The second largest city in France, the Lyon metropolitan area is home to over 2 million people of which 500,000 live in Lyon proper. Situated in a dramatic setting surrounded by hills at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, its location on a major trade route between Northern Europe and Italy made Lyon an important city of the Roman Empire. During the Renaissance, it was a center for humanist scholarship, printing, banking and the newly-established silk industry.

Views of Lyon

The Lyon program is ideal for students want to focus on French language and experience cultural immersion in the French context. The Lyon program is run by IE3 Global, based at Oregon State University. IE3 provides a Resident Director to support the students throughout their program. Minimum GPA required by host program: 2.75 GPA. 


Find Lyon program classes: (Classes are called "Cours")

This program is open to students of any major who have completed FR232. Students at all language levels should take a French course the semester prior to studying abroad. 

Students take French language courses at the Centre International d’Études Françaises (CIEF) at Université Lumière Lyon 2. This is the ideal way to improve language fluency because the courses are specially designed for those learning French as a foreign language. Students participate in a two week language and culture orientation facilitated by CIEF instructors called a Stage. After the Stage students are placed in one of six courses according to their French proficiency level. Classes focus on grammar, listening, reading and writing skills in addition to French culture, history and literature.


Students stay with a host family which provides an opportunity for cultural and linguistic immersion. A majority of meals are included.


The Lyon program is available as a fall or spring semester. In general, the fall semester begins in late August and ends in mid-December. The spring semester begins in mid-January and ends in early June. NOTE: Students are required to attend an all-day pre-departure orientation session conducted by IE3 Global. This session is held at the University of Oregon campus in Eugene, Oregon.


Please see the Willamette Sponsored Programs Cost Matrix for detailed explanation of the cost of each program. If considering the program in Lyon talk to an OIE advisor about the French Visa application process in your advising session.

Pre-Departure Resources

Willamette University

Office of International Education

Global Learning Center
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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