École Centrale de Lyon, established in 1857, is one of the most prestigious graduate schools in France. Its research is especially strong in acoustics, nanotechnology and biosciences. The university’s international student body makes about 25 per cent. Although some courses are available in English, you have to have good French-language skills in order to study at Ecole Centrale.
The school prides its generalist approach to teaching, where all students are exposed to different areas of engineering. It has six research units, all part of the French National Centre for Scientific Research, and connected to other highly respected European universities such as Imperial College London and Darmstadt University of Technology.
Beyond studies, the school also puts a strong emphasis on internships. It encourages students to attend one to three-month internships during each year of study, and it even offers the opportunity for a gap year between the second and the third year for a six to 16 months internship. A strong proportion of students find permanent work via an internship.
Its 18 hectare campus is located 20 minutes away from Lyon, one of the largest and busiest cities in France. The campus has many sports facilities including a stadium, sport fields, tennis courts, gym and a weights room. Throughout the year, students can participate in a range trips centred on skiing, wine tasting, hiking, mountain biking, sailing, canoeing, rock climbing, train running etc.
Ecole Centrale de Lyon’s notable alumni include French ethnologist and explorer Paul-Emile Victor, Canadian software engineer and professor Philippe Kruchten, CEO and founder of Medimix International Henry Gazay, the head of the Institut Polytechnique des Sciences Avancées Hervé Renaudeau, opera singer Laurent Naouri and French politician Laurent Baumel.