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Rating  4.3/5

Learn French in Lyon

The city of silk, cinema, and exceptional gastronomy, Lyon truly is a feast for the eyes. It is home to a beautiful historic centre with picturesque cobbled streets, several lush gardens and public parks, and an incredibly efficient public transport system which lets you explore all its delights. Dating back over 2,000 years, Lyon is brimming with sites of historic interest, though its interesting past is not the only thing that draws people here. The city has long been lauded as the nation’s food capital, and it’s not hard to see why. With more restaurants per capita than anywhere else in France - from stylish Michelin-starred eateries to quaint bouchons to diverse street-food bars - cuisine is king in Lyon. With a large student population, the city is also lively and eclectic, offering entertainment and excitement for all ages and interests. So what are you waiting for? Learn French in Lyon with us and discover this vibrant city for yourself!

Once the capital of ancient Gaul, Lyon’s rich and colourful history is easily seen in monuments like the Roman amphitheatre, the Cathedral of Saint John, and the striking Hôtel-Dieu on the banks of the Rhône. Less grand, perhaps, but equally as interesting, are the traboules which pepper the historic centre. These walkways helped merchants and canuts - or silk workers - cross the city quickly, giving them an efficiency which made Lyon one of the world’s foremost trading centres. This legacy continues today; the city is now a key hub for the chemical, biotech, and software industries and is thus at the forefront of the modern world.

The Vieux Lyon district, or ‘old town’, is one of the largest Renaissance centres in Europe. This stunning area is a history buff’s dream; you can spend hours here simply walking the streets and taking in the sights. Old Lyon is also the epicentre of one the city’s best-known annual events: La Fête des Lumières (the ‘Festival of Light’). Originating as a tribute to the Virgin Mary, who is said to have spared Lyon from a plague in the 17th century, the festival is now a four-day spectacle involving incredible illuminations on some of the city’s most prominent buildings. Citizens adorn their windows with coloured candles, key streets are decorated with lanterns, and artists from around the country bring Lyon to life with amazing light displays, creating a truly magical atmosphere.

Another key factor which contributes to Lyon’s ambience is its dynamic food scene. Behind only Paris, Lyon is heralded as the epitome of gastronomic excellence. It’s said that true haute cuisine has its roots here, thanks to the Lyonnaise mères. These ‘mothers’ were untrained but highly skilled chefs who defined and shaped classic French cooking and opened some of the country’s first Michelin-starred restaurants. Today, the city is home to over a thousand eateries, serving both regional and international delicacies. For a true taste of Lyon, be sure to visit a traditional Lyonnais bouchon. These atmospheric bistros serve delicious local dishes which are often made from fresh ingredients bought at the city’s farmer’s markets.

However you choose to spend your time in Lyon, an immersive French experience here will give you a deeper insight into the culture and history of France and help you to significantly develop your French skills. After all, there is no better way to learn a language than by living it!

Our school in Lyon

16 classrooms
Large student lounge
Wheelchair-accessible
Course materials included
Certified Label Qualité FLE centre
Member of IALC and Campus France
Wi-Fi throughout the building
Library with multi-media resources & computers
Communal area with vending machines serving hot and cold drinks and snacks
Approved for CSN, Erasmus+, and Bildungsurlaub programmes (various states)

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Our French school in Lyon is located in the Brotteaux area of the city’s fashionable 6th arrondissement. This district is renowned for its excellent restaurants and classic Haussmann architecture. Largely a residential area, Brotteaux is packed with small shops and independent boutiques where you can get lots of language practice after your lessons. A short walk away is the scenic west bank of the Rhône, a lovely place for an afternoon stroll. There’s an interesting selection of attractions within easy reach of the school, including the Parc de la Tête d’Or, which has its own botanical gardens, a boating lake, and a popular zoo. Other nearby attractions include the Museum of Contemporary Art, Place des Jacobins, the Palais de la Bourse, La Parte Dieu shopping centre, the National Opera House, and the Roman Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls.

Language lessons take place on the ground floor of an attractive 19th-century building. The facility is wheelchair-accessible and has 16 bright, air-conditioned classrooms. There is a large communal lounge with vending machines serving snacks and refreshments and a multi-media library with computers for student use. Wi-Fi access is available for free throughout the building. Public transport links are just a few minutes away, so you’ll easily be able to explore the city after class.

Established in 1999, this school has over 20 years of experience teaching international students French. It has Label Qualité FLE accreditation from France’s Ministry of Education, and is also a member of quality-control organisations including Campus France, the International Association of Language Centres (IALC), the FLE Group, and the International Federation of Teachers of French (FIPF). These credentials demonstrate the high standard of tuition offered here. In addition, the school’s location in one of France’s most interesting and vibrant cities makes it a highly sought-after study location.

