Summer Program in Lyon


UVA in Lyon : Summer 2022 

Here we come!

Place Bellcour by Maggie Stein

Place Bellecour by Maggie Stein

Located at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, Lyon is, and always has been, a unique crossroads of European cultures.  France's third largest city, whose historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lyon provides an ideal location for the study of contemporary France as well as its rich historical and cultural heritage.  With approximately 1 million inhabitants, Lyon has the liveliness and energy of an urban setting yet avoids some of the pitfalls of the Paris metropolis. Daily life is more affordable, the pace of life a bit slower, cultural life is abundant, and Lyon has the reputation for being the gastronomic capital of France! In Lyon, the university is just one part of a diverse, lively city and, as a result, American students will not hear English spoken at every café terrace as might occur in some other common destinations for study abroad in France.


***We are now officially accepting applications to the Summer 2022 UVA program in Lyon, FRANCE!  (Fall semester 2022 applications will open shortly after Winter break)***

Please click HERE for details (see tabs on Academics/Costs & Finances/ and Planning Information)***

This is a 5-week program for intermediate and advanced students of French from Saturday June 4th – Saturday July 9th. Participating students earn 6 UVA credits and enroll in two courses.

Course offerings include FREN 2010-2020; FREN 3034, and two sections of FREN 3585/4585 (one on the culture of food and gastronomy in France and the other on the impact of colonization and decolonization on contemporary French society) See more details below.  N.B. If you have taken FREN 2010, or will be taking in spring 2022, you can enroll in FREN 2020 and FREN 3034 in Lyon.

There will be a trip to beautiful lake Annecy (2 nights), several group meals in local restaurants, museum visits, a cooking class and many other opportunities to practice your French and discover the beautiful city of Lyon!

Application deadline is March 1st.  Generous scholarship funding is available through the International Studies Office ISO-Scholarship page

Please contact our wonderful  ISO Study Abroad Advisor –  Leah Hicks! -- if you would like to be place on our Email list.

We will be holding an Information Session after the beginning of classes. 


We are here to answer any questions you may have, so don’t hesitate to write.

In the meantime, good luck finishing up the semester and a wonderful and much deserved Holiday Break.

Bonnes fêtes!

Janet Horne

UVA in Lyon, Program Director

Chair and Associate Professor, Department of French


FREN 2010-2020: Intermediate French (6 credits)

This 6-credit/6-week sequence focuses on the development of speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in French while taking full advantage of the unique cultural immersion experience of life in Lyon. Expanding the walls of the classroom into the city itself, students will enjoy cultural outings designed to complement the curriculum. (Fulfills year 2 of the College Required Course Sequence).

Former students wrote:  “The teachers were amazing and I learned so much in a short time frame.” “All the activities deepened my understanding because we used French and experienced cultural aspects first hand.’” Class was a great mix of traditional academic instruction and activity-based practice.” “The professors were immensely helpful and willing to aid in my learning of the language.” The classes were intellectually engaging. It was nice to speak and learn about French from the context of actually living in France instead of viewing it from the outside.”

FREN 3034:  Advanced Oral and Written Expression in French, “Café Culture: The Art of Speaking and Writing Well in French” (3 credits)

Writers of "the Lost Generation," such as Hemingway, chose the café as a preferred location for writing and observing French life. Students enrolled in FREN 3034 will meet and work in cafés and migrate throughout the city of Lyon, as they work on perfecting their oral and written skills in FrenchFREN 3034 is a course for intermediate-level students who wish to improve their mastery of the French language while studying contemporary French culture. Prerequisite for this summer course: FREN 2020 or FREN 2320.

Former students wrote:  “This class challenged me to think about cultures outside of my own and allowed me to gain a perspective I never would have had otherwise. Lova is an amazing professor and I would jump at the chance to take a class with her again!”

This course counts toward the major and minor in French.

FREN 3585 / 4585 Topics in Cultural Studies­­— À la carte : La gastronomie et la France

Gertrude Stein famously wrote, "[France] is a country where they talk about eating. Every country talks about eating but in that country they talk about talking about eating." All of this “food talk” has long extended beyond casual conversation. France is the home of gastronomic writing, haute cuisine, and many culinary norms that define cooking and restaurants the world over. Perhaps more than any other nation, France is readily associated with food and gastronomy. The deep relationship that the French have with gastronomy dates to the Middle Ages and is now more important than ever; Luc Dubanchet, the founder of the French publication Omnivore, has suggested that “the food scene is the strongest cultural movement in France right now.” However, there are negative repercussions of this national focus on food. Food functions not only as a coalescing force, but also as a tool of critique and division. We will explore a number of questions including: What does food mean in France? What is the relationship between food, culture, and identity? How do the French harness cuisine as a political, social, and cultural tool? What is the legacy of France’s agricultural heritage and how does it shape national values? How does food connect France’s past, present, and future? Is French gastronomy merely a myth? How is citizenship forged and reinforced through what is on the plate?

Students can take this course topic at the 3585 or 4585 level. All coursework will be in French  This course counts toward the major and minor in French.

FREN 3585 / 4585 Topics in Cultural Studies­­— "Colonisation et décolonisation en question dans la France contemporaine"

Pour une partie non négligeable de l’opinion publique, le fait colonial évoque une histoire révolue et achevée depuis les indépendances, incluses dans le vaste mouvement de décolonisation. Cependant, aujourd’hui, et plus que jamais, le passé colonial interroge la société française et le modèle républicain. Aux revendications des « Français d’Algérie » et « Harkis », répondent désormais celles des « indigènes de la République » et des habitants de « l’outre-mer français ». La « fracture coloniale » subsiste donc bel et bien, et participerait au « malaise français ». Alors que se multiplient les initiatives militantes portées par le mouvement « décolonial » et ses relais associatifs, la réflexion qu’il génère, structure des outils d’analyse sociologique des facteurs d’inégalités entre les genres, de développement du communautarisme et de remise en cause du pacte laïc. Dresser un bilan de ces questions fondamentales permet de mieux cerner les enjeux de la société française contemporaine.

Student Reflections on Lyon

"I had an amazing time in Lyon. It was a very comfortable place to improve my French and the experiences I gained will stick with me forever."
      ~Martha Eason

" I could go on and on and on and on about how absolutely fabulous Lyon was."
      ~Lauren Newman

"One of my favorite moments...was when I realized I had been walking around Lyon for days without using a map and that I didn't need one anymore."
      ~Codi Trigger

"The UVa in Lyon program offered me a perfect way to experience France with its fair balance of organized program activities, which helped us to acquaint ourselves with the city and its culture, and gain confidence in a unknown place. Still we had plenty of free time, which I got to spend exploring on my own and with fellow students. A couple of experiences I will never forget include: cooking with a chef in Lyon (the gastronomical capital of France!), a 40km tandem bike ride in the town of Annecy with the French Alps as our backdrop, staying up all night for the summer solstice music festival, or a simple walk, browsing used books from vendors by the river and a glace enjoyed while strolling the cobblestone streets of Vieux Lyon (the historical district). "The assurance and encouragement I received from the locals when I practiced French in "real life" is something I will always remember fondly. Whether asking for peppers in the local market or directions to the nearest metro stop, I was often met with receptive smiles. My experience in Lyon really encouraged ownership of my trip to France by giving me a personal perspective on a previously unknown city and by contextualizing my French studies in unique and intimate way."
      ~Norhan Fillo