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Minimum GPA: 3.00

Terms and Dates:

  • Academic Year 2021-22
  • Fall 2021
  • Spring 2022


Jessica Hawkey

Cornell Affiliations:

Agriculture and Life Sciences




Opportunity Description

In 2011, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences started establishing the “CALS Signature Semesters”, in addition to our existing exchange programs. The signature semesters combine a semester at an international partner university with academically supervised, structured hands-on/experiential learning opportunities like summer program and internships, directed research in a lab, or field research. Students who have previously participated in a Signature Semester have found it to be a rewarding experience as it has added an international dimension to their degree, and allowed them to apply and expand their skills in an international setting. 

What is unique about this program?

This CALS Signature Semester program is unique in just about every way! CALS has partnered with France Agro3 (A French Network for Education and Research in Life Sciences), which include four higher education institutes specialized in Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, to offer unique pathways that always include a semester of coursework, and may include a summer program and internship as well. Interested? Read on!

One of these four institutes is ISARA in Lyon, France. CALS students participate in Lyon's 1) experiential credit-bearing summer program focused on Agroecology, 2) a hands-on farm internship, followed by a 3) specialized Fall semester of Master's level coursework focused on Agroecology or Sustainable Development in Food Industries. All three parts of this signature semester are required. For more information on the summer and semester programs, click on the Academics tab in the left column. 

This exchange program is recommended for undergraduate students majoring in Animal Science, Agricultural Sciences, Food Sciences, IARD, and Development Sociology. Students in majors outside of those recommended may also be able to participate, depending on your interests and academic needs. 

Review the other opportunities in France via this unique partnership:

What is unique about ISARA and Lyon, France?

ISARA Lyon ins a French "grande école" specialized in agricultural, food and environmental science. For over 50 years, ISARA has offered a curricular pedagogy combining theory and practice in Agriculture, environment & natural resources management, Agrifood, food & industrial management, Sustainable rural development, Markets & corporate management, and Wine production. With modern scientific and technical laboratories, ISARA offers two unique Fall semesters entirely taught in English and designed for exchange students.

Lyon is the third largest city in France and second largest urban area. Lyon totals 163,000 students, of which 16,000 are international students. The city is known for its cuisine and gastronomy with part of it registered as a UNESCO World Hertitage Site. Lyon is located at 1h55 from Paris and 1h40 from Marseilles (TGV High speed train), close to the Alps and the Mediterranee, ski resorts and the sea. Rhône-Alps natural diversity (mediterranean and temperate climate, plains and mountains) offers a wide range of activities relating to agriculture and food. Fruits and vegetables cropping as well as cattle breeding are important production sectors, renown vineyards are located in Beaujolais area and in the Rhone Valley. Learn more about living in Lyon HERE.

How do I apply?

Step One: Attend a CALS Study Abroad 101 Session
•  These meetings cover policies and factors to consider when selecting a program, the study abroad application and approval process, and other important information. You can find the schedule here.

Step Two: Meet with a CALS Exchange Advisor
•  The CALS exchange advisor meets personally with every student interested in going on an exchange. In this meeting, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you might have and the advisor will help you select the program that fits your interests best. Appointments can be made here.

Step Three:  Application
•  Apply for the CALS Exchange Program by clicking on the "Apply" button on this webpage. You can apply on a rolling basis until the application deadline listed on this webpage
•   As part of your application, you need to get the proposed courses you want to take abroad signed off by your major advisor AND a CALS advisor 

Step Four: Nomination
•  Once your application is complete, our office will contact you with next steps.

For additional information on this program please refer to the ISARA website.