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USAC Lyon Program

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, Academic Year


Lyon, France




- Good academic and disciplinary standing

- Minimum UI and cumulative GPA of 2.5

- Language requirement for semester and year-long program: 2 years of college-level French

- Language requirement for summer program: One year of college-level French

Application Due:

Spring: 9/24

Fall: 2/24

Academic year: 2/24

Summer: 3/1

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

USAC Lyon Program

Live and study abroad in France's third-largest city, home to an international population and architecture from over two millennia. This program offers students the opportunity to study intensive French language, from second-year French and up, and an array of electives taught in both French and English.

Academic Program

UI students earn resident credit for this program. Please review course options for future terms with an academic advisor to determine applicability to your degree program.

The Lyon semester- and year-long programs offer an intensive language approach at L’Université Catholique de Lyon (Lyon Catholic University), where you will be able to earn up to 12 credits of French in one semester. Depending on your language level, you will choose electives in culture, political science, cinema, economics, or literature taught specifically for USAC students. The university itself also offers the opportunity to enroll in courses—taught in either English or French—with French students. You may choose to stay for one semester or a full year.


Students enroll in a minimum of 12 semester hours of intensive French language courses at the Institute of French Studies with other international students. A placement test will be administered before the semester (upon arrival in France) to help place students into the appropriate language level.

Students may also enroll in one or two USAC elective courses in French and European Studies or a course at L’Université Catholique de Lyon. The Resident Director will assist you in identifying an appropriate course. A maximum of 18 credits may be taken per semester. Course availability may be subject to change for reasons beyond our control, such as student interest.

With department approval, courses can be applied towards requirements for the French major or minor, the International Business Certificate, or other majors as appropriate.


Students enroll in at least four and up to five semester hours of French studies or at least three and up to five semester hours of Art History studies. A placement test will be administered before the session to help place students into the appropriate language level.

At least one 3 s.h. course is required during the summer session.


The list of courses on USAC's website does not guarantee availability or descriptions. Courses are subject to minor changes resulting from ongoing curricular review, faculty assignments, and program revisions. Course availability is conditional on student interest and enrollment. Please visit the USAC website for complete course descriptions.

Program Dates

Fall: Late August - mid-December

Spring: Mid-January - Mid-May

Summer: Beginning June - mid-July (4 weeks)

For More Information

More information and instructions are available in the Study Abroad Resource Room, 1111 Capitol Centre. After students have explored their study abroad options, they are encouraged to schedule an appointment with a study abroad advisor by calling 319-335-0353.


Lyon is one of the most attractive cities in France, creating a fresh combination of the bustle of a large, European city and the simplicity of French tradition. The Presqu’île of Lyon serves as the city center with towering business buildings, blocks of busy shops, and streets lined with cafés full of Lyonnais taking their afternoon break. The charm of the city lies in your ability to escape the crowds by turning onto a quiet cobblestone street and ducking into a small bistro, where you are sure to get a chance to practice your French. Spend your weekends biking or strolling along the Rhône or Saône rivers, planning a Sunday picnic with friends, or wandering through some of the most well-preserved Renaissance architecture in the world.

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

Living Arrangements

Homestay (Semester and Year-long only): Boarding with a family provides an unmatched opportunity for practicing your French and experiencing French culture and customs. While a homestay is not for everyone, USAC generally recommends living in a local home. The host family will provide you with an individual room, daily breakfast, and dinners five days a week. Private homes are located within Lyon or its suburbs.

Residence Halls: Residence halls are a suitable option for those who have an independent lifestyle, but are used to group living, or for those who want to have higher exposure to French and international students. Students can choose from a single room in the University Residence Hall, or a shared or single room in the Private Residence Hall. Depending on the option you select, kitchen facilities will be available either in your room, or on each floor of the residence hall. You can also eat at the university restaurant as an inexpensive option.

Travel Arrangements

Once accepted into the program, the central USAC office will provide information for the travel agency organizing program group flights. Alternatively, once students are given the green light by Study Abroad, they may purchase airfare independently.

