent studying abroad in Lyon. This experience brought me lifelong friendships and wonderful connections with the UCLy and USAC staff that have spanned further than my time spent abroad. I had always dreamed of studying abroad and even spent countless hours imagining who my host family would be - nothing could have prepared me for the incredible experience I would have with my host in Lyon. This living situation gave me the opportunity to practice my French outside of class and now I know that I always have a second home in Lyon. I yearn to experience something as great as this trip again, but I know that I carry the memories of this excursion with me everyday.

16 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

USAC, Lyon, and my amazing experience!

My experience in Lyon, France was incredible. I am a French major, and this program allowed for me to improve my skills and enhance the richness of my speaking. I was able to practice daily, and I used my knowledge everywhere. The classroom was helpful, but I learned most of my knowledge by travelling around and meeting new people. I volunteered and practiced through that outlet as well. The food was incredible, and the people were hospitable. Overall, I had an incredible time, and I couldn't recommend this program more!

  • Food
  • People
  • Easy access to travel
  • Difficult
  • Homesick
  • Hard to leave!
40 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent Program and Helpful Staff

Absolutely wonderful program. The city is lively and full of things to do, and is relatively safe as long as you follow common sense safety. The administration works really hard to create a supporting and close-knit environment with the other USAC students, and they were always ready and willing to help whenever I had a problem. The classes can be a bit overwhelming at first, depending on what sort of schedule you're used to keeping, but the language classes make a HUGE difference in proficiency, even just after a month or so. This trip was absolutely fantastic, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

  • Plenty of Activities
  • Helpful Staff
  • Safe Location
  • The city can be a bit expensive, as cities are.
48 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful time

I made some wonderful friends when I was there. They had weird rules about COVID but that was due to the university. I had an amazing time and really enjoyed the fieldtrips. I wish we had more information earlier about our living situation because it was hard to plan a month before. Otherwise, they prepared us well with zoom meetings, although I think the best thing our program could have done would be to connect alumni with future or interested students. I would have loved to connect with a past student because as an alumni I feel like I have very valuable information. Especially when our main source of information was someone who didn't live in or only specialize in our program. As we were leaving and talking about our program, that is the main thing everyone in my program wanted. Overall, that is the only thing our program needs.

  • Friends
  • Easy city
  • Travel
  • Covid
57 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

An invaluable experience

Studying in Lyon with USAC was one of the most valuable experiences of my life. I made a lot of new friends to practice French and go on adventures with, and I also was very immersed in the culture. There were also plenty of field trips to expose me to different aspects of French culture, and there was always support if needed. Staying in Lyon was incredible, as it is the culinary capital of France, so there was plenty of delicious food to try. Additionally, the classes I took focused on the culture of Lyon, so I was able to learn about the city that I was staying in and all the important landmarks that I passed by. Overall, I am very happy to have studied abroad with USAC.

64 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Had a great time!

I studied abroad in Lyon for 6 weeks this summer. I'm really glad I did it, my French improved by a lot and Lyon was a fantastic city to stay in! I was placed with a great host family who were very helpful for showing me around the city and practicing my French, and I made friends with a lot of my classmates. The classes themselves were a bit basic, but that was to be expected of a summer course. The program also included a few excursions to other cities or twons in France, which were really beautiful and fun! Highly recommend!

  • Offers homestay
  • Great city
  • Language immersion
  • Easy classes
60 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

USAC Lyon, France Study Abroad

I studied abroad for the fall semester of 2022. From the start of being accepted into the program, I was able to easily communicate with USAC staff, however sometimes it would take a little while for them to respond. The webinars and checklists were very helpful in order to prepare for departure and make sure everything was in order. I did not however like the travel agency they work with, Frosch Travel Agency. Communication was quick, however the flights scheduled were constantly rescheduled making a large group of us miss our flight to Lyon and have to add multiple hours to our already long travel day. On my way back to the United States, I also had many problems with my ticket (the airline said I did not have a ticket reserved for me on the flight, yet Frosch was saying that I did) and resulted in me almost missing my flight back home as well. Once I arrived in Lyon, the staff in the city were very nice and welcoming, and I thought the tours of the city given that week were very helpful. The living space that I was put in was the biggest option out of all, however the location was awful (on the top of a hill, so it was very hard to get back home at night without a bus) and there was nothing provided (towels, sheets, pillows, etc) which proved to be a very costly expense at the beginning of the program on top of the already expensive living situation. Lyon itself was amazing. The school, UCLY, is very nice and I thought all of the teachers were accommodating and nice throughout the semester. There were also many opportunities to participate in school activities and meet other international students. I wish we had gone on more pre-planned trips as a group because I found those to be the most exciting and stress-free trips. By the end of my trip, I did not want leave Lyon and hope one day I can go back again.

  • Amazing city
  • Restaurant/food scene
  • Pre-planned trips
  • No help with housing necessities in André Allix
  • Frosch Travel Agency
  • Quick turn around between the beginning of French classes and final exams
60 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

Hi Emily, The exam is comprehensive, including essay, fill in the blank, and listening comprehension for the written section, and then there is typically an oral conversation component as well. You should review your most recent semester French coursework to be the most prepared. If you have further questions you can email us at studyabroad@usac.edu Thank you!