Universite Catholique de Lyon, Ecole Superieure de Commerce & Management (ESDES)

Lyon, France

The exchange agreement

The exchange agreement between the University of Lethbridge and ESDES was signed in July of 2006 and is one of our newest partnerships.

Semester dates

Fall semester
early September –  mid December
Orientation: early September
Suggested arrival: early September
Spring semester
early January – mid May
Orientation: mid January
Suggested arrival: early January

The country

France is the largest country in Western Europe. It lies on the western edge of the continent of Europe and shares borders with six neighboring countries: Belgium and Luxembourg to the north; Germany and Switzerland to the east; Italy to the south-east; and Spain to the south-west. Within these boundaries, France has exceptionally varied scenery; this, together with its rich cultural heritage, helps make it popular with tourists.

Since 1958, France has constructed a presidential democracy resistant to the instabilities experienced in earlier parliamentary democracies. The official language in France is of course, French. France's economy combines modern capitalistic methods with extensive, but declining, government intervention.

For more information about France see sites such as en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France

The city

Lyon is centered in the natural river valley of the Rhône-Alpes region surrounded by the Beaujolais country in the north, Dombes and Isère in the east, the French Riviera to the south, and the Monts du Lyonnais in the west. The climate in Lyon is characterized as temperate, with average winter temperatures of 8°C and summer temperatures of 16°C. The moderate climate, annual rainfall and profusion of human imagination lend heavily to the world wide reputation Lyon has for great cuisine. Although notably an industrial city, as you stroll the city streets you will be taken back through time with the diverse architecture of the eras and exposing you to the cities bountiful history.

With a population of approximately 450,000 inhabitants and 169,000 of those students, Lyon is characterized as the first “university city” in France after Paris.

For more information about Lyon, visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyon.

The university

The ESDES Lyon Business School - Université Catholique de Lyon with a student population of 6,500 has two campuses; with the main campus located in Bellecour Square and the second only a few blocks away in Carnot Square. The university welcomes 1,300 foreign students a year and participates in more than 70 exchanges around the world.

For further information, check the Université Catholique de Lyon's website:

To view information on the International Business Program (IBP) and yearly schedule click here.

NOTE: schedules posted on the IBP site apply to ESDES - all paperwork submitted to the U of L Faculty of Management must allow for processing and submission prior to ESDES deadlines.


Courses are offered in both English and French. Additionally, there are pre-semester French language courses offered from August–September. The most popular program is 16-20 hours/week for a total of 80 hours at the price of €572. There is no pre-semester French language courses offered prior to the spring semester. Register for French classes early as they are very popular in Lyon.


ESDES assists all international students in attaining accommodations offered in the student residences near the university. The organization managing accommodation is referred to as CROUS. Depending on your date of arrival and the length of your stay there are various accommodation options. You can also check out www.j-net.org.

Students must contact the Accommodation Office (Service Logement) before the end of May (semester 1, September) or before the end of October (semester 2, January).


Lyon is 2 hours from Paris, the French Riviera and Switzerland (Geneva) by train. When arriving in Lyon by plane to the Saint-Exupery airport, shuttle buses leave every 20 minutes for the city centre. For additional travel information, please visit www.sncf.com.

Visa requirements

For a stay of more than 90 days, students of any nationality need a visa before departing to France.

The visa application process may have changed since this page was updated. Please email International Programs (int.programs@uleth.ca) for more information.

The 2B visa is valid for 6 – 12 months with multiple entries. There is no fee for exchange students. For further details about this visa, contact the Consulate General of the French Republic in Vancouver.

Consulat Général of France
1100-1130 W Pender St
Vancouver BC V6E 4A4Tel: 604.681.4345
Fax: 604.681.4287
Email: info@consulfrance-vancouver.org
Website: www.consulfrance-vancouver.org/spip.php?rubrique113

The Visa section is open to the public Monday to Friday, from 09:30–12:00.


Based on comments from our previous exchange students to Lyon, the costs for the exchange are approximately as follows:

  • Housing:
    • Residence: €300 – 400
    • Private Apartment: €400 – 600
    • Homestay: €320 – 600
  • Textbooks:
  • Food: €300
  • Transportation: approx. €35/month for city transit pass
  • Visa: free of charge
  • ESDES Administrative Fee: €100
  • Flight: $1200