Location: Brotteaux, 6th arrondissement, Lyon
Nearest convenience store: 300 m
Nearest café: 160 m
Nearest metro stop: 300 m (Foch)
Distance from train station: 2.1 km (Gare de Lyon Part-Dieu)
Nearest bus stop: 600 m (Masséna)
Distance from airport: 28.9 km (Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport)

Courses in Lyon

Available courses

  • Intensive (25)
  • Intensive + Cultural lessons (20)
  • Intensive + Private Lessons (20)
  • Super Intensive (25)
  • Private Lessons (20)
  • DELF/DALF Exam Prep (20)
  • Semi-Intensive (15)
  • Semi-Intensive (21)

The core general French programme offered at our Lyon school is the Semi-intensive course of 15 group lessons per week in classes of up to 12 students. This limited size means you’ll benefit from lots of language practice and highly personalised attention from the teacher, giving you the best chance of success whatever your starting level. Classes takes place either in the morning or the afternoon; your timetable varies based on your starting French ability and the number of other students of each level. Your schedule can therefore only be confirmed on your first day once all students have arrived. Morning classes take place 09:45 - 12:00 on Mondays and 09:00 - 12:15 Tuesday to Friday, while afternoon classes take place 14:00 - 16:15 on Mondays and 13:30 - 15:45 Tuesday to Friday. Please note that this programme is not suitable for complete beginners.

The more rigorous Intensive programme adds 3 2-hour workshops per week to the core Semi-intensive course. These workshops take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays and cover all aspects of language learning (reading, writing, listening, and speaking), as well as cultural topics designed to increase your understanding of life in France. Through focused activities and classwork, you’ll be able to rapidly increase your language proficiency. As with the Semi-intensive course, your classes will take place either in the morning or the afternoon depending on your starting ability level. Please note that this programme is not suitable for complete beginners.

If you want to make even more progress, you can attend the school’s Super-intensive course, which adds 5 2-hour workshops per week to your core Semi-intensive programme. You’ll have a workshop every day and cover each of the following topics: phonetics, written French, oral communication, French culture, and grammar. This extra study time will help you to strengthen your language skills and speak with confidence in no time at all. Complete beginners will need to attend at least 2 weeks of the Super-intensive programme before being able to follow other courses. There are set start dates for students with no previous experience of French - please contact us for available start dates for beginners.

Undoubtedly the most efficient way to maximise your French development is to take private lessons. As standard, you’ll have 20 one-to-one classes per week, though bespoke packages are available on request. In these sessions you’ll have the undivided attention of the teacher, which allows you to tailor your tuition to your own needs. Private lessons are also a great option for those who feel they need extra support with their studies or who want to cover specific topics during their time in Lyon. However you use these lessons, you’ll find that you make unparalleled improvement!

While private tuition is extremely beneficial in terms of language development, it doesn’t offer the social experience provided by group classes. Fortunately, we have the answer: combine the best of both courses with a Semi-intensive + Private programme! By adding 5 or 10 one-to-one classes per week to your core course, you’ll receive the extra practice afforded by private lessons whilst still experiencing the social side of group tuition. More rigorous combined packages of Super-intensive 25 + 5 or 10 private lessons per week are also available.

If you’re studying French because of an interest in the French way of life, our school offers two great Language & Activity programmes for you to choose from. The first, French & Culture, combines the core Semi-intensive course with 5 cultural activities per week. These activities take place around your lesson schedule; they vary throughout the year but can include guided city tours, museum visits, food- and/or wine-tastings, a group meal, and a boat cruise. This course has set start dates and is available to students with A2 or higher French ability, so is not suitable for complete beginners.

If you’re learning French for your job or plan to work with a French company, our Business French course will be perfect for you. Through 15, 20, or 25 weekly one-to-one lessons you’ll cover business-related terminology, learn how to read and write business documents, and discover the specifics of corporate communication in French-speaking companies. Since your lessons are given on a private basis, you’ll be able to cover any topics related to your business plans and will find that you make rapid improvements. This course is suitable for students with A2 or higher French ability level, so is not available for complete beginners.

Our summer teachers’ course is an ideal refresher for French tutors. The programme combines 15 weekly workshops with the core Semi-intensive course. In your general French lessons you’ll strengthen your language skills, while in your workshops you’ll improve your pedagogical practices through classroom observation, focused tasks, and group activities. This programme will put you in an excellent position to begin the new school year with newly improved skills and techniques. You’ll need to have at least B1 starting ability in order to be eligible for this course.

