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Off-Campus Study

ISEP at Institut National des Sciences Appliquees de Lyon: Information Science & Technology Program

INSA Lyon, the oldest and largest school making up the INSA group, 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. INSA Lyon is known as the scientific and technological capital of France, with 22 research laboratories, more than 600 researchers and 650 PhD students. INSA has been repeatedly rated the number one engineering school in France.

This program would be suitable for students that are ready to be abroad, but would still like some of the academic services that a U.S. college provides.  It is a good choice for someone that is a world traveler OR has never left their hometown.  However, studying in France does require independence to be successful in the bureaucratic university system. 

Learn more about INSA Lyon here! Read the ISEP Country Handbook to learn more about visa requirements, educational system, and culture.

Program Type

Exchange

Locations

Villeurbanne, France

Languages of Instruction

English

Program Dates

Fall 2018 only: September 2018 - January 2019*

 

*INSA-Lyon may be able to work with students that need to complete early exams. 

 

All dates are tentative and may change.  ISEP will alert all accepted students of final dates.

Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have junior status or higher before participation. 
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75.  

 

Students applying to ISEP must apply for an Exchange option (in any country) as a first choice but may apply to a Direct option as a back-up.  Direct options may have an additional cost.

Chance of placement for US students is generally Excellent.

Location

LyonTech-la Doua

The INSA Lyon campus includes 11 residence halls connected to the Lyon city center by two tram lines. There are many extracurricular activities for students organized by the Maison des Etudiants, a 1,000 square meter building housing the Student Union with laundry facilities, a grocery store and more. There are over 130 clubs and societies on campus. Students can also take part in club sports and cultural and humanitarian activities. 

International students are giving priority access to on-campus housing, which includes three student restaurants, various sports facilities, a library, communal rooms with free WiFi and more.

Academics

The “Information Science & Technology Semester” is a program jointly organized by three engineering departments of INSA Lyon (Telecommunication Department, Computer Sciences and Engineering Department, Electrical Engineering Department) in collaboration with three research laboratories (CITI, CREATIS, LIRIS). This program targets foreign students in their last year of their bachelor’s degree.

Full IST semester program is composed of six scientific courses (to be chosen among 12) associated with a research attachment within one of the IST research laboratories (CITI, CREATIS, LIRIS). The 30 ECTS of the IST Semester are obtained by:

  • Six scientific courses at three ECTS credits each
  • R&R Project: 10 ECTS credits
  • French Course: Two ECTS credits

Program Website

Course Description

Find a full course list for the Information Science & Technology Semester in English.  

Website for Course Availability

ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT AND TEACHING STYLE

French universities operate in ways that are quite different from the system with which you are familiar. Understanding the differences will help you plan your program of study in France, use your time effectively while you are there and return with transferable credits. French students follow a highly structured curriculum specific to the degree they are pursuing from day one at the university. They do not take “liberal arts” or general education requirements for 2 years before focusing on a major or area of study as most U.S. students do. 

In general, French students have to assume more responsibility for their own lives on campus than American students. They do not have as many campus support systems as American students, and they too may experience frustration when they first begin their studies! The amount of information you receive before you leave and during the first days or weeks of your stay abroad may seem overwhelming. However, if you review the material sent to you by ISEP and your host institution carefully, you will be ready to meet the challenges of adjusting to a different system and find your coordinator and professors more willing to help you than if you had not prepared yourself.

French professors are not as accessible as their American counterparts. Increasingly, however, professors do have office hours or may be available if you make an appointment. They will also be willing to answer questions and discuss problems before or immediately after class. It would be a good idea to introduce yourself to the professor at the beginning of the year, explaining that you are an international student. Do ask other students in class for advice or assistance if you do not understand something.

Please review the country’s handbook for more information on the education system. 

COURSEWORK AND GRADING

Registration (inscription) is the process of enrollment into the university; you will fill out many forms and hand in several passport-size photos in order to receive the various university cards signifying your enrollment.

Course Selection: 
As an exchange student, you have greater flexibility in choosing courses than French students do. You do not need to take a complete package of courses at one level. However, if you focus on courses in one or two departments, you will find it easier to put together a schedule, your program of studies will be more cohesive, and you will have a better chance of getting to know French students because you will be seeing the same group on a regular basis.

Selection of courses is done during registration. You should expect to have to go to each building that houses the faculté (department) of the course you wish to take, find the administrative office, ask for a course listing and sign up for the desired course. Students should be aware that the registration process can take several days. French universities are not as “service-oriented” as those in the United States and there are many students for few administrators. Ask questions of your ISEP host coordinator if you have trouble registering. Also, the add-drop process is very informal. You may want to observe several classes before making your final selection and to make sure that you will be able to follow the course and fulfill all course requirements. Remember to consult about any changes in your course selections with your host and home coordinators and advisors. Be sure to keep track of your courses, including course titles, hours, professors, and assignments for after your exchange. In all cases, you must verify all of your course information with your host coordinator to ensure that you have enrolled properly.

Course Approvals

Check to see if your department has pre-approved courses here. If not, don’t worry. You can work with your advisor.


EXAMS AND GRADING

Student performance is assessed in two ways:

  • Short quizzes given throughout the semester allow instructors to check what their students have learned in each unit.
  • Examinations covering all of the material presented during the semester are given at the end of each semester, generally just before the February break and again in June, before the summer break.

The atmosphere at a French university may seem low-pressure, but be on your guard. Even if a class does not require regular assignments, you must keep up with the reading and attend classes. Final examinations are given at the end of each course. ISEP students should check with professors to determine when the exam will be given as most professors do not provide a syllabus at the beginning of a course. As a foreign student, you may not be required to take the final exam. You may be able to substitute written assignments for the exam. Check with the professor to find out whether you are expected to take the exam in order to get a grade (in many instances, the exam might be the only evidence that you have taken the class) or whether you can substitute other assignments. Taking a final does not automatically entitle you to a grade since you must pass your exams to receive a grade. Also, make sure to register for the exam in addition to taking it.

If you make any special arrangements with a professor, obtain the agreement in writing signed by both you and the professor. Provide a copy of the agreement to both your home and host ISEP coordinators and keep a copy for yourself. Without an agreement in writing, it is expected that you will take all final exams. Credit transfer is not guaranteed if you fail to take exams or provide written proof of other arrangements.

Housing and Meals

Students are housed in a studio apartment; one person per room. Read more information about living on the LyonTech Campus. Meals are through the university cafeteria. 

Financial Information

For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee for a semester with the ISEP Exchange to INSA-Lyon includes orientation, on-site director, college fees, housing, and the equivalent of 19/meals per week.  

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2017/Spring 2018 semester:

Budget Item

Amount

Lake Forest College Tuition

$22,412

Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added costs

 $5,100

College Deposit (credit)

($250)

Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College

$27,512

ISEP Fee due on Stage 2 Application

 

 $325

College Deposit due on Acceptance (non-refundable, but shows as credit on bill for off-campus term)

 $250

ISEP-required health and repatriation insurance ($90/mo estimated)

Note: Some countries require national insurance. Check ISEP

 $360

Additional Meals

 $800

Estimated Airfare

 $1,400

Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, additional national insurance, if required, travel insurance, additional travel etc.)

 $1,900

Total Out-of-Pocket Expenses

 $5,035

Total

 $32,547 

 Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of February 2017. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate, nor fees to enroll in courses at partner institutions, and will depend on your course registration choices.  

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

Do check your student account on My.Lakeforest for your aid awards, as much of this will go with you. If you want to compare your program to the cost of being on campus, those numbers can be found here: https://www.lakeforest.edu/admissions/tuition/fees.php

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.