Just like when visiting any new place for the first time, especially on a very special occasion such as doing your Master’s abroad, I had my fears — well, anxieties — about the student life in Lyon. Luckily for me, it turned out to be one of the most memorable and, to my surprise, comfortable adventures I have ever had.
Lyon student life is quite easy as compared to my previous experiences. Both universities and other public institutions have made the life of students as interesting and as cool as possible (DISCLAIMER: I am not talking about the actual studies. Those can actually be super hard). No wonder why two years in a row Lyon has been chosen as the best student city in France, according to L’Etudiant.
Here are my 5 most favourite things about student life in Lyon:
Most universities are accessible via public transport — if not metro, then definitely bus, tram, city bicycles Velo’v or even a funicular railway. Students have a 50% discount and 2 months offered in case of an annual subscription.
If you are too lazy to visit the agency, you can get your subscription on campus or even at university residence halls (it was actually the first thing that surprised me when I arrived at my dormitory).
YES, you have read it right. We all heard the long stories about the French administration and how ‘painful’ it can be sometimes, but, believe me, they are really trying to make it easier for students.
Upon your arrival to Lyon, in lieu of submitting your application for a residency permit in prefecture — which basically means standing in the long lines from 6:00 am in order to be able to get into at 9:00 am — students can send the application via the International office of their university.
Once approved, they are invited to Students Welcome Desk, the temporary office of prefecture specially created for students, to get their residency permit. It literally saves up tons of time for you, which you can ultimately use to wander around the city and to enjoy its countless beauties.
It is no surprise that most cities offer student discounts for different cultural events, but these two offers of Lyon blew my mind.
Le Pass Culture Etudiant which offers 4 tickets (opera, dance, theater, festival, cinema, etc.) for only €18 (separately the tickets cost €12-15 each).
La Carte Jeune Musées is an annual unlimited pass to 6 municipal museums for only €7, let alone the numerous discounts at partner-museums.
You will never get bored in Lyon because there are many cultural events.
My two favourite places for student support in Lyon are the abovementioned Students Welcome Desk and Maison des Etudiants de la Métropole de Lyon.
The first one is a 3-month initiative (September to December) open to all the students from Lyon region who want to be advised and accompanied in their administrative procedures by a multilingual team and many actors of student life.
You can literally show up anytime and ask any question regarding the life in Lyon and be welcomed by a super nice team.
Maison des Etudiants de la Métropole de Lyon helps integrate students in the city life and supports their initiatives. You can find there 65 student associations, co-working spaces in case you are fed up with the library mess, or else, participate in numerous conferences, debates, language courses, dance classes, etc. Basically, you can find there anything you want.
My favourite Newletter
I am probably one of those few people who read newsletters (yeah, I kind of feel old sometimes), but the one from Lyon Campus is my favourite.
It is basically this comprehensive newsletter about the student life in Lyon where you can find any information you are looking for: conferences, concerts, fresh news, coming-ups and ATTENTION (drumsss…) free tickets to hundreds of cultural events. Actually, I recently won 2 tickets to a stand-up comedy show and, yes, you can win, too.
There are many things I like about the student life in Lyon but these are certainly the ones that made my experience way easier and more interesting.
Lyon is full of surprises, so brace yourselves and share your emotions with us once you discover my favourite city.
A bientôt à Lyon!