France » Lyon » Academic Programs


The Lyon program is ideal for students in a variety of majors who have a solid base in French language and are hoping to experience cultural immersion in the French context, and for business and political sciences students with limited background in French to pursue study of international business or politics and French language in a major European business center.

The year-long Lyon exchange program is a unique opportunity for students to improve their French proficiency and expand their academic training in general-education, major and minor courses within a French university.  Generally, the language of instruction is French.

There are several ways to organize your studies in Lyon. 

Language Institute (year)

Many Oregon students in Lyon make use of the French language courses offered at both the Institut de Langue et de Culture Française (ILCF) and the Centre International d'Études Françaises (CIEF) to continue improving their French proficiency.  Students arriving in the Lyon program with less than three years of college-level French completed will spend their first semester studying French full-time at one of these two language institutes and then transition into direct enrollment courses the second semester. 

Direct Exchange (year)

Students whose French skills are sufficient may select from direct enrollment courses offered at any of four different universities in Lyon (Lyon 1, Lyon 2, Lyon 3, and the Catholic University).  The universities are described in more detail below.  Most students who arrive in Lyon with three or more years of college-level French completed are ready for direct enrollment starting the first semester and select their courses from regular university offerings. 

Business/Language, Direct Exchange (year)

Students may also choose to combine business coursework offered in English the first semester with a second semester of French language courses at a language institute, regular French university courses through the exchagne program or in some cases, a second semester of business courses. This option allows students to potentially complete coursework in two distinct academic areas during their year in Lyon and is an outstanding option for students double-majoring in French and another academic area.

Business Option (semester)

Oregon undergraduate students majoring or minoring in business may also select the semester business studies program in Lyon for fall term or for winter/spring terms. The business program allows participants to choose from two well-known business studies programs, the International Business Program (IBP) at ESDES (Catholic University), or SELF at Université Jean Moulin - Lyon 3. Core business courses (in disciplines such as marketing, international business, human resource management, cross-cultural management, etc.) are taught in English, and students also take a French language course that complements their study of international business.

Politics and European Studies (semester)

Undergraduate students majoring in Political Science, Urban Planning or with concentrations relating to European Studies may elect to particpate in the new Certificate of French and European Studies at Sciences Po-Lyon. This program is offered fall term or winter/spring terms and allows participants to take courses in Politics, Urban Studies and/or Area Studies. These core courses are taught in English, and students also take a French langauge courses appropriate to their current level. Like the business option, this program can be combined with a second semester of French language or direct exchange studies for a full academic year program.

Lyon Academic Program - General Information

Generally, students choose just one of the four OUS partner universities in Lyon as their academic home.  Given the structure of higher education in France, this facilitates the student’s integration.  For the motivated student with a unique academic focus, there are opportunities to combine part-time studies at one institution with part-time studies at another institution. 

Yearlong and fall programs begin with a stage, an intensive cultural and linguistic orientation course for which students receive Oregon credit.  During stage, language institute students complete a language skills evaluation that determines ILCF or CIEF placement levels and/or confirms that students are ready for direct enrollment in general university courses taught in French.  Students participating in the Direct Exchange program participate in a specially designed stage for international studies preparing for regular university studies.

Registration for classes will happen after you arrive in Lyon.  You will meet with the Lyon Resident Director and GTF in the Centre Oregon to discuss your academic schedule during the orientation period in order to discuss how the Lyon courses may fit in with requirements for your academic major or minor.  They will also advise you on the French educational system and provide tips to help you make the transition as easily as possible.

Host University Descriptions

Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1

Host University Website:

Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 specializes in the sciences and technological applications of scientific knowledge, engineering, business, and exercise and sports science.  Some of its unique fields of study include financial engineering; decision-making and risk management; encoding and cryptography; and neurosciences research.  It is the second largest university in France, with nearly 30,000 students at its main and marine (Mediterranean) campuses.  The university also helps arrange internships for international students in Lyon, including for students in pre-medical studies.  Courses are taught in English in the graduate-level program in physics (though knowledge of French is still required to live in Lyon).

