• France
    • Lyon
Academic Year, Fall, Spring, Summer
Subject Areas
European Studies

Program Details

Program Type
Host Family
Nov 09, 2022
Sep 09, 2022
7 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Lyon is one of the most attractive cities in France, creating a fresh combination of the bustle of a large European city and the simplicity of French tradition. The Lyon semester and yearlong program offers an intensive language approach at L’Université Lumière Lyon 2, where you will be able to earn up to 12 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

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


USAC Scholarships

USAC Scholarships and Financial Aid

USAC awards over $2 million in scholarships and discounts each year to assist students with their study abroad expenses.

$500 - $1,000

Program Reviews

4.75 Rating
based on 16 reviews
  • 5 rating 75%
  • 4 rating 25%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 3.75
  • Support 4.5
  • Fun 4.65
  • Housing 4.35
  • Safety 4.5
Showing 1 - 8 of 16 reviews
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Yes, I recommend this program

My experience in Lyon Winter 2022

My study abroad experience in Lyon was amazing. I'm so glad that I chose to study in Lyon. My program directors were incredibly helpful and organized several fun outings, such as a snowshoe hike and a wine tasting, as well as picnics and other get-togethers so we could form a small community. My classes were all in French, and they were designed specifically for international students studying French. I got to meet students from around the world who had come to Lyon to learn French just like me. Forming friendships with people I would never have met if I hadn't come to Lyon was one of the program highlights for me.
I lived in an apartment with one other student in the USAC program. I had my own bedroom and attached bathroom and a small kitchen we shared. I like to cook, so the size of the kitchen was a bit irritating at times, but for 5 months it was a perfectly fine living space. I lived about 20 minutes away from the school, so we could either walk or take the bus.
The directors and local mandates in Lyon helped protect everyone during COVID as well. I felt safe most of the time out in public and indoors.
Overall, it was an amazing opportunity to learn French and to learn about myself as well. I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and learned so much about my own independence and ability to survive on my own in a foreign country where I didn't fully speak the language. I am so grateful that I was able to live in this beautiful city for 5 months and I am already planning ways to return in the future.

  • New friendships
  • Ancient history
  • Amazing food!
  • Small kitchen
  • Pickpocketing— I had my phone stolen
  • Some things were limited because of COVID, but overall it was still amazing
10 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great time in Lyon, France

I had so much fun in Lyon! The city was beautiful and I had fun exploring. The food was delicious! I stayed in a dorm which was nice but quite hot with no AC. I really enjoyed the field trips to Annecy and other places. I liked being able to travel on weekends, I went to Geneva Switzerland and Paris and London! The classes and teachers were a bit unorganized but the content for the most part was interesting. I definitely think I improved my french. I also made some great new friends. Overall a great time!

  • Improving french
  • Eating good food
  • Making friends
  • No AC
  • Unorganized classes and teachers
9 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

USAC- Lyon

It was all a little daunting at first, what with the language classes being really long but it ended up helping improve your language skills faster. I also met some amazing people and hope to keep in contact with them forever. The people you surround yourself with really impact how you see this new and big city and as long as you chose a good one you will have a great time both in and out of the city. There is also a lot of transport available to surrounding cities and countries, it’s really easy to navigate.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Don’t be afraid to try new things or talk to people.
39 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Lyon in Fall 2018

My semester was incredible and I had so much fun studying abroad. I was able to see so much of not only a France but all of Europe for a decently affordable price. I enjoyed the freedom of staying in a dorm, but those who lived with host families had an even more enhanced experience and I feel like it’s a better way to learn the culture and language. Classes were difficult to get used to at first, but I really loved most of my professors and I learned so much. I wish I tried a little harder to meet other French students on campus, but I definitely made great friends with people in my program. The excursions organized by USAC were some of the highlights of my semester and I always felt safe and supported. If you can, definitely go on the optional tour at the beginning of the semester! It is totally worth it.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Don’t be nervous to speak the language to locals. Most everyone will speak English, but they appreciate it more if you make an effort to communicate with them in French. Also, have an open mind! Consider the cultural differences and don’t judge people if they don’t act in ways you’re used to.
60 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

A once in a lifetime opportunity!

