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Out and about in Lyon: C’est la vie

Student life is quite different on the other side of the pond. In the words of Aladdin, it’s “a whole new world.”

Universities in Lyon, France are nothing like Saint Louis University. You do not have your Billiken community security blanket with you at all times.  There is no Busch Student Center with the usual restaurants. You cannot take a nap by the fountain, or run around the track and pick up a smoothie on your way out, or make daily appointments to the writing center. Students don’t gather at 9 p.m. on Sunday to celebrate mass at the College Church.  Some might argue that life without all of these aspects, except mass, might not be so bad.

Lyon, France, the third largest city in the country, has a high student population and does well to adapt to the needs of students with things like discounted transportation rates and passes to cultural events around town.One thing that SLU and Lyon have in common is the amount of fountains. Walking throughout the city you will be sure to see numerous fountains throughout your day.

One of the defining traits of Lyon is its status in the gastronomy world. The cuisine in the city is taken to a higher level with restaurants using the freshest ingredients and accompanying meals with the highest quality of wines.

Despite the large quantity of restaurants throughout Lyon, the city also supplies habitants with numerous outdoor markets to purchase cheese, wine, vegetables, fruits or anything your heart desires.

The city is located near the center of France, with easy access to the famous vineyards of the Beaujolais and Côtes du Rhône regions.

The city is large but accessible due to the excellent and efficient metro system.

All metros run underground while buses and trams operate on the street attached to wires similar to telephone wires.  The metros operate from 5 a.m. to midnight during the week.

Along with the convenient metro system, Lyon is a very bike and scooter friendly city. There are many bridges in Lyon as well to accommodate pedestrians across the two main rivers in the city, Le Rhone and La Saône. Another priceless aspect of the city is the breathtaking view at night from the highest point of town known as, ‘Fourvière.’ The city is lit up as far as the eye can see.

However, the University itself leaves a bit to be desired. For example, students of Saint Louis University are blessed with a beautiful campus; students in Lyon do not have that luxury.

The University is essentially one main building with four sectors and classrooms in each of the sectors. There is one cafeteria in the building where students can purchase snacks, sandwiches, drinks, candy, etc. There are no patches of freshly cut green grass, endless amounts of flowers or a university beach like SLURUBA.

The University lacks a certain community feel that Billikens around the world have grown to love.

“The university here doesn’t feel like a big family the same way SLU does. They don’t really try to create a community feel.School here is just a place where you go to learn whereas SLU is a place to learn and make friends and to grow as a whole person,” junior Anna White, studying abroad in Lyon, France, said about the University system.

The student-teacher relationship is not as prevalent at Lyon University as well. Teachers dress casually for class, do not arrive on time and often ride scooters to class.

Still, Lyon is a beautiful city filled with fantastic features: you can spend the day with great shopping, great food, take a walk through the park, run along the river, see a football (soccer) match, attend a show at the theatre and still have time to stop and appreciate the numerous monuments and museums.

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