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Last Update: 07/10/05

   About Saint Etienne   

 ENSM.SE's anniversary
 Saint-Etienne, a cultural metropolis
 The place to be
 Around and about

  ENSM.SE's anniversary

The ENSM.SE was created by Royal decree on the 2nd August 1816. The ENSM.SE quickly built a elite school reputation. The IFAC INCOM'06 Symposium has been dedicated to ENSM.SE's anniversary.

     More information...

  Saint-Etienne, a cultural metropolis

Saint-Etienne, a cultural metropolis at the door of wonderful natural park.

Direct connection by TGV train with Paris, Lyon , Marseille
Connection by plane with all european capitals via Paris, Lyon, Marseille

The era of coal mining and metal working firmly belongs to Saint-Etienne's past. The city has clearly evolved towards an economy based on new technologies. However, the city hasn't forgotten his remarkable industrial history. It is the only city in France selected as historical city for the 19th century. Beyond the Art and Industry National Museum with its unique collection of elaborate weaponry, unusual bicycles and braided ribbons, a complete industrial heritage is there to be visited.

Saint-Etienne does not only have a rich industrial past but an exciting cultural present. Retaining undiminished spirit of daring innovation, the town seems on the verge of becoming the design capital of the world. The design heritage was the impetus behind the creation, in 1998, of the biennial international festival of design, which was an immediate success (150 000 visitors in 2002). With an internationally renowned Modern Art Gallery, Saint-Etienne offers an exceptional cultural center completed with a plethora of cafés, theatres, clubs and restaurants.

Situated at only 60 km from Lyon, Saint-Etienne is at the crossroads of the major French motorways making easily accessible cities like Geneva, Marseilles, Paris and region like the Alps, Drôme and Provence. The region of Saint-Etienne has much to offer. With a town center situated a stone's throw from the Pilat a regional Nature Park, the Forez mountains and the gorges of the River Loire, Saint-Etienne will give you a direct access to wonderful landscape with medieval villages and old stone castles scattered around. In the middle of the regional park, Saint-Victor water sport center will give you all the opportunities of sailing, water-skiing or canoeing.

  The place to be

Long gone are the days of pits and coal mining. Ten years ago Saint-Etienne made an economic reconversion towards the new technologies (optics, biomedical, high-tech mechanics). Although the town has also undergone a cosmetic transformation (restoration, sandblast cleaning, rehabilitation and conversion) it has lost nothing of its original charm, thanks largely to the talents of Catalan architect Ricardo Bofill. Retaining undiminished spirit of daring innovation, the town seems on the verge of becoming the design capital of the world. As an exceptional cultural centre with prestigious museums and a plethora of cafés, theatres, clubs and restaurants, Saint-Etienne is a genuine metropolis.

 The new face of a modem cosmopolitan city
 A town buzzing with culture
 Saint-Etienne by night: cafe-theatres, cinemas, and trendy bars
 Eating well in Saint-Etienne


  • The new face of a modem cosmopolitan city

Since the decline of coal mining in the region at the end of the 1980s Saint-Etienne has shaken off its long associated grey industrial image and is moving resolutely towards a bright future. Second only to Lyons, the town has a business network of over 4000 industrial enterprises (one of the most diverse in Europe).
Moreover, with the active involvement of the metropolitan and town councils, headed by Michel Thiollière who has been president and mayor respectively since 1994, Saint-Etienne is a regional leader in the high-tech sector.
The town is particularly strong in four major sectors: mechanics, medical technology, water and environmental management, and optics and vision. This development has been largely due to the complementarity between the worlds of business, research, training and higher education. The presence in Saint-Etienne of over 800 researchers and professors, sixty internationally renowned laboratories, and over 16000 students ranks it second only to Paris in terms of scientific and technological research. Therefore, the ENSM.SE would be hard pushed to find a more stimulating environment.

A CITY RENOWNED FOR ITS HOSPITALITY, Saint-Etienne is home to over one hundred major international groups, including Schlumberger, Praxair, Dover, ZF, S3E and Excella. This is essentially due to its prime geographical positioning, not only the major rail link between northern Europe (Germany, the United Kingdom and Belgium) and southern Europe (Spain, Italy and Portugal) but also at the axis of East and West (Geneva, Bordeaux and Barcelona).

However, Saint-Etienne has not forgotten its roots. The pioneering spirit which drove the 19th century entrepreneurs of the industrial revolution is undiminished and the town has retained its vitality, ingeniousness and taste for innovation. Most importantly, it has been able to move with the times by channelling its energy and know-how into retraining and reinvention. A typical example of this is the reconversion of the ribbon-making industry (while Lyons was traditionally the capital of French silk industry, Saint-Etienne was the ribbon-making capital), which has turned its expertise towards the manufacture of high-tech medical fabrics and materials (e.g. surgical support stockings, knee supports, extensible bandaging, etc.). All major European sector players are present: Thuasne, Gibaud, Ganzoni, Lohmann Rausher and Cheynet.