Université Lumière Lyon 2

Host University Websites:



Sciences Po-Lyon:

Université Lumière Lyon 2 offers a broad array of specializations in the humanities and social sciences.  Unique areas include geography of tourism; music theory; women’s studies; art theory; communication studies; psychology; and educational studies.  OUS students in many majors have found suitable courses, over the years, at Lyon 2.  In addition, Sciences Po-Lyon offers numerous courses in international relations, political science and communication that are of interest to OUS students in fields such as international studies and sociology.  Many Oregon students start their language studies at the CIEF.  The CIEF offers courses for students of French from beginners to those nearly ready to enter regular university courses.  They offer exams to receive a national diploma (DELF, DALF) and their curriculum includes French language courses in addition to courses on French culture, literature, political science and art.  The university has two major campuses: Les Quais, located in the center of Lyon on the banks of the Rhône River; and La Porte des Alpes, also often called Bron, located in the Lyon suburb of Bron.  Lyon 2 has been the academic home for the majority of OUS students studying in Lyon. 

Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3

Host University Website:


Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 specializes in business, law, and certain fields of the humanities and social sciences.  In addition to strong programs in languages, unique offerings include communication studies; geography and territorial planning; and philosophy.  Lyon 3 also offers the SELF program ("Study English in Lyon, France"), which offers numerous advanced courses in English, and the SELF diploma (which requires completing several courses in English as well as advanced French-language courses).  Lyon 3's European MBA program courses are taught entirely in English. 

Université Catholique de Lyon

Host University Websites:




Université Catholique de Lyon (also known as the Faculté Catholique or, more affectionately, la FacCatho) specializes in the sciences (including computer science), business, and theology, and also offers courses in the humanities and social sciences.  Unique offerings include the Human Rights Institute (for graduate-level students only); international relations; translation studies; interdisciplinary ethics; ESDES (a highly ranked school of business); and a program in pedagogical experimentation (education).  The university's language institute, the ILCF, offers the DELF, DALF, and TCF exams, which can help students qualify for later admission to a degree program in a French university; the DELF and DALF programs also award diplomas to students with qualifying scores.

Registration and Credits

Students participating in this program will be registered at their home university in Oregon and will receive home campus credits for courses taken at Lyon.  Students’ course work will be reviewed and evaluated by appropriate home university academic departments.  Students must keep detailed records of course outlines, reading lists, exam results, and other work completed to facilitate accurate evaluation by their home campus academic departments.

Students are advised to consult with their academic advisor about their plans to study in the Lyon program.  Students wishing to earn major or minor credits for courses taken in Lyon are strongly advised to be in frequent communication with their advisor to determine what’s possible.

Because of the nature of this program, courses and credits are applied after completion of the program.

Academic Calendar

Required stage (on-site orientation) for fall/yearlong students: late August – mid-September

Academic year: mid-September - late May

Business fall semester: late August - mid-December

Business spring semester: early January - late May

Campus Contact

Eastern Oregon University

Janet Camp

Inlow Hall 109E
La Grande, OR 97850

(541) 962-3406

Oregon Institute of Technology

Deanne Pandozzi

Klamath Falls, OR 97601
(541) 885- 1847

Oregon State University

Leslie Lundborg or
Laura Hampton

International Programs
1600 SW Western Blvd., Suite 290 or

(541) 737-6465 or (541) 737-6470

Portland State University

Rachel Goff

International Affairs, East Hall 101
Portland, OR 97207

(503) 725-4195

Southern Oregon University

Mary Gardiner

International Programs
Stevenson Union 321
Ashland, OR 97520

(541) 552-6336

University of Oregon

Diane Pritchard

International Programs
Oregon Hall 330
Eugene, OR 97403

(541) 346-1226

Western Oregon University

Alaric Trousdale

Study Abroad &
International Exchanges
APS 501
Monmouth, OR 97361
(503) 838-8493

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