Last updated on 19 janv. 2022

The International Centre for French Studies is a component of the Lumière Lyon 2 University, specialising in linguistic and cultural training for a non-French speaking audience. Each year, it welcomes more than a thousand students from around sixty countries.

A bit of history

Le CIEF a été créé sous le nom de Service pour étudiants étrangers au début des années 50, et existe sous son statut actuel en tant que Département de l’Université Lumière Lyon 2 depuis l’an 2000. Tourné vers le monde, il constitue l’un des instruments de la mise en œuvre de la politique des relations internationales de l’Université. Dans ce cadre, il est chargé d’élaborer et de mettre en œuvre l’offre de formation en français langue étrangère (FLE) de l’établissement.

Our missions

In initial training, the Centre aims to offer foreign students FLE courses to enable them either to integrate a university course and to pursue higher studies at the University of Lyon 2 or in other universities and higher institutes in the Lyon region, or to improve their level in FLE.

In continuing education, the CIEF organises training of trainers as an extension of the expertise mission of teachers, becoming a place of reflection and research in the didactics and methodology of FLE. The CIEF also offers evening courses for the working target audience.

Quality education

The CIEF, like 40 other centres in France, is a member of the Association des Directeurs de Centres Universitaires d’Études Françaises pour Étudiants internationaux (“Association of Directors of University Centres of French Studies for International Students“) (A.D.C.U.E.F.E.): FLE campus. The CIEF has signed the quality charter of the A.D.C.U.E.F.E/Campus FLE:
In addition, the Université Lumière Lyon 2, of which the Cief is a part, has been awarded the label "Bienvenue en France" level 2 out of 3 levels of certification.

Our audiences

International students and instructors

Bringing together on average some 1,400 students per year owing to its degree and non-degree courses, the CIEF audience is made up of both individuals and students joining the CIEF through partnerships and agreements. The CIEF has thus signed agreements with 11 American universities, 3 Japanese universities, 8 Chinese universities, 2 Canadian universities, 1 Australian university, 2 Korean universities, 1 Swiss institution, 1 German university and 1 English university.
CIEF students benefit from all the services of Lumière Lyon 2 University: access to university libraries, guidance and integration services, medical advice and, of course, sports and cultural activities that facilitate contact with French students.

Thanks to the location of CIEF on the historic Berges du Rhône Campus, students can fully enjoy the City of Lyon, a dynamic European metropolis, located less than 2 hours from the Alps, the Mediterranean and Paris.  


CIEF's university diplomas are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ​​- the CEFR, designed by the Council of Europe, and are recognised by the Ministry of the Interior for obtaining a residents’ card.
In addition, they are recognised by the Association des Directeurs de Centres Universitaires d’Etudes Françaises pour étrangers (A.D.C.U.E.F.E.) (Association of Directors of University Centres for French Studies for Foreigners) of which the Lumière Lyon 2 University is a member. These 40 French universities undertake to recognise the reciprocal validity of their DUEFs as part of the harmonisation of diplomas.
These diplomas can, from DUEF B2, give access to French universities, under certain conditions.

A1 Elementary discovery
A2 Elementary survival
B1 Independent threshold
B2 Independent advanced
C1 Experienced autonomous
C2 Experienced mastery