The full name of Lyon 2 is indeed the Université Lumière Lyon 2, named in honor of the Lumière brothers, Auguste and Louis, who invented the "cinematographe" and are considered (in France at least!) to have created modern cinema. Lyon, therefore, is known as the birthplace of cinema and boasts France's first department of cinema studies. The Université Lumière Lyon 2 is a center of academic excellence in France. Its strongest departments include French, History, Media Studies, Political Sciences, Economics, Art History, Arabic, Sociology and Anthropology.
The exchange program allows qualified UVA students to participate in regular Lyon 2 university classes alongside other French students. This is a university-wide exchange program, meaning that UVA students from all majors are invited to apply and consequently, they may enroll in classes in any department at Lyon 2 as well as courses at any institution that is a member of the Université de Lyon consortium (École Normale Supérieure, Université Lyon 1, Université Lyon 3, Université Catholique, École des Beaux Arts), as well as Sciences Po Lyon. Students will enroll in regular university courses alongside French students. This system is what the French call études intégrées, affording what we believe to be the most enriching cultural and linguistic experience possible. Unlike other programs which design courses specifically for foreign students, and sometimes specifically for American students, this program provides our students with an authentic experience of higher education in France.
France's second largest city, Lyon is immersed in a rich historical and cultural tradition all its own. With approximately 1 million inhabitants, Lyon has the liveliness and energy of an urban setting yet avoids some of the pitfalls of the Paris metropolis.
Housing is more affordable; the pace of life is a bit slower; cultural life is abundant; and the cuisine is every bit as good, if not better! Lyon has the reputation of being the gastronomic capital of France. In Lyon, the university is just one part of a diverse, lively city and, as a result, American students will not hear English spoken at every café terrace as might occur in some other common destinations for study abroad in France.
French Literature and Culture;Anthropology and Sociology; Geography; History; Art History;Tourism; Languages; Letters and Arts; Economics; Law; Communication; Psychology; Education; Political Sciences; Management; etc.
Students must have completed FREN 3032 (The Reading and Writing of Texts), or the equivalent, with a grade of B+ or better.
Students not in this category should contact program director Professor Janet Horne about the possibility of studying French with other international students at the Centre international d'études française (CIEF) and/or courses taught in English at Lyon 2 or Sciences Po Lyon. Enrollment in the CIEF entails an additional tuition fee.
While in France each student will take a full load of courses. As part of the application, students will be asked to pre-select a range of courses prior to departure with the understanding that certain modifications may have to be made once in Lyon.
Host University Courses Université Lumière Lyon 2
Host University Courses – Sciences Po Lyon
- Click through the links on this page to see courses specifically for international students (Start with Cours spécifiques pour étudiant.es internationaux/ales)
- Click on Consultez notre offer de formation if you would like to see courses offered within specific departments at Lyon 2
- If you have questions or would like to find a specific course, ask your Education Abroad Advisor for help
- Click on La 1ère année to see first-year classes offered or La 2ème année for second-year classes
- As an exchange student, you can take classes from either year
UVA Students: this is a transfer credit program.
Non-UVA Students: official transcripts for this program are issued by the Université Lumière Lyon 2, not by the University of Virginia.
Fall Term: late August- mid January
Spring Term: beginning January - mid May
Courses in Advanced French
For an additional fee of 1500 Euros, UVA students who have not completed the prerequisiste of FREN 3032 (The Reading and Writing of Texts) have the option of enrolling in an entire semester of 3000-level advanced coursework in French during the regular academic year. These courses are offered under the auspices of the Université Lumière Lyon 2's highly reputed International Center for the Study of French (CIEF - Centre international d'etudes francaises).
All students have the option of taking a not-for-credit advanced French language class at the CIEF. This class meets for two hours each week throughout the semester and is free of charge.
Students in Lyon have an on-site manager who will help them find housing and arrange for monthly cultural activities; an optional two-hour per week advanced course in the French language; and individual academic advising at several levels. Our on-site coordinator serves our students in multiple ways:
Helps students with housing selection, getting started in Lyon, and general orientation to the Université Lumière Lyon 2.
- Organizes monthly cultural activities with the other students on the UVA program. Cultural activities might include going to the theater, the opera or a professional soccer game. Bread and cheese gatherings are also organized. Some cultural activities may also be done in conjunction with students from Brown University and Georgetown, schools that also have established exchanges with Lyon 2. These cultural gatherings are a chance to touch base with people from home, relax, exchange experiences and share new ones!
