France » Lyon » Living in Lyon
Nestled in the Rhône-Alps region of southeastern France, Lyon is the nation's third largest city. With a population exceeding one million, Lyon is a major European cultural, research, and trade center. The city itself is built on a presqu'isle ("half-island," or peninsula) and the surrounding river banks and valleys. From the Hill That Prays, to the Hill That Works, and dozens of other unique neighborhoods and sections, Lyon offers a vast array of projects for the serious urban explorer.
Founded by the Romans over 2000 years ago, Lyon grew to be known over the years as a center of the European silk industry. Since at least the end of the Renaissance, Lyon has been one of the major western centers of the Silk Route, a flow of traffic in products, currencies, and cultural exchange that stretches from China in the east to Spain in the west. The silk industry is still prevalent in Lyon today, and its silk-screening studios make some of the finest scarves, tapestries, ties, and other "screened" silk products in the world.
In more recent periods, Lyon has continued to be a vibrant center of cultural and political activity. During World War II, Lyon was, along with most of modern France, under the direct control of the Vichy government (a Nazi puppet state), but the city also served as a hotbed of Resistance activism. Lyon has continued to be on the main stage of French cultural politics ever since, particularly given its location in the south of France and its attraction for thousands of immigrants into France from former French colonies in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean, as well as other parts of rural France and overseas départements (provinces) of France. Because of this energetic and multicultural mix in the current Lyonnais population, Lyon is a wonderful location for learning about France on the grand scale: as a world power, a metropolitan center of culture and commerce, and a modern, diverse society accommodating many different cultural, ethnic and religious traditions. It's also a great laboratory for learning about the diversity of French dialects!
Lyon is considered by many commentators to be the culinary capital of France, and it boasts an array of gastronomical delights, from fine tea houses and cafés, to haute-cuisine establishments, experimental "fusion" restaurants, and even highly affordable eateries with excellent cuisine. In addition, Lyon is a treasure trove for visitors interested in culture and the arts, from rock concerts and street theater to the highest of the "high arts." The half-neoclassical, half-postmodern Opera House in the "old city" is a constant focus of heated conversations and the Maison de la Dance hosts a variety of classical to modern dance performances. In December, Lyon hosts la Fête des Lumières (the Festival of Lights), an event that transforms the entire city, for three days, into a kind of amusement park of lights, lasers, and carefully choreographed light/music shows. The festival pays homage to the Virgin Mary in gratitude for the end of the city's suffering under the Plague. The festival is not to be missed!
The Lyon program allows students the flexibility to choose from a range of housing options. During the September orientation, students may live with a family or in a residence hall. For the rest of the year, students may choose a homestay family, a residence hall, a room in a boarding house, or a small apartment. Students will have access to cooking facilities and/or inexpensive student restaurants.
Business program students live with French home-stay families in order to have a cultural immersion experience not provided in their main academic courses, which are taught in English.
Starting September 1 and for each month through June, a room and board allowance in euros will be deposited into a French bank account that you will open during the stage (orientation) period in Lyon. Students are charged a room and board allowance as part of the regular program costs. The allowance is meant to cover meals and lodging in Lyon and is based on rent costs for a dormitory or a small studio room and modest meals. The amount of money a student actually spends on lodging and meals will depend entirely on their taste, standards and the type of housing selected.
In some cases, students in the Oregon program are also eligible for the French Government Student Housing Subsidy (ALS – Aide au logement social). This subsidy is available after the first month; amounts vary from student to student, anywhere from a very small portion to 1/4 to 1/3 of the monthly rent paid for housing. There are certain conditions that must be met to qualify (you must be under 25 years of age), and not all housing situations meet the requirements. Although there is no way to guarantee that a student will qualify for this housing subsidy, it is something to keep in mind when considering housing options in Lyon and can potentially make a difference in a student’s on-site expenses.
Note: It is the individual student's responsibility to report any stipends (or other financial awards) to their home campus Financial Aid Office.
Oregon students are supported by the experienced and personable staff of the “Centre Oregon” in Lyon: full-time Resident Director, LaurieWilson; part-time Program Assistant, Rémé Hernandez; and a GTF from the University of Oregon. They will help you to arrange housing, coordinate your orientation, introduce you to the city, give you guidance regarding the French educational system, and provide other logistical and personal support as needed. The Centre Oregon is located at Lyon 2 in a suite of offices shared by other Lyon 2 partner institutions.
Eastern Oregon University
Inlow Hall 109E
La Grande, OR 97850
Oregon Institute of Technology
Klamath Falls, OR 97601
(541) 885- 1847
Oregon State University
Leslie Lundborg or
1600 SW Western Blvd., Suite 290
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
(541) 737-6465 or (541) 737-6470
Portland State University
International Affairs, East Hall 101
632 SW Hall
Portland, OR 97207
Southern Oregon University
Stevenson Union 321
Ashland, OR 97520
University of Oregon
Oregon Hall 330
Eugene, OR 97403
Western Oregon University
Michele V. Price
Study Abroad &
Monmouth, OR 97361