Skip to Content

Program Highlights for Lyon, France

The city

Language spoken:

Euro (EUR, €)

Marine West Coast, Continental

City type:
Metropolis (Population >500,000)

Passport & Visa requirements

The program

Program type:

Host university:
Université Catholique de Lyon

Language instruction:
English, French

Terms offered:
Spring, Summer, Fall, Yearlong

Program capacity:
Semester: 70 students
Summer: 65 students

Credit type:
U.S. semester credit

Deadline to apply

Summer 2024:
Session 1 or 1&2: March 15
Session 2: April 15

Fall/Yearlong 2024-25:
May 15

Spring 2025:
October 15


  • Minimum GPA: 2.5

Language prerequisite:

  • Two semesters of elementary French required
  • None for summer courses taught in English

Scholarships and Financial Aid:
Deadlines vary

  • 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 tours in Marseille and the Mediterranean coast in the fall; Provence including visits to Orange, Avignon, Arles and the Camargue in the spring.
  • 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.
  • The USAC Resident Director and staff are present on-site full-time to welcome and support you during your term abroad.

Why Study In Lyon?

Students waiting for the train in Lyon, France.Lyon is one of the most attractive cities in France, creating a fresh combination of the bustle of a large, modern, European city and the simplicity of French tradition. The Presqu’île of Lyon serves as the city center with towering business buildings, blocks of busy shops, and streets lined with cafés full of Lyonnais taking their afternoon break. The charm of the city lies in your ability to escape the crowds by turning onto a quiet cobblestone street and ducking into a small bistro, where you are sure to get a chance to practice your French. Spend your weekends biking or strolling along the Rhône or Saône rivers, planning a Sunday picnic with friends, or wandering through some of the most well-preserved Renaissance architecture in the world. Choosing a homestay while you are abroad will give you the opportunity to see into the heart of French home life, culture, and cooking.

The Lyon semester and yearlong program offers an intensive language approach at 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. You may choose to stay for one semester or a full year.

However, the academic courses are only part of the intended value of the program. Participation in a homestay, cultural events and local festivals, and program field trips also form an integral part of the program. You can spend your weekdays taking language courses, your evenings chatting over dinner with your host family, and your weekends meeting up with French friends at cultural events and social gatherings.