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USAC FRANCE: Lyon - French Language & European Studies
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USAC FRANCE: Lyon - French Language & European Studies

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

How living in another country opened a new world

It's hard to condense five months into a short review, but here it goes. For a semester I studied in Lyon, France and lived with a French family. I took an internship USAC offered, teaching French high school students English, and spent my days learning in a genuine French classroom with a stereotypical baguette in my bag and a smile on my face - nearly 24/7.
Now I say nearly, because living in a foreign country and speaking a foreign language are not by any means, easy tasks. There are days my head would ache, I would want to hide from language embarrassment, and just want to be in my American bed back home. But that's where USAC came in.
USAC gave me the opportunity to do something entirely out of my comfort zone, with resources, guidance, and program directors who were there for me, every single time I needed them. Those difficulties were turned into moments of growth and I was able to take situations that may have completely shut me down, to opportunities of recognition for how far I had come, and how much I had accomplished. I spent my days challenging myself learning a language I loved, exploring the streets of a stunning city, and making friendships with incredible humans, of all ages and nationalities.
Studying abroad gave me a second family, on the other side of the world, who I still talk to on the daily. My French "Mom" and "Dad" were individuals who truly changed my life - and I would not have been so fortunate to make such a bond if it wasn't for USAC, once again. The person who stepped back onto American soil in May was not the same person who had left it 5 months earlier - the world that opened to me was one that gave me confidence, strength, and a love for challenge and cultural understanding - and I have USAC to thank for it.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

I would do it again in a heart beat

I had a wonderful semester studying in Lyon. The USAC staff are great and very supportive. The classes were challenging and I learned so much about French culture, as well as improved my French language skills. Lyon is the perfect city for students, with plenty of museums, nature, and night life. The program arranged fun activities like cheese tastings and trips to picturesque towns that are off the beaten path. We were also given the opportunity to share meals with French families in their homes a few times, even if we did not choose a homestay. I would recommend this program to anyone looking to learn a lot and be immersed in French culture! I would do it again in a heart beat.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

A life changing experience!

To those of you who may be on the fence about studying abroad, do it! My time spent in Lyon can only be described as incredible! Lyon was interesting to me because it is the food capital of France and because it is a great city to travel in and out of. With airports, trains and buses the whole of Europe is easily accessible. During daily life I got to indulge in fresh, buttery breads, rich cheeses and fine wines. I not only observed the hustle and bustle of daily life but actually lived it; commuting to school as any French student would. I was welcomed by a warm and friendly community wherever I would go and I met many people whom I would consider friends for life. The USAC staff did a great job of making this easy by organizing all the logistics behind the scenes so that I could truly focus on the experience. They were always there to help whether it be for a major emergency or just to provide a smiling face and a place to chat over a cup of coffee. Classes were incredibly fun too! Meeting students who came from all corners of the world really helped give me a better global perspective and the teachers were all invested in the success of their students.This has been by far one of the most influential experiences of my life and has inspired me to get back to France ASAP!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Study abroad in Lyon France

My study abroad experience was great! I studied French and Art History. Both of my teachers were extremely friendly and cared about the student's success. They were also understanding of our desire to immerse ourselves in the culture. To help us achieve this, we had out of class assignments and field trips. In my Art History class, we visited many museums, and in my French class, we went to the farmers market and practiced ordering in French. Beyond school, I learned more about the French culture, made many friends, and had the opportunity to travel to places around France and Switzerland. I would highly recommend studying abroad to anyone who is interested!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Best few months of my life

It's now been about 3 years since I left for my semester in Lyon. I learned so much about myself and so much about French language and culture. I met some of the most amazing people -- both Americans in my program and others. The dorm I stayed in was everything I needed and no more. Travel was inexpensive, especially compared to American travel. The food was AH-mazing. Oh my goodness. We had so much fun on the group trips we did through the USAC Lyon organization and we had opportunities to learn so much about Lyonnaise history. We did a cooking course, and had a lot of fun trying all of the traditional restaurants over our few months there. I miss it so much. I miss my friends and I miss Lyon. If you have the opportunity to study in Lyon through USAC, do it.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Lyon, my second home

Where do I even begin? My time in Lyon was absolutely incredible. The program was incredible. The the friends I made were incredible. The memories I made were incredible. I'm sure you get the picture. The members of the administration in the program were very helpful, and I believe that they became my friends by the end. As for the culture, nothing is more french than the city of Lyon; there are so many opportunities to immerse yourself with local families, festivals, etc. The night life of Lyon is incredible, as it's one of the most college-friendly environments you'll find abroad. The classes can be challenging, but the teachers are very devoted to helping students pass their courses if asked. Some describe the culture shock process as a "W" where you'll start out very excited then dip, then love it and then dip again; however, I loved every moment. My love of the city, the program, and the people only grew as I was there. Seriously, you'll have the time of your life!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Best 4.5 months of my life

Jo and Sarah were amazing. My group was amazing. Living in La Mad was crazy and so much fun. I still talk to my friends from the program even though we all live in different parts of the country. Lyon was truly life changing. Saying goodbye to my friends and the city was the harder goodbye I've ever had to say. Much love to my group and the city. Thank you USAC.

