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Teach English in Lyon, France

Nestled between the Rhône and Saône rivers, Lyon stands as a testament to the vibrant tapestry of French history and culture. As the third-largest city in France, Lyon boasts a rich legacy, from its Roman amphitheaters to its Renaissance-era Old Town, which is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. Often dubbed as the 'Gastronomic Capital of the World', Lyon's culinary scene is unparalleled, with traditional "bouchons" offering local delicacies that tantalize the palate. Beyond its historical and culinary allure, Lyon is a hub of commerce, education, and innovation, making it an ideal destination for those eager to teach English in a dynamic, cosmopolitan setting.

Reasons to Teach English in Lyon

  1. Historical and Cultural Immersion: Teaching in Lyon means living amidst historical landmarks. Whether it's the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière or the traboules (hidden passageways) of Old Lyon, there's always a story waiting to be discovered.

  2. Gastronomic Delights: As a teacher in Lyon, you're not just imparting language skills but also getting a taste of the world's best cuisine. From traditional Lyonnaise dishes in local bouchons to upscale dining in Michelin-starred restaurants, your taste buds are in for a treat.

  3. Language Exchange Opportunities: Lyon has numerous language exchange events and meet-ups, providing ample opportunities to hone your French while helping locals with their English.

  4. Strategic Location: Positioned in the southeastern part of France, Lyon serves as a gateway to the Alps, the Mediterranean, and other European destinations. Weekend trips to places like Geneva or Marseille are easily feasible.

  5. Vibrant Student Community: Home to several universities and higher education institutions, Lyon has a youthful vibe. This ensures a constant demand for English teachers catering to both students and professionals alike.

  6. Festivals and Events: Be it the dazzling Festival of Lights in December or the lively Nuits Sonores music festival in summer, Lyon's calendar is packed with events that provide a deep dive into its cultural richness.

  7. Economic Hub: As a focal point of business and commerce in the Rhône-Alpes region, many professionals in Lyon seek English proficiency, leading to opportunities for business English teaching roles.

Understanding Lyon's Education Landscape

Lyon's educational ecosystem is a blend of tradition and innovation. It hosts some of the oldest institutions in France while constantly evolving to meet the demands of a globalized world. With a plethora of universities, international schools, and language institutes, the demand for qualified English teachers remains consistent. Particularly with Lyon's push towards becoming an international business and student hub, English proficiency is highly sought after.

  1. Schools and Institutions: There are several types of institutions in Lyon where one might find teaching opportunities:

    • Public Schools: These range from primary to high schools where English is taught as a part of the standard curriculum.
    • Private Language Institutes: These cater to students of all ages and professionals looking to enhance their language skills.
    • Universities: Lyon is home to renowned universities like the University of Lyon and Lumière University Lyon 2. They often have openings for English lecturers, especially in their international programs.
    • International Schools: Catering to an expatriate and international audience, these schools follow an English-based curriculum.
  2. Demand for English: With the increasing number of multinational companies setting up their bases in Lyon, there's a growing demand for business English courses. Moreover, with students aiming for global opportunities, proficiency in English is considered indispensable.

  3. Teaching Methods: While traditional methods of teaching are prevalent, there's a growing shift towards interactive and immersive teaching techniques, with a focus on practical usage and real-life context.

Eligibility and Requirements to Teach English in Lyon

The requirements to teach English in Lyon will be similar to the standard requirements for teaching English in France, however, here are the specific requirements for Lyon:

  • Qualifications: A bachelor's degree is generally preferred. While not always mandatory, a TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA certification can significantly enhance job prospects.

  • Native English Speaker: Schools and language institutes often prefer native English speakers. Those from the USA, UK, South Africa, Australia, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, and Ireland are particularly sought after.

  • Experience: Previous teaching experience, while not a strict requirement, can be advantageous, especially for positions in universities or prestigious language schools.

  • Visa and Work Permit: Non-EU citizens will require a work visa. Often, employers assist in the visa process, especially for full-time positions.

  • Proficiency in French: While not a necessity for all institutions, basic knowledge of French can be beneficial in navigating day-to-day life and interacting with students or staff who might not be fluent in English.

