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About France
Country Handbook

Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon

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Program Snapshot

Eat your heart out in Lyon, the capital of French gastronomy. Lyon is the third largest city in France and has a vibrant cultural life. Students have the option of taking computer science courses in English during the first semester or selecting from a full range of engineering courses in French throughout the year. For more information regarding programs in France, please contact Lindsay Moats or check out her blog.

Lyon is a major industrial center in the southeast of France only two hours by train from Paris. The Saone and Rhone rivers both run through the city.

An industrial center, Lyon has factories and modern glass-and-steel buildings, as well as café districts and sections of Renaissance and Moyen Age architecture. Lyon emerged as a Renaissance silk-trading center; fine weaving is still maintained, and several museums are devoted to textile arts. The city's fine arts museum has collections of Spanish, Dutch, Impressionist and early twentieth-century paintings.

ISEP Exchange: undergraduate and graduate programs available for an academic year or semester

ISEP-Exchange for US students.

Chance of Placement
ISEP Exchange chance of placement for US students is generally Excellent.
For the most current chances of placement, see the Sites Open for Applications for US Students

Program Dates
All Programs
Academic year: September to June
Semester 1: September to late January
Semester 2: Late January to June.

Fast Facts
Villeurbanne, France (pop. 1.2 million)
Student Enrollment: 4,500
Language of instruction: French, English
University Home Page
Additional Course Information
Telecommunications Program in English
Join the ISEP France Facebook Group


Option 1: Full year or semester enrollment in university courses taught in French

Biochemistry; Civil Engineering and City Planning; Computer Science; Computer Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Energy Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Materials Physics and Engineering; Production Engineering; Telecommunications.

Option 2: Semster 1- Telecommunications courses taught in English

INSA Lyon offers the following courses in English during the first semester through the Telecommunications department:

A Database Perspective on Data Mining
Formal Aspects in Information Systems
Middleware architectures from ambient to cloud computing
Advanced Wireless Network
MultiMedia Processing

Courses taught in English

See option 2 above.

Academic Notes

INSA focuses on engineering and technology with a research emphasis for students as well as faculty. Degree programs include computer science (systems analysis and software engineering); biochemistry; energy engineering (thermal systems, chemical engineering, environmental industrial problems); electrical, mechanical and civil engineering; city planning; materials physics; and telecommunications.

Students typically enroll in 25 hours of class per week including labs. A term runs for 14-15 weeks.


Transcripts are sent to ISEP in mid-March and Mid-July and then immediately released to the student's home institution if there are no outstanding financial obligations.

Language Notes

Option 1: Full Year or semester enrollment in university courses taught in French

Language Requirement: A minimum of 6 semesters of university-level French or the equivalent must be completed prior to the program.
Language Notes: A French culture course is offered in addition to regular classes during the semester.
Pre-Session: A 4-week, pre-session, intensive, French language program is available (included in ISEP benefits before SM1 but for an additional fee before SM2).

Option 2: Semester 1-Telecommunications courses taught in English

Language Requirements: There is no minimum French requirement as all science courses will be in English. However, some French is recommended to navigate daily life.
Language Notes: In addition to courses in telecommunications, students can participate in a French language and culture class.
Pre-Session: A 4-week, pre-session, intensive, French language program is available (included in ISEP benefits before SM1).

For more information on courses and language options, see the:
ISEP French Language Advising Guide for US Students
ISEP French Language Advising Guide for I-to-I Students

Note: The host institution ultimately determines your proficiency level and course eligbility.

Special Academic Conditions

Students applying to INSA Lyon must submit a resume or CV with their ISEP application.

Special ISEP Application Instructions

All students studying in France must purchase French health insurance (la Sécu) upon arrival for approximately 215 euros in addition to purchasing ISEP Health Insurance prior to departure.

Option 1: Full Year or semester enrollment in university courses taught in French

Only students with GPAs of 3.2 or above, as well as a strong science background and good French skills are eligible for INSA.

Option 2: Semester 1-Telecommunications courses taught in English
Students do not have a minimum GPA requirement from INSA Lyon but will still need to meet the ISEP requirement of a 2.75 GPA and will need to have a strong science background.

Hints for Researching Courses

Please follow the instructions by clicking the link "course information" above.

Housing and Meals
Students are housed in single rooms in a university residence hall with a private bathroom. Meals are provided at the INSA-run cafeteria and are also provided a meal stipend for additional meals. No married student housing is available.


You are responsible for all of your personal expenses including: optional fees (e.g. computer, language, science lab fees), books, local transportation, entertainment, etc. The amount below is provided as a guide; the actual amount needed will vary depending on courses and personal habits. Your personal expenses per month, including books, are estimated at 70-160 euros.

Orientation at INSA Lyon will include an explanation of the French educational system, the INSA system, and the relationship between professors and students. Additionally, students will be given information on the city of Lyon and its surroundings. A student tutor is assigned to the exchange group, in the department he/she has chosen.


Host will provide arrival directions with acceptance packet.

INSA was founded in 1957 to train highly qualified engineers, support continuing education, and conduct research and testing. INSA is very interested in international exchange; about 600 foreign students from 35 countries study at the institute annually. Total enrollment: 4,500, including 1,000 at the doctoral level.