If you’d like to study in a French university, our school’s university preparation course is the perfect way for you to develop your language skills to the right level to be able to apply. The programme consists of 15 weekly group lessons, through which you can improve your general French skills, plus 5 one-to-one classes per week where you’ll cover topics related to your upcoming course. You’ll also receive bespoke assistance in getting ready for university education. This is an incredibly flexible programme that can be tailored to your needs; the duration of the course will depend on your starting ability level and what materials you wish to cover. Applicants for this course should have at least B1-level French ability.

On the first day of lessons, you should arrive at the school at 08:00. You will have already submitted a level test prior to arrival, which is used to assess your starting language ability and place you in a group that’s most suitable for that level. You will have a short oral assessment on arrival to verify the results of this test before having your class placement and lesson schedule confirmed. This methodology provides students with the best possible opportunity to improve their language skills, regardless of their starting level.

In the afternoon/evening, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in the school’s activity programme. At the end of your course, you’ll receive a certificate of achievement which can be used to demonstrate the French ability level you have reached during your time at the school.

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Contact us today to see if we can arrange a bespoke package for you!

Accommodation

Available accommodation

  • Host Family
  • Short-term studio
  • Studio

The best way to maximise the benefits of your immersive language experience is to stay with a local homestay hosts. All hosts are native French speakers who offer the opportunity to practice your French skills outside the classroom. Hosts live up to 40 minutes from the school by public transport and offer private single or twin* bedrooms and access to the home’s communal spaces including the lounge and bathroom(s). Rooms are offered on the following meal packages: breakfast-included, with kitchen access for cooking your other daily meals, or half-board, which includes breakfast and dinner each day and no kitchen access. We highly recommend the half-board option, as it is not only cost-effective but also gives you guaranteed social time with your host(s) in the evening, thus maximum language practice. Whichever option you select, bed linens and towels will be provided by your host(s) and changed regularly; your host(s) will either do your laundry for you or let you use the home’s facilities once a week. Most hosts offer Wi-Fi access, but you should advise us at the time of booking if this a requirement for you. You will have your own key to come and go as you please, but you must respect house rules and schedules. Your hosts will collect you on arrival from one of Lyon’s two main train stations; a transfer service is available for an additional fee if you prefer to be collected from the airport. Please note that under-18s must book homestay lodging.

For more independence, you can select one of the school’s studio apartments. Students attending courses for a week to two months can select a short-term studio in one of two residence complexes. Both residences are located just 10 minutes from the school by public transport and offer single and double* studios and apartments for up to 4 people. Each studio has a private bathroom, a fully equipped kitchenette (including fridge, microwave, and hob), and guaranteed Wi-Fi access. The residences also have communal spaces including private gardens and a cafeteria. Studios are offered on a self-catering basis, though it is possible to book breakfast on-site for an additional fee. Bed linens and towels are included and changed regularly; coin-operated laundry facilities are available in both residences. Both residences have a reception area with staff who are on-hand to help or advise on what to do during your stay. You will be placed based on availability at the time of booking; we cannot guarantee the location of your lodging. Kindly note that a €1 daily tourist tax is charged on all bookings.

Long-stay studios are available for students attending courses for more than two months. These comfortable apartments are located around 15 minutes from the school by public transport and include fully equipped kitchenettes (fridge, hob, and microwave), private bathrooms, and lounge areas. You’ll also have access to the complex’s communal spaces, such as the kitchen/diner, the gym, and the gardens. Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout the building. Bed linens are included but towels are not, so you should bring your own. Coin-operated laundry facilities are available on-site. The building has a reception area manned by staff who are happy to assist you as needed or advise on what to do during your time in Lyon. A cleaning charge of €35 is applicable for all long-stay studios. On arrival, you’ll need to pay a security deposit of €450 (€650 for stays over 12 weeks), which will be returned to you on departure providing your apartment is left in suitable condition. Please note that you should arrive on a weekday when booking this type of lodging. Other residence complexes with similar facilities may be used during high season.

*Twin rooms are only available to students travelling together. If you select a shared room but are travelling alone, you will be swapped to a single room.

Activities

To complement your language tuition and teach you about life in Lyon, our school offers a wide range of social and cultural activities. These generally take place in the afternoons, evenings, or at weekends; they’re designed to give you an insight into the city’s history and culture and to help you get to know your classmates. All activities are all held in French, so you’ll be able to maintain your immersion and put your new language skills into practice in real-life scenarios.

Many activities are available free of charge, though some may incur an additional fee to cover entrance and/or transportation costs. The exact schedule changes throughout the year but may include:

- Guided walking tours
- Visits to attractions like the Parc de la Tête d’Or, Place Bellecour, and the Fine Arts Museum
- Group games
- Conversation sessions
- Food- and wine-tasting
- French film screenings
- Cookery workshops
- Trips to local markets
- Plus seasonal activities available in the city

How to get there

Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport is just a 30-minute drive from the city centre. It is easily accessible from many worldwide locations.