Salary and Benefits for Teaching English in Lyon

  • Compensation: On average, an English teacher in Lyon can expect to earn between €1,200 to €2,500 per month. Salaries can vary based on the type of institution, qualifications, and experience.

  • Working Hours: Typically, a teacher can expect to work between 20-30 hours a week. However, private tutoring or business English classes can add to these hours.

  • Benefits: While public schools and international schools might offer additional benefits like health insurance, paid vacations, and sometimes even housing allowances, private language institutes typically have contract-based positions with fewer additional perks.

  • Opportunities for Private Tutoring: Lyon's status as an educational and economic hub means there are ample opportunities for private tutoring, which can be a significant source of additional income.

Living in Lyon

Nestled between the Saône and Rhône rivers, Lyon is often referred to as the gastronomic capital of France. However, its appeal goes beyond its culinary reputation. A blend of historical and modern architecture, vibrant cultural scenes, and an exceptional quality of life makes Lyon a delightful place for teachers from abroad. Here's what life in Lyon looks like:

Cultural Vibrancy:

  • Festivals: The city is renowned for its annual Festival of Lights, where every corner of Lyon is illuminated in a mesmerizing display. The Nuits Sonores, an annual electronic music festival, also attracts a global audience.

  • UNESCO Heritage Site: The historic Old Town (Vieux Lyon) is a UNESCO World Heritage site, dotted with Renaissance-era courtyards, quaint alleyways, and traboules (hidden passageways).

  • Cuisine: As the gastronomic heart of France, Lyon boasts of traditional "bouchons" – small restaurants serving local delicacies. Not to mention the city's bustling markets, like the famous Les Halles de Lyon, offering the freshest produce.

Education and Innovation:

  • Home to multiple universities and research institutions, Lyon is a hub of education and innovation. Its status as a student city means there's a youthful and dynamic energy all around.

Cost of Living:

  • While not as expensive as Paris, Lyon still has a fairly high cost of living. However, the city offers a range of accommodation options, from shared apartments to individual studios, catering to various budgets. Public transport, comprising trams, buses, and a metro system, is efficient and reasonably priced.

Natural Beauty:

  • Beyond its urban charm, Lyon is blessed with natural beauty. The two rivers offer serene promenades, while the nearby Beaujolais wine region and the Alps are perfect for weekend getaways.


  • While a significant number of Lyonnais speak English, especially in the student and business communities, learning some basic French will undoubtedly enhance day-to-day interactions and help immerse oneself in the local culture.

Teacher Stories

Sarah from Canada: "Teaching English in Lyon has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Initially, the language barrier was daunting, but the Lyonnais were patient and always eager to engage. Exploring Vieux Lyon after a day of teaching, savoring the local delicacies, and getting lost in its traboules has given me countless memories. And the Festival of Lights? Absolutely magical."

Liam from Australia: "Coming from Sydney, I wasn't sure what to expect in Lyon. But it quickly became home. The city's culinary scene is unmatched, and I've developed a love for wine, thanks to the nearby Beaujolais region. Teaching here has been a breeze with the students being keen learners and the institutions supportive."

Niamh from Ireland: "I moved to Lyon for love, both for a man and the city's charm. As a teacher, I've found the students in Lyon to be incredibly respectful and eager to learn. Living in the gastronomic capital of France, I've also taken cooking classes to delve deep into the local cuisine. It's a city that keeps on giving."

Aiden from South Africa: "Lyon, with its mix of old-world charm and modern dynamism, has been the perfect backdrop for my teaching journey. The city is incredibly student-friendly, and there's always something happening. The annual Nuits Sonores became my favorite event, and the city's musical vibe resonates with me."

Moving Towards Teaching English In Lyon

Lyon, often overshadowed by Paris, is a hidden gem for those looking to teach English abroad. The city offers not just a rewarding teaching experience but also an enriching personal journey. The historical allure, coupled with its culinary prowess and youthful energy, ensures that educators find both professional satisfaction and personal growth.

Moreover, the city's rich cultural tapestry, events, and natural beauty ensure that there's always something to explore and learn. Moving towards teaching English in Lyon is not just about imparting knowledge but also about embracing a lifestyle that celebrates history, gastronomy, and innovation. If you're seeking a destination that blends tradition with modernity, Lyon awaits with open arms.