Good Vibes Only during International Week at the Institute of Ocellia in Lyon

Teksti | Mia Poikolainen , Kati Saarinen

Ocellia higher education institute in social services and in nursing in Lyon France is a partnership institute to Laurea. We got the chance to participate to their international week trough Erasmus + Staff Exchange program and got introduced to the lovely French culture.

Photo by Mia Poikolainen


Lyon is situated in the eastern part of France and it is intersected by two rivers: the Rhone and the Saone. Lyon is said to be the gastronomic capital of France, and it truly lived up to that reputation. The food in Lyon was affordable and consistently excellent. Getting around the city is easy with public transportation (metro and bus) as well as city bikes, which are easily available throughout the city and its surroundings. The most significant attraction in the city is the Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourvière, built in the late 19th century on a hill that offers a magnificent view over the entire city. On clear days, you can even see as far as Mont Blanc.

Ocellia – Saint-Social (Social and Health care)

Ocellia is a higher education institution of social services and health care formed in 2021 by the merger of two educational institutions (The Ecole Santé Social Sud-Est (ESSE) and The Institut de Formation en Travail Social (IFTS). Ocellia has three campuses in eastern France, Lyon, Crenoble and Valence. Ocellia has about 5,000 students and a staff of about 1,000 people.

On the second day we heard more about Ocellia Institute and we had the opportunity to peek into Ocellia’s nursing classrooms. All participants held presentations their own institutions. We heard about the curricula of different fields of study and the current situation in the French social and healthcare sector, which closely resembles the situation in Finland.

authors keeping the presentation.
Photo by Christophe Texier

We gained a lot of information about the education systems and offerings for exchange students in different European countries. We also had extensive discussions about the state of social and healthcare in Europe.

At the end of a long day, we were taken to a traditional Lyonese restaurant called Bouchon Palais Grillet, where we enjoyed a delicious three-course dinner and networked with other participants.

photo from the dinner.
Photo by Christophe Texier

On the last day on Thursday, we went through what Ocellia has to offer for our exchange students, and they indeed have a special International Program for exchange students in English. They provide opportunities for social work and nursing students to complete their internships in English. We also got into the main topic on environmental issues and sustainability in social and healthcare education. We had very good discussions and got ideas for promoting sustainability into the curriculums. Ideas are still under construction, and we will share them in future when we have refined the ideas bit more.



During the trip, we learned a great deal about European educational institutions and about environmental issues and sustainability in social and health care education.
We created new networks and got ideas and enthusiasm for international cooperation with other participants. Now we are familiar to the opportunities different institutions offer to our students and staff.

The trip was very rewarding in all aspects, and we would recommend participating to other staff members in the future.

group photo of the participants,
Photo by Christophe Texier

Jaa sivu