The optional gap year can be undertaken either after the end of the sixth semester (i.e. the end of first year) or the end of the eighth semester (i.e. the end of second year), but in no case more than once throughout a student’s curriculum.
Students can choose from two different types of gap year:
Year in Industry
Comprising a variable amount of periods spent at one or several companies in France or abroad, this type of gap year has a minimum duration of 10 months. Studies of one semester length at a foreign university, with which there does not exist any current partnership, can be substituted for one of the above mentioned periods of time. The time spent at a company’s site entails the undertaking of a work placement or alternatively an engineering-related activity under contract.
By the end of the year, each student writes an assessment and gives a presentation explaining the experiences they gained throughout the gap year and what they can take from it for their upcoming professional life. The internships undertaken as part of this type of gap year can optionally replace the otherwise obligatory application internship at the end of Year 2. Since the student is registered at Centrale Lyon throughout his gap year, he is obliged to pay tuition fees.
This type of gap year gives the student the opportunity to follow his passion in a non-engineering environment. Possible areas of interest for a sabbatical year include the pursuit of a personal project (arts-related, sports-related, world-tour, etc.) or any other activity under contract (Humanitarian Missions, etc.). During the sabbatical year, the student is not registered at École Centrale de Lyon. He is hence exempted from tuition fees but also from any of the benefits offered to registered students.
Application procedure and Requirements for a Gap Year
A student planning to take a gap year has to present their project as well as their motivation, which then become subject to an examination undertaken by the Gap Year Commission.
A gap year partially or fully spent abroad can be used to fulfil the obligatory requirement of every student spending at least 3 months abroad. In the case of a sabbatical year, the applicability of this rule is subject to the nature of the student’s particular project and has to be discussed prior to the student’s departure.