Presbyterian College students gain autonomy during four-week stay in Lyon

Presbyterian College students gain autonomy during four-week stay in Lyon


When asked about the benefits of traveling abroad, Dr. Patrick Kiley, professor of French and director of the international studies major, quoted Mark Twain: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

With the goal of extending these benefits to his students, Kiley led a trip of 13 Presbyterian College students to Lyon, France in May. The group spent four weeks in Lyon where they took a cross-cultural perspectives course with Dr. Kiley and a French course at the I-DRAC Business School. This trip marked the seventh year PC students participated in this program with the I-DRAC Business School.

Lyon, the second largest city in France, is considered to be the country’s gastronomical capital. “It’s also a beautiful city that is known for its Renaissance-inspired architecture and its trendy arts district. Lyon is a vibrant city full of students,” said Kiley.

Lyon1 Aianna Kelly mentioned the opportunities to travel beyond Lyon as her favorite part, as these travels allowed her to see landmarks such as La Pyramide de Louvre and the Mona Lisa. “Learning a new culture was awesome, especially since I learned something new every day,” she said. “This trip showed me how there is so much in the world that we do not know about.”

Especially considering the length of the trip, the students had no choice but to adapt themselves to French culture. “As a professor, one of the most satisfying things about directing this program is just how autonomous students become when they are fully immersed in a foreign culture for four weeks,” said Kiley. “Every student uses the knowledge they’ve acquired in the classroom for the day-to-day conversations they engage in with the people of Lyon. It’s incredibly satisfying to hear my students carry on conversations in French in the short space of four weeks.”Lyon3

For Lori Rutledge, the sense of autonomy she gained was the highlight of her trip. “The best moments that I had during my time in France were when I felt that I blended in with the locals. I was able to navigate and knew enough French to interact with the locals without feeling like I had ‘American’ written across my forehead,” she said.

“The French showed me a whole new way of life. It really opened my mind to different approaches to living life in general.”



Presbyterian College is located on a striking 240-acre campus in Clinton, between Columbia and Greenville, S.C. Offering challenging academics and a culture of honor, ethics, and service that prepares students to be leaders in communities, PC offers its students the benefit of engaging with an exceptional faculty who take individual interest in their students’ well-being, both personally and in the classroom. The Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy opened in 2010, and is dedicated to the ideals of leadership, honor to the profession, and service to the community. For more information about Presbyterian College, visit