THE TOWN ITSELF IS THE COUNTRY'S FOURTEENTH largest (190000 inhabitants), while the greater Saint-Etienne area (town and suburbs) is ranked seventh in terms of population (450000 inhabitants). 18000 businesses are based in the area, of which 4000 are SMEs-SMIs, representing the second-largest national SME-SMI network, after Greater Paris. With 170000 salaried employees, Saint-Etienne is the largest employer in the Rhône-Alpes region. The unemployment rate is well below the 9% national average.

Businesses from another closely related industry, that of arterial and articular prosthesis, have also relocated to the Saint-Etienne area, which is a considerable boon for the School's SMS centre. This is just another example of the spectacular reconversion of one of the area's traditional industries, precision mechanics, thanks largely to the progressive thinking of former steel and heavy metal industry subcontractors. The medical sector is not the only one to call on the expertise of the regions engineers; others are the automotive, aeronautics, agricultural and railway equipment industries. Specifically these include gear boxes for the German group ZF Bouthéon, steering components for the Japanese group Koyo, competition-quality crankshafts for the global leader Chambon SA and the reconfiguration of aeronautical components for ICT (International Compressor Technologies), all of which are high value-added niche products at which the industrial network of Saint-Etienne seems to excel.
Innovation is yet another string to its bow. The town has shown a remarkable capacity to create new specialisations, typical examples of which are water and environmental management, and optical services. Today over 150 businesses in the area operate in various segments of the water management and environmental services industry (notably SNF, world leader in water filtration, with 700 employees). The town is also considered one of the European leaders in optics and vision, a sector employing more than one thousand, in 120 enterprises (of which Thalès-Angenieux, world number one in lens polishing). In such a flourishing and varied economic landscape, the biggest problem facing first, second and third-year students looking for traineeships will be knowing which one to choose.

Created by the Guichard family almost 150 years ago (in 1858), the well-know supermarket chain Casino began as a small grocery store in Saint-Etienne. Today. this vanguard of the retail sector has outlets worldwide. However, true to its roots, the group remains one of the largest employers in the town (10000 direct and indirect employees). Another local star is the sparkling mineral water Badoit, the source of which is located in a small village close to the neighbouring Forez plain. Although the source of France's most popular sparkling mineral water has existed since time immemorial, its potential was only recognised in 1837 and the rest, as they say, is history. The picture would not be complete without Verney-Caron, gunsmiths since 1650; the company still operates in Saint-Etienne and is today considered the country's number one hunting rifle manufacturer.
  • A town buzzing with culture

SAINT-ETIENNE DOES NOT ONLY HAVE A RICH INDUSTRIAL PAST but an exciting cultural present. Better still it has managed to combine the two in a number of daring, ingenious and aesthetically challenging ways. A magnificent example of this is the Museum of Art and Industry with its unique collection of elaborate weaponry, unusual bicycles and braided ribbons.
In 1987 the town opened its now internationally renowned Modern Art Gallery (80000 visitors per year), which houses a collection of contemporary art, second only to the Georges Pompidou centre in Paris. With paintings, sculptures and visual installations, the museum is home to over 10000 works of art (Dubuffet, Soulages, Viallat, Klein, Warhol, Buren, etc.), which are constantly added to, thanks to the active acquisitions policy of the museum's directors. In addition to this ever-increasing collection is a unique 600-piece exhibition of French industrial design (Eames, Le Corbusier, Prouvé, Perriand and many others).

SAINT-ETIENNE REGULARLY HOSTS a wide variety of cultural events and in 2000 was awarded the title of "Town of Art and History". For three days every year in October, the squares and market squares of the town centre are covered with marquees which house one of the country's largest book festivals, welcoming over 120000 visitors and 500 authors. Another not-to-be-missed event is the "Art dans la Ville", a week in early June dedicated to local artists during which all visual arts are exhibited in original and quirky locations.

In fact, Saint-Etienne is home to French industrial design and bas been since its potential was recognised at the beginning of the 19th century. It is not by accident that Le Corbusier chose the Saint-Etienne region to construct the most complete example of his architectural genius. At Firminy (approximately 15 kilometres outside the town) stands a residence, a cultural centre, a sports stadium and a church all designed by this talented town planner.
This design heritage was the impetus behind the creation, in 1998, of the biennial international festival of design, which was an immediate success (150000 visitors in 2002). For ten days every other year, the town's exhibition park is filled with design objects from all over the globe (from the words of fashion, consumer goods and urban innovation) giving the visiting public a remarkable overview of the diversity of creation in the sector.
The success of the festival has prompted the town to put together a permanent exhibition which is scheduled to open in 2005.
The International Centre for Design (CID) Will be located in the centre of town on the derelict site of a now defunct arms manufacture.
The CID Will not be "just another design center" but a highly innovative concept bringing together science, technology and industry. Casting a wide net over artistic creation, innovation and technological transfer, education and forecasting of future product development, the centre will be a genuine ideas laboratory, promoting a constant interaction between culture, research and economics. One particular project is a program of economic development the aim of which is to raise the profile of design in business and to increase interaction between local, national and international players. One thing is certain, design is one of the major influences behind modernity, driving innovation and defining tomorrow's lifestyle choices.