  • University Studies Abroad Consortium responded to this review March 03, 2017 at 9:57 AM

    Thank you for your feedback. We're so glad you loved Lyon!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

Lyon for a semester

Lyon was an awesome city to live in and learn french, as well as USAC was an awesome program that made even the hard steps of studying abroad a little easier. I lived with a host family and attended a french university, and also could travel while studying abroad.

  • University Studies Abroad Consortium responded to this review January 30, 2017 at 3:26 PM

    Thank you for your feedback on our Lyon program. We're so glad you enjoyed your time abroad with USAC.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Yearlong in Lyon, France

I absolutely loved my experience with USAC Lyon. From the moment my plane landed in France to the day I left, every second was a challenging new adventure. From the help given before my program started by the Program Advisors to the everyday assistance and guidance given by the on-site staff and Program Directors in Lyon, I could tell that USAC truly cared about me and my study abroad experience. Lyon is a beautiful city, there is always something to do, it is also in a great, central location for travelling. I wouldn't trade anything for the friendships I made, things I learned, and experienced in this past year through USAC Lyon. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an enjoyable cultural experience in France.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    7

Amazing French study abroad experience in Lyon

One of my favorite experiences from the USAC Lyon program was taking my French language courses with other international students. I now have friends from all over the US from my program and all over the world from my language courses! There were also many opportunities to travel during my Spring 2017 semester abroad. I traveled to 11 countries!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

USAC program opens doors

I would highly recommend the Lyon program through USAC, especially for those looking to immerse themselves into french culture. USAC is very reliable in terms of aiding their students (always answers emails, gives plenty of advice, office hours, etc.etc.) as well as presenting them with opportunities to explore the city and others in France (there were trips within the city, i.e. cheese tasting, etc. and outside of the city, castle viewing and wine tasting, skiing in the Alps). The team in Lyon helped me to find independence and opportunities that led me to be able to travel on my own and live abroad after college. I still feel like I am able to shoot my advisors an email if I am ever unsure of something, even though my yearlong program is over. Truly a support system for life!

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    5

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    7

Lyonnaise [lee-ō-nez] (noun, adj): a person from, or a characteristic of, the city of Lyon, France

Imagine strolling along a river, almond croissant in hand, on your way to class. That was me, just a few short months ago. I always dreamed of living in France, fully immersing myself in the language and culture. USAC made that happen for me. I studied abroad in Lyon, France for five months in the spring of 2017. I had never heard of Lyon before, but after one interest meeting, I was on board.

Fast forward a few months and I was on a plane to France.I lived with a host family for the total duration of my stay, and it was one of the greatest decisions I made. My French dad was outgoing and goofy, always putting on a show, and my French mom was sweet and relaxed. I also had a 17-year old French brother, with whom I watched the newest Star Wars movie dubbed in French during my first week. We ate meals together almost every night, speaking entirely in French, which pulled me out of my comfort zone and significantly improved my language skills.

French professors at the university taught the majority of my classes, and my classmates were international students from countries in North & South America, Asia, and Africa. It was tempting to speak in English with fellow Americans, so the professors grouped the Anglophones and non-Anglophones together, making sure that we were only communicating in French. I worked on long-term projects with natives from Colombia and Ghana, which gave me an even greater intercultural experience.

USAC provided two field trips over the course of the semester. The first was a ski trip in the French Alps and the second was a tour of the Beaujolais wine region. Both trips allowed me to get to know students who were not in my classes and explore the beauty and various cultural aspects of France. USAC also offered opportunities to volunteer with English Clubs at French school. I ventured out to a French school once a week and organized activities for a group of middle school students wishing to improve their English.

Lyon was such a beautiful city to live in, with two rivers running right through the center of the city. The university’s campus is situated next to one of them, making it easy to enjoy a lunch or walk by the river in between classes. I participated in Lyon International events, which turned into some of my favorite memories in Lyon. In January we were hosted for a night of wine, cheese, and dancing, which is where I learned that these three foods are considered France's "Holy Trinity" of the table. In May, the group took us on a dinner cruise on the rivers, allowing us to take in the beauty of the city as day turned to night. On the evening before my flight home to the U.S., I attended an Olympique Lyonnais soccer game, realizing that while the French and American definitions of “football” might be different, our team spirits are one and the same.

My experience abroad was one of the greatest times of my life. I was challenged in ways that are not easy to explain, but I have returned to the U.S. with a multitude of new memories and a new perspective of the world. A small part of me will now forever be Lyonnaise.

Overall Rating

6/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Community

    7

A good study abroad program

The USAC Lyon program definitely has its pros and cons, but overall was a good experience for me. The students I interacted with, both as a part of USAC as well as other international students, were great and Lyon overall is a cool "university city". My host family was probably the best part of my entire semester- they were the most kind, loving, and fostering family I could have asked for. I am so grateful USAC connected me with them. The main con about the Lyon program was the academics. The USAC staff were extremely nice and helpful, however our academic options were greatly constrained by the university. As an advanced French major, I was extremely limited in what courses I could take and through no fault of USAC, it took me a month of meetings and special exceptions to get my courses sorted out. If language and courses are your number #1 priority, I would think about another program (again, through no fault of USAC, it is just the way the university is set up).

Lyon is a lovely city in a great location in France for travel (go during the spring semester for the most vacation!), and I enjoyed my time there. I would choose another program with USAC, but looking back at my experience Lyon was not the right program for me. I am grateful for the people I met, the places I visited, and my overall experience is one I will cherish and never forget.