Office of International Programs

Brown in France: Lyon

At a Glance

City: Lyon
Housing: Independent studio apartment or homestay. Students may choose to be housed by the program or do it independently.
Partner Institutions: Université Louis Lumière (Lyon II), Lyon Sciences-Politique (IEP) 
Language Requirement: Sixth-semester college-level French (at Brown FREN 0600) 


Université Lumière (Lyon II) offers a full range of courses in the social sciences and humanities. Sciences Po Lyon (also known as IEP de Lyon), which is a school of government and public affairs, is particularly renowned for area studies, notably European, Middle Eastern, East Asian and African studies. It has offerings in political science (with a full program in public policy), history, economics, law and international relations. It also offers classes in communication and sociology. Science Po Lyon issues a special diploma at the end of a full year of study and a certificate at the end of the semester.  With advance notice, students may also take courses at Lyon I, where all sciences are offered. Upon request students can also take classes at Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon (Humanities and Sciences), Ecole Centrale (Engineering), and Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse (Music and Dance).


The course load each semester consists of four to six university courses plus one mandatory Brown pro-seminar, launched during orientation and continuing on an individual basis throughout the semester. Students need to obtain 27-30 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits, 4 of which are carried by the pro-seminar, and 4 of which are carried by the cours de pré-rentrée universitaire (pre-semester intensive language course), referred to as PRUNE. For the remaining 19-22 ECTS, students enroll in the institution(s) which best meet(s) their academic needs. Tutors are available throughout the year to help students improve their writing or prepare for oral presentations.

Please visit the Course Information page for a listing of courses that students on the Lyon program have taken in the past. Lyon II and Sciences Po course offerings are not finalized until the start of the semester, so syllabi generally are not available in advance. Because this is a direct enrollment program, students need to be flexible with their course selections.   

Academic Calendar
Approximate dates are provided based on past programs; students should expect them to vary by year.  Please refer to the program calendar for specific information about program dates. 

  • Fall semester: end of August or beginning of September - 3rd week in December.
  • Full-year: end of August or beginning of September - beginning of June.
  • Spring semester: beginning of January - beginning of June. 


Students may choose to be housed by the program or make arrangements independently. Housing options include living alone in a studio, sharing housing with local residents, or homestay. Upon arrival, students are housed in a hotel for the first night and move to their permanent housing the next day. Housing selection is carefully monitored by the on-site coordinator who interviews students before arrival by video conference and pre-selects an adequate option in keeping with their wishes and budget. 

Cultural Activities

The program includes monthly social gatherings and cultural events (such as a soccer match, an opera performance, museum visits, concerts, a gourmet meal...). A three-day group excursion (with the Brown in Paris students) to a historically or culturally important region is also scheduled each semester as well as a solo discovery week-end during which students are hosted by a family in a different region. Within the framework of the pro-seminar each student designs an individual project of their choice and making, whose objective is to help them better understand French society. The projects are monitored by the Resident Director in Paris via Skype and during his/her visit(s) in Lyon.

Application Instructions

Apply by the deadline using Brown's online application system via the "apply now" and "return to application" buttons on the right side of this page.  Applications typically require faculty recommendations so it is important to begin the process early.

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