- Is available to students on the UVA program for advice and to help deal with any difficulties that may arise.
- Is available for counsel at any time in case of emergency.
In addition to sending a group of UVA students to France, the exchange program allows us to receive French students from the Université Lumière Lyon 2 who, like their American counterparts in Lyon, will enroll directly in UVA classes and live alongside UVA students. Therefore, when UVA students return to Charlottesville, they can maintain their connection to Lyon by creating ties with the Lyon 2 students here on Grounds.
Professor Janet Horne
Department of French
PO Box 400770
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904
Associate Program Director
Professor Cécile Rey
Department of French
Upon arrival, students will be housed in a residence hotel. Students will find housing for the duration of the program in Lyon with the help of the UVA on-site manager. Students may choose to live with a family, or in an independent apartment. The typical cost of housing ranges from 500-650 Euros per month, and students should expect to pay housing for a full five month period.
Program Alumna Casey Cordrey '13, French & Foreign Affairs
"Having a full, five month semester in France's second largest city enabled me to really gain a sense of familiarity with the geography and the people."
UVA students will pay their regular tuition rate and fees to UVA for the term they are on a UVA Exchange Program. Additionally, students on the Lyon exchange will be charged a $700 fee to cover the following:
- CISI emergency medical and accident insurance
- Responsabilité civile insurance
- Enrollment in the mandatory PRUNE course (2 credits for Spring, 3 credits for Fall/Year)
- Hotel accommodation for the first few nights after arrival
- Monthly cultural activities
- On-site coordinator support
Students are also responsible for room and board, transportation, and personal expenses.
Students are responsible for booking and paying for their own international airfare as well as researching and obtaining the necessary visa.
CISI Insurance: UVA students will be enrolled CISI emergency medical and accident insurance by the International Studies Office, and do not need to self enroll as with other exchange programs.
Tuition and Fees:
Students will pay their regular tuition rate and fees to UVA for the term they are on a UVA Exchange Program. Tuition and fees will be billed to each student’s SIS account and can be paid as normal. The $700 Lyon exchange fee will also be charged to each student's SIS account. See the "Cost" section above for an explanation of this fee.
Housing and Meals:
Students are responsible to pay for accommodation and any required or preferred meal plan. Students will pay their host family or landlord directly while in Lyon. The UVA in Lyon on-site coordinator will find housing placements for students based on their preference.
Travel and Travel Documents:
Students are responsible for booking and paying for their own international airfare as well as researching and obtaining the necessary visa. Students should also budget for in-country transportation costs.
UVA students are required to have CISI emergency medical and accident insurance. More information can be found on the insurance web page
. The cost of this insurance is including the Lyon exchange program fee that is billed to students. Students will also need to pay the cost of French social security insurance upon arrival in France. The on-site coordinator in Lyon will assist students with this process.
Students should be prepared to purchase required books and supplies. Students should also budget for additional personal expenses; examples include laundry, phone costs, personal travel, meals out, etc.
If you are not able to find accommodation costs or application, cost of living, or other information you need in order to prepare for your study abroad program, please contact your Education Abroad Advisor.
You can find detailed information regarding financial aid and study abroad on the following websites:
Please contact your Education Abroad Advisor with any questions.
The University of Virginia believes in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individual and flexible basis. If you believe that you would require adjustments in order to fully participate in this program, please contact the Student Disability Access Center at 434-243-5180 as early as possible in order to begin this dialogue.
Passport and Visa
All participants will need a valid passport in order to participate in the program. Students must ensure that their passport is valid at least six months past the program return date. US passport holders will need a visa to participate in this program. The ISO will assist with the visa application process by providing the required enrollment letters and guidance on the visa application process, however the responsibility of applying for a student visa falls on the student. Please visit the Campus France website to review the expectations and requirements for a student visa. International students should meet with their International Student Advisor and Education Abroad Advisor in the International Studies Office as part of the application process.
Health and Safety Information
All students considering Education Abroad should consult the Students Abroad section of the U.S. Department of State’s web-based travel resources and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Traveler’s Health web resources to research health, safety, and security conditions; visa requirements; immunization requirements; and recommendations on staying healthy and safe in their target destination(s). Students should also carefully review the UVA Education Abroad Health & Safety Abroad web page. Parents and guardians are strongly advised to review all of these resources, as well. UVA students and visiting students enrolled in UVA Education Abroad programs are subject to the University of Virginia’s Policy on Student International Travel.