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Founded in 1968, ISARA-Lyon is a small non-profit engineering school that specializes in agriculture, agribusiness, and environment, and trains students to become expert managers in agriculture through research, study, and consulting.

Quick Facts

Partner Program Type – Exchange

Minimum GPA – 2.85

Prerequisites – Completion of Agroecology 130A & B before departure

Eligibility – Good academic and disciplinary standing, Min Age: 18, Open to All Majors, Junior or Senior class standing by the time of departure

Term Options

Fall Semester – early September to mid-December

Partner Program deadline dates



City & University
ISARA is located in Lyon, in the southeast of France, in a dynamic area surrounded by research centers and professionals in agriculture, food industry, rural development, and environmental sectors. The city has an abundance of museums, allowing you to immerse yourself in Lyon’s history and heritage. 

Because there is no student hall on Isara’s campus, the university partners with IPL (Institut Polytechnique de Lyon) so that international students can apply for a room in one of the residences provided by CROUS, a regional branch of the  French National Student Service that deals with student welfare. To apply for a CROUS room, you must send an Accommodation Form filled in and signed to ISARA-Lyon. As long as you apply, housing is guaranteed. Learn more about accommodation in Lyon.

You are responsible for applying for, securing, and paying for accommodations directly to the housing provider. Visit the host university website for actual costs.

Student Support

The International Relations Department at ISARA-Lyon provides a range of services and support for exchange students. Additionally, ISARA provides international students opportunities to successfully integrate into the culture, society, and student life.

Country Information Resources

Students with Disabilities

If you need support services abroad, notify your UCSC Disability Resource Center (DRC) Coordinator

See the University of Lyon Disability Guide.

Identities Abroad and Away

UC Santa Cruz Global Learning is committed to inclusion and equity in our various program options as well as striving to make everyone’s experiences abroad enriching, positive, and safe.

Learn more on our Identities Abroad and Away webpage.


Host University Courses

As an ISARA-Lyon exchange student, you will enroll full-time in courses alongside other local and international students for a semester or full academic year. 

Course Search

Browse courses by downloading the ISARA Course Catalogue. While these programs are considered Master’s level at ISARA, they have been approved for UCSC undergraduates. Students can choose courses from one of two different specializations at ISARA-Lyon:

  • Agriculture, Environment, and Resource Management
  • Food Sciences and the Management of Food Industries

Two upper-division electives are pre-approved for ENVS majors and Agroecology majors who take part in the ISARA-Lyon Partner Program. This will be allowed for students who attend either of the two tracks available to them (Agriculture, Environment & Resource Management OR Food Science and the Management of Food Industries).

Important notes:

  • Students who have already participated in a different study abroad program and used classes from that program towards the maximum number of upper-division electives for ENVS and Agroecology majors will be unable to use courses from ISARA-Lyon toward their major.
  • Students going to ISARA-Lyon but not participating in one of the two tracks listed above would not be eligible for the pre-approval — you will need to get your classes approved through the normal petition process through the ENVS and Agroecology departments.
  • Students in combined majors (ENVS/BIO, ENVS/ECON, and ENVS/EART) will not be eligible for the pre-approval — you can still participate in the program, but courses would likely not count towards major credit.
  • We highly recommend that, before applying, you meet with your major advisor to confirm (1) the suggested preparatory course work for the abroad courses and (2) how completing the study abroad courses will align with your overall major study plan, in terms of meeting required coursework for your major and graduation.

Satisfying Requirements
It may be possible to satisfy major, minor, GE, and/or electives on this program.

Learn more about:

Course Load Requirements

You are required to enroll in a full-time course load while abroad as defined by your host institution:

  • 30 ECTS semester is a full-time semester.

As a UCSC student, you must also continue to meet UCSC Satisfactory Academic Progress, which requires students to enroll in a minimum of 12 UCSC quarter credits per quarter. At ISARA, you are required to ensure you meet this requirement by enrolling in the equivalent of at least 12 quarter credits for fall semester after conversion (see below).

Credit Conversion

ISARA uses ECTS credits. These will be converted to UCSC quarter credits when added to your UC transcript.

  • 5 ECTS credits = 4 quarter credits at UCSC
  • 10 ECTS credits = 8 quarter credits at UCSC
  • 15 ECTS credits = 12 quarter credits at UCSC
  • 20 ECTS credits = 15 quarter credits at UCSC

Academic Restrictions

Some courses abroad may have enrollment limitations and/or restrictions, such as prerequisites. Review course information provided by the university partner to understand any course limitations and/or restrictions prior to official course enrollment abroad.

 If you are unsure about your eligibility to enroll, please contact UCSC Global Learning at before applying to this program.

Academic Differences

Please note that the academic system, such as assignments, exams, course structure, grading system, etc., at your host institution may be different from what you are used to at UCSC. We highly recommend researching the academic system at your host university in advance to best prepare for your experience abroad.

Academic Calendar

We recommend comparing the host university academic calendar to the UCSC academic calendar to see how the academic calendars, holidays and breaks differ.

Last modified: Feb 27, 2024