Field Studies and Trips

Students are encouraged to participate in the included program field studies. These excursions help students explore the historical, cultural, and natural features of the region with carefully planned tours. In addition to the included program field trips, you'll also have field trips as part of many of your courses and have numerous informal activities that expose you to the local culture as well. Dates and exact locations are at the discretion of the Resident Director and they vary from session and session and semester to semester.

If taken for credit, added academic requirements (readings, research, written assignments, reports, etc.) deepen the student experience. This turns a tour into a field study which counts as part of your academic credits. The optional Paris Tour can be taken as a field study course. Field study students are expected to keep a journal and choose a research topic specific to Paris.

For additional information on the field studies and trips, please visit USAC's program website for Lyon.


Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing. Students who have an active case with the dean of students or who are on academic or disciplinary probation will not be accepted onto the program. Minimum UI and cumulative GPA: 2.5. Language requirement for the semester or year-long program: two years of college-level French. Language requirement for the summer program: minimum one year of college-level French.



The Course Fee is charged on your U-Bill and covers tuition and fees including registration, orientation, field trips, and cultural activities as described on USAC's program website for Lyon. Students are also charged a study abroad administrative fee.

The Spring 2020 drafted course fees can be found at the following link:

Spring 2020 Estimated CostPDF

Items not covered by the course fee include housing and meals, optional tour/courses, airfare, visa fees, and personal expenses. For estimated costs on these, consult the USAC website.

The Iowa Regents mandatory International health insurance will also be collected on the U-Bill.


The course fee is billed on the summer U-Bill and includes tuition and fees, housing, some meals for homestay students, orientation, field trips, and cultural activities. Students are also charged a study abroad administrative fee.

The Summer 2019 course fee can be found at the following link:

Summer 2019 Cost - 3 s.h.PDF

Summer 2019 Cost - 6 s.h.PDF

Items not covered by the course fee include housing and meals, optional tour/courses, airfare, visa fees, and personal expenses. For estimated costs on these, consult the USAC website.

The Iowa Regents mandatory International health insurance will also be collected on the U-Bill.

How to Apply

Before starting an online application for this program, students should meet with their study abroad advisor to discuss their program selection and receive information about supplemental materials that are required for an application. Appointments can be set up in person at 1111 UCC or over the phone at 319-335-0353.

After meeting with your advisor, click here to apply.

Application Deadline

Spring: September 24

Fall and Academic Year: February 24

Summer: March 1

Late applications will not be accepted.

Acceptance Packet

Withdrawal Policy

After applying for a Study Abroad Program, notice of withdrawal must be made in writing to your USAC Program Advisor and the University of Iowa Study Abroad. The date on which the letter or e-mail message is received is the date by which your costs will be calculated. If for any reason you withdraw after the confirmation deadline and before or during the course of the program, the amount/percentage shown in the following chart represents what you will be required to pay.

Date of Withdrawal Student Financial Responsibility
After Application Administrative fee: $0
Course Fee: $100
After Cancellation Deposit Deadline (varies by program) Administrative fee: $400
Course fee: As determined by the program contract with USAC
After Program Start Date Administrative fee: 100%
Course fee: As determined by the program contract with USAC

Consult with your Study Abroad advisor for any clarification about fees and billing. Note that when you withdraw from a program, any money already paid directly to a program provider and/or a host university will potentially be forfeited. The USAC policy regarding withdrawals and refunds can be found here: USAC Money Matters. Additional penalties for cancellation of airline tickets may also apply. Check with your airline for further details.

Orientation Information

Upon acceptance, students will receive pre-departure information directly from the program’s central office as well as from Study Abroad.

Before the end of the respective semester prior to your study abroad semester, you will participate in an in-person, program-specific orientation with the UI Study Abroad advisor for this program. You will also need to complete an online pre-departure orientation via ICON, which is required by the Study Abroad office, that includes more general details about study abroad and specific information regarding your health and safety while abroad.

There are no photos available for this program yet. Do you have any photos to share with us? If you do, please contact us at:

1111 University Capitol Centre
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802

Phone: (319) 335-0353
Fax: (319) 335-0343