University of Oregon

IE3: Lyon Exchange

Program Overview

The Lyon exchange program is ideal for students in a variety of majors who have sufficient French background and are hoping to experience cultural immersion in the French context. The program offers several options for students at higher or lower levels of French: the year-long exchange with direct enrollment, year-long language institute focusing primarily on language courses, year-long combined language institute and direct enrollment, and semester programs for business, French language, international studies, and political science with most courses taught in English.

The year-long Lyon exchange program is a unique opportunity for you to improve your French proficiency and expand your academic training in general-education, major and minor courses within a French university. With only rare exceptions, the language of instruction for all courses is French.

There are two types of year-long study programs in Lyon. Most Oregon students in Lyon make use of the language institute courses offered at both the Institut de Langue et de Culture Française (ILCF), which is part of the Catholic University, and the Centre International d'Études Françaises (CIEF), which is part of Lyon 2. Students arriving in the Lyon program with less than three years of college-level French completed will spend the first semester studying French full-time at one of these two language institutes. Students are also now able to enroll in these programs for just a semester (Fall or Spring). Please note that students participating in the Fall semester for French Language can only take classes at the CIEF.  

Students whose French skills are sufficient may select from direct enrollment courses offered at any of the 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 from the first semester, whereas students who arrive with less than three years of college French completed usually start mainly with either ILCF or CIEF courses and transition into more direct enrollment courses in the second semester.

UO undergraduate students majoring or minoring in business may also select the business studies program in Lyon. The business program allows you to choose from two well-known business studies programs, ESDES at the Catholic University, or SELF at Lyon 3. Core business courses (in disciplines such as marketing, international business, human resource management, cross-cultural management, etc.) are taught in English, and you will also take a French language course that complements their study of international business.

If you are interested in international studies and/or political science you now have the option to spend a semester or year at the Sciences Po Lyon, a French “grande école” for the study of politics and government. You can enroll in courses of your choice, taught primarily in English, or opt to enroll in a certificate program, such as the Certificate of French and European Studies, which has a set list of core courses in Politics, Urban Studies/Sustainable Development, and Area Studies.

Generally, you must choose just one of the four French universities in Lyon as your academic home, although you may combine a part-time course load at the Catholic University and/or its ILCF with part-time enrollment in any of the other three universities.

The academic program begins each fall with a stage, an intensive cultural and linguistic orientation course for which you will receive UO credits. During the stage, you will complete a language skills evaluation that determines ILCF or CIEF placement levels and/or confirms that you are ready for direct enrollment in general university courses taught in French. Only international students in France enroll in stage and language institute courses.

For further information about the program, including dates and course information, please visit: IE3: Lyon Exchange

Application Process

Selection for the program is based on a review of the student's written application, transcripts, recommendations and completion of the interview process.

IMPORTANT: Applications for IE3 programs involve two parts. Both parts of the application are due by the application deadline. Early application is advised. 

1. Completion of the GEO online application.

2. Completion of the IE3 online application, which includes the following:

  • Essays
  • Two Recommendations
  • Official Transcripts

Please note that students cannot begin the interview process until both applications are complete.

Application fees are due at the time the applications are submitted and are non-refundable under any circumstances.

Graduate Students (year-long program only)

In addition to the process described above and below, graduate student applicants must also complete the Graduate Enrollment in GEO Study Abroad Programs form. This form requires that you obtain pre-authorization for your program from your adviser, department head and the Graduate School.

Application Links

Student Life

This is a student exchange program in which you will directly enroll in courses at one of the University of Oregon’s partner universities.  Exchange programs differ from other study abroad options and do not necessarily include significant on-site student support services, such as academic advising, health & counselling services, planned excursions or social events.  Students most comfortable and successful in exchange programs typically have high levels of self-reliance, resourcefulness, and willingness to adapt to unfamiliar teaching styles and living arrangements.

Additional Requirements

  • GPA of 3.25 or above for graduate students. 
  • For Business or Sciences Po Lyon: One year college-level French, or placement in FR 201 or higher by examination or completion of intensive summer French courses in the term prior to Lyon, either on campus or in the Angers program.
  • For Business:  declared and admitted major or minor in business or international studies with an international business focus.
  • For Sciences Po: declared major or minor in Political Science, International Studies, European Studies, or related academic program.    
  • Two years of college-level French or equivalent with GPA 3.0 or higher. Three years for direct exchange.

Dates and Deadlines

TermYearDeadlineArrival DateDeparture Date
Fall- Business2016March 15late Augustmid-December
Academic Year- Business2016-2017March 15late Augustearly April
Spring- Business2017October 15mid-Januarymid-May
Fall Exchange2016March 15mid-Septembermid-December
Academic Year Exchange2016-2017March 15mid-Januaryearly May
Fall- Business2017March 15TBDTBD
Academic Year2017-2018March 15TBDTBD

Additional Date Information

To confirm the exact program dates, please consult IE3.

Priority Discounts

If your program has a Priority Deadline, complete all pre-decision application materials by this date to receive a $100 credit toward your program fee. Please note, students participating in multiple summer programs are only eligible to receive the $100 credit once.

Note: this $100 discount does not apply to priority deadlines for SIT programs.

Course Equivalencies

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.