From here, you can either make your own way to your lodging or we can arrange an airport transfer service for you. If you select this service, a driver will be waiting for you when you land and will take you directly to your accommodation. If you select this service on departure as well, you will be taken back to the airport in time for your departing flight.

If you select homestay lodging, you have the option of being collected on arrival from either of Lyon’s two main train stations. This service is offered free of charge.

You should arrange to arrive in Lyon on the Sunday before your course starts and to depart on the Saturday after it finishes. If you are booking long-term studio lodging, you should arrive on a weekday. We may be able to arrange extra nights on arrival and/or departure for you if needed.


Location of our school in Lyon

Course

4.3 / 5
Accommodation

4.2 / 5
School Staff

4.4 / 5
Average score for our school in Lyon based on 19 previous client reviews.

Student reviews & feedback

1-2-1, 15 lessons over 3 days...a tough ask for both me and teacher (Justine) but learnt lots by focusing in on key problem areas. Felt I could ask when in doubt and all objectives achieved giving me renewed confidence about my French.

Room, accommodation, facilities all great with really good breakfasts and evening meals, the latter lasting long into the evening!! Good location in relation to school. Madame Odile was simply the best! Such a lovely lady who could not have done more for me and who could not have been any better for me. We had such a laugh!

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Carefully developed and titrated. Teacher was very good, supportive.. and fun

The Roche family were absolutely superb, going out of their way to make me feel welcome. To profit from my time I have been with other families, and this one was truly the best.

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I thought the course was great. I had lessons just in the morning which left the afternoons to explore Lyon and have fun. It was really well rounded with emphasis on all areas of the French language and the teachers were really great.

I was staying with a host family and it worked really well. I could come and go as I pleased and got lots of delicious meals.

It was so useful to have someone to talk to in English when I was trying to organise my language course, everyone I spoke to at Apple Languages was really helpful. I had an amazing time in Lyon!

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I had a great time although I felt the assessment could have been better as I covered a lot of stuff I already knew and therefore didn't get as much as I hoped from the course

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The apartment was in an excellent location and my room was fantastic. The family were very friendly and helpful.

Extra
I had a great time in Lyon, it is an excellent city and a great school and I would love to go back!

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I liked it because there was no set textbook and a relatively small amount of homework.

Accommodation
The woman I stayed with (Mme Champeymont) was very kind and welcoming. She cooked very well. Her language was clear and she was easy to talk to. She respected my privacy and helped me in every way possible.

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I have a very good memory of the school in general. In particular, the teachers I had were really willing, well-prepared and friendly. I hope to have the chance to come back!!

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I really enjoyed the course and the easyness to find it! Was a good week and I really find helpfull the mediation of Apple Languages with the school.

The course was interesting and provided plenty of oral opportunities. The workshops on pronunciation were particularly interesting and useful. I was housed with an absolutely lovely woman and her young son, with a comfortable and spacious room of my own. I was very much made to feel at home.

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A great introduction to French, in a very friendly and relaxed environment. I immediately felt that I was part of a big family.

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Lyon is an extremely friendly language school and is also well organised. My lessons were pitched at just the right level for me, lots of enjoyable oral discussion, but also some challenging grammar. I loved my host family. We hit it off instantly. The food was excellent and they made me feel very welcome. I would go back in a heartbeat.

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I had a great teacher, and school had very helpful staff. I learnt a lot on the course. My host family spoke to me in French all the time - excellent!

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I thought the course was excellently structured. Given that I was only there for two weeks it was inevitable that I had to join in at a particular point on what was obviously an ongoing syllabus but this was administered with a deal of flexibility and I also enjoyed immensely the discussions of topical issues. My host family consisted of a middle-aged lady and her cat. She was very helpful and hospitable and I'm sure helped me to improve my french. The food was excellent.

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School statistics

Nationality (%)


Brazil (19)
Eastern europe (3)
English speakers (6)
German speakers (14)
Italian (38)
Japanese/korean (4)
Spanish speakers (8)

Average Student Numbers

* Statistics considered correct at the time of publishing

Student stories on our blog

Lyon travel bucket list

topLyonIf you are looking for a French city which can definitively compete with the lovely capital city that Paris is, I think you should opt for the beautiful and affordable – but no quality loss – Lyon! More than simply listing the most famous monuments or places from the town, I thought about sharing my very own personal travel bucket list, with all of my favourites to help you to discover other sides of the city. Read more...

Prices for Lyon

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NOTE: If you are a complete beginner, please choose a suitable start date marked (b)

(b) = start dates suitable for complete beginners