Studying abroad in general is something that I feel like everyone should do if they have the opportunity! I learned so much about myself as a person, and I also grew substantially in the 5 months I was in Lyon. I learned more about the world and the role that I hope to play in it in the future. I also got to see things that I may have never had to opportunity to see otherwise. I am one of the first people in my family to actually leave the country and travel over seas.
I think the best part of my experience was living with host family. They were some of the nicest people I have ever met, and they took me in, and treated me as though I was their own child. My host mom also made the best food, which I now miss very much being back home in the US. Lastly, it was the best thing I could have done in order to expand my knowledge of the French language. It is nice to know that should I ever need it, I have the ability to at least get through a simple conversation with someone who speaks French.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The scariest thing for me about studying abroad was traveling alone. For my Spring Break, I wanted to go to Spain and Italy, but most of my friends who I was studying in Lyon with had already been there, so they didn't want to go back. Therefore, if I really wanted to go that bad, I had to travel by myself. I was really nervous that I would be abducted, or that I wouldn't be able to figure out how to travel from one place to another, or use the public transportation system in those two countries. But, I told myself this is your one chance to go to these places, so I just told myself that nothing bad would happen and I went for it. In the end everything turned out fine. I wasn't kidnapped or abducted. I didn't miss any flights, or trains, and it ended up being my favorite week of my time abroad. I got to do and see everything that I wanted, without having others holding me back. I would highly recommend solo-traveling for anyone who is abroad, or traveling in general.
60 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

My Personal Experience

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. There is a wonderful community of people. On any sunny day, the Lyonnais took to the parks and really any grassy area. The USAC members were very helpful and gave us all ease of mind when going to a foreign country. This was my first time out of the United States, and having them around made me feel more comfortable about everything. The people I met in my classes and outside of my classes were memorable. You learn so much about various cultures throughout the world. Overall, it was an absolutely amazing experience that I will continue to cherish.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I did not realize that the word "cru" meant raw. So, I unknowingly ordered tartare, which was basically raw meat with a sauce drizzled over it. It's a popular dish in France, but I was so clueless and unprepared. I ate half of it and had to stop.
56 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
Yes, I recommend this program

USAC Lyon - Summer 2018

The staff in Lyon was amazing, for they always helped us out with anything we needed help with and encouraged us to get involved with the community especially with the World Cup going on and a lot of summer related activities. The trip to Annecy, France was amazing as well. My favorite part of the program was the optional tour of Paris for the first week of the summer program. The courses were structured more to focus on making communication in French. It was just a unique set up having classes that had projects to encourage communication as opposed to just receiving a textbook. Lyon is a beautiful town with a lot of culture, food, and activities to get involved in. It's also easy to take trips from Lyon to Geneva, Marseilles, and the northwestern areas of Italy. I highly recommend if you go on a summer program to Lyon that you do two sessions instead of one!

What would you improve about this program?
A better explanation of the courses' structure through the host university prior to arrival. Along with this, I think more opportunities to have group meals and group activities with everyone in the USAC group would be beneficial.
58 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

My Home

I studied in Lyon for the 2017-2018 academic year, and I wish I never had to leave. My experience was unique in that I was a year long student so I was able to make longer lasting connection to the city and people. It was a learning experience getting use to the different university environment, in that, most classes were two hours long and the learning curriculum was different. After the adjustment period, I loved learning the language with other international students in the CIEF program. By going with USAC, it provided a support system that you wouldn't have had otherwise. They were there from helping with classes to helps or just another person to talk to. Overall, this was one of the best experiences of my life, from the people I met to living in the city I call my second home. I am waiting for a way to get back to Lyon.

What would you improve about this program?
During my time, there was a bit of unorganization within the program, I've since realized that this is one of USAC's newer programs and is only a couple years old so they are still working out some of the kinks.
55 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!