CODJA Marie-Christine

5 min.

21 March 2024

International student Marie-Christine CODJA has joined Esdes Business School Bachelor In Business program. She's been in Lyon, France for 6 months now. She shares with us her experience and tips for surviving in Lyon as an international student.


Life in Lyon: a city full of stories 

Lyon stands as a beacon of culture, history, and gastronomy. With its cobblestone streets, picturesque riverside views, and vibrant cultural scene, Lyon offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern vitality.

Beyond its architectural marvels, Lyon is a great city for students. Its cultural diversity; being able to interact with people from diverse backgrounds, gastronomic delights; from traditional Lyonnaise cuisine to international fare and its rich history and architecture such as vieux Lyon and Fourvière Basilica has greatly impressed me.

As an international student at Esdes Business School, living in Lyon for 6 months now, I couldn’t have dreamt of a better place to live. Here are some tips that I think can help anyone, especially international students, enjoy their stay in this beautiful city.

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Survival Tips

Navigating life in Lyon can be a rewarding experience, but it's essential to be prepared.

Here are some survival tips to help you make the most of your time in the city:


Learn the Language

Mastering basic French is essential for daily interactions and cultural immersion.

Enroll in language classes offered by your university or local language schools. Additionally, practice conversational French with native speakers or fellow students. For instance, joining language exchange groups or attending conversation meetups can provide valuable practice opportunities.

From my own experience, I found that even a basic understanding of French greatly improved my ability to navigate everyday situations, such as ordering food at restaurants or asking for directions.


Explore Student Services

Take advantage of the wide range of support services available to students. Visit the international student office for assistance with visa issues, housing, and cultural integration. Academic advisors can provide guidance on course selection and academic planning. Counseling services offer support for personal and mental health concerns.

For example, when I encountered difficulties adjusting to life in Lyon, seeking help from student services made a significant difference. Whether it was navigating bureaucratic procedures or seeking emotional support, knowing that assistance was readily available eased my transition.


Join Student Organizations

Engaging with student clubs and organizations is an excellent way to meet like-minded individuals and build a social network.

Whether you're interested in sports, arts, or cultural exchange, there's a club for everyone. Participating in events and activities organized by these groups fosters friendships and creates lasting memories.

On my hand, I joined a photography club. It not only allowed me to explore Lyon through a different lens but also introduced me to students from diverse backgrounds who shared my passion for photography.


Discover Local Culture

Immerse yourself in Lyon's vibrant cultural scene by attending museums, art galleries, theaters, and festivals. Take advantage of discounted or free admission for students and explore the city's rich history and artistic heritage. Participating in cultural exchange programs, such as language tandems or homestays, provides insight into French customs and traditions.

For me, visiting the Musée des Beaux-Arts and attending performances at the Opéra de Lyon deepened my appreciation for the city's cultural offerings and enriched my study abroad experience.

Embrace Public Transportation

Lyon's efficient public transportation system makes exploring the city and its surroundings convenient and affordable. Purchase a student transportation pass for unlimited access to buses, trams, and metros. Familiarize yourself with the various routes and schedules to navigate Lyon with ease. From my personnal experience, riding the tram along the banks of the Rhône River afforded stunning views of the city's landmarks and allowed me to venture beyond the city center to discover hidden gems in the surrounding areas.


Like any city, Lyon has its share of risks. Be aware of your surroundings, avoid walking alone at night in unfamiliar areas, and keep your belongings secure to stay safe. Lyon offers a harmonious blend of history, culture, and gastronomy, making it a truly enchanting destination for residents and visitors alike. By embracing the city's cultural diversity, culinary delights, and vibrant community spirit, one can truly thrive in the vibrant tapestry that is life in Lyon.

By following these tips and staying open to new experiences, international students can make the most of their time in Lyon and enjoy a fulfilling and memorable study abroad experience. 

So, pack your bags, brush up on your French, and prepare to embark on a journey of discovery in this captivating city by the Rhône.



  • Where can I study in English in France?

You can study business in France by joining Esdes Business School. Based in Lyon, this accredited business school offers programs taught 100% in English :  Bachelor in Business, Master in Management, MSc... 

Discover all our program here.


  • How can I get help to find accommodation in France?

Lyon offers numerous choices of accommodation suitable for an array of different budgets. Esdes has signed a partnership with private residences in order to provide quality accommodation for international students. You can find more info here.


  • Where can I get help for my visa and residence permit?

Esdes Business School as a team dedicated to the support of international student, you can find some help for your questions related to visa and residence permit here. 


  • I want to study in France, where can I get help?

If you wish to study at Esdes Business School, you can find all the information you need on our website or on this dedicated page.

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