THE MUSEUM OF COAL MINING. Closed down as a working mine in 1973 the Couriot pit was for many years one of the region's largest coal seams (yielding up to 3000 tonnes of coal a day in 1950). In 1991 this historic site reopened its doors to the general public as a museum (locker and maintenance rooms, access to the subterranean passage via the mining shafts) guaranteeing each of its visitors a real step back in time (free entrance for ENSM.SE students).
SCHEDULED TO OPEN IN 2005, the International Design Centre with its cybercafes, design boutiques and specialist bookshops will be a must for all design freaks.
  • Saint-Etienne by night: cafe-theatres, cinemas, and trendy bars

BEGUN IN 1995, THE RESTORATION AND RENOVATION OF THE TOWN'S HISTORIC MONUMENTS and buildings have rejuvenated Saint-Etienne's town centre. This redevelopment program was so well received that the town was awarded a national prize for urban redevelopment in 1999. Ricardo Bofill, the Catalan architect responsible for this transformation, chose to concentrate his efforts on many of Saint-Etienne's seventy two bustling market squares (place Jean-Jaurès, Jean-Moulin, de l'Hôtel-de-ville, Bellevue, Grenette, to name but a few.), around which much of the day-to-day life of the town takes place.

"GAGA ATTITUDE" is local parlance for the Saint-Etienne lifestyle which, simply put, is conviviality and creativity. A citizens charter established in 2000 describes this lifestyle through twelve themes (one for each letter of the town). The word "gaga" comes from the rich and expressive local argot used by the people of the town and whose rallying cry remains "fouilla"!
IN ADDITION to the 7000 seater "palais des spectacles", a second contemporary music venue (le Zénith) is currently under construction and due for completion between 2005 and 2007.

The cobbled pedestrian streets around the rue des Martyrs-de-Vingré, with their eclectic collection of boutiques, bars, restaurants and pubs, really come alive after dark. Unsurprisingly, this hive of nocturnal activity is the number one night time destination of ENSM.SE students (22% of Saint-Etienne's population is under 20). Some of the students' favourite venues include: the Piccadilly Circus, known as "the Pica", where wooden tables and original interior compete with the very popular terrace cafes during the long summer evenings. With no neon sign (just a discrete doorbell) the Loco Mosquito is fairly difficult to find. However, the atmosphere inside this transformed first floor apartment is buzzing and the cocktails varied. As its name implies, the Bodeguita de la Salsa has a hot "Latin" ambience, particularly on a Friday night (concert night) or at one of the Salsa evenings (free introduction to Salsa dancing). Other favourite haunts include the First (karaoke), the very British "Smoking Dog" or the Irish "Saint Patrick".
The town also boasts numerous cafe-theatres, which play host to newly created theatre companies and celebrate the creative independence of Saint-Etienne. This creativity has become somewhat of a tradition in the town, masterminded by the celebrated local actor Jean Dasté in the 1950s. Some of the most exciting venues include the Théâtre de Poche (specialising in interactive plays staged by the LISA, amateur improvisation league), and the Cafuron (comedy sketches).
On a larger scale, the town also possesses theatres and concert halls of national and international renown, Major music and dance productions are staged at "L'Esplanade", which was initiated by André Malraux (20th century French writer and Minister of Culture) and offers a complete and varied series of productions, notably a lyrical season and high-calibre ballet program. With its "salle à l'italienne" (Italian room) and audience capacity of up to 1400, L'Esplanade welcomes around 200000 spectators annually. The "Centre dramatique national" (national dramatic arts centre) was opened in 1947 and was the brainchild of Jean Dasté who throughout his life worked ceaselessly for the cause of quality provincial theatre. With annual audience numbers of over 150000, the company performs productions (some 40 per year) both in France and abroad.

SAINT-ETIENNE HAS FOUR CINEMAS, including the Royal and a 12-screen multiplex in the centre of town. For art and experimental cinema, the France and the Méliès offer holders of the 3€ ENSM.SE student card reduced rates at all showings.
  • Eating well in Saint-Etienne

Just a stone's throw from mount Forez and the Massif Central and known locally as the town of seven hills, Saint-Etienne owes its culinary heritage to the mountainous region surrounding it. The simple but tasty fare of the region is a reflection of the local staples (potatoes, cream and milk). The best known regional dish is undoubtedly "la rapée de Saint-Etienne" (grated potatoes flavoured with garlic, mixed in an egg and cream batter and then fried in butter).
Another favourite is the barboton (a potato stew flavoured with thyme and laurel). One of the diary specialities of this part of the Loire is the sarasson, a creamy cottage cheese (the strained and blended residue of the butter-making process) which is seasoned with chives and served with potatoes.

A favourite haunt of intellectuals and artists, the Bistrot de Paris opened 27 years ago. This very cheerful restaurant specialises in fish dishes and terrines and boasts an excellent wine cellar.
A ten-minute drive from the ENSM.SE in the hills above Saint-Etienne, chef Yves Genaille creates his daring and original cuisine. In this peaceful setting with its superb panoramic view, this restaurant is a pleasure for all the senses.
At 10 rue des Fossés, diners can expect the convivial welcome and delicious cuisine of a traditional Lyonnais restaurant, The menu features "andouillette" (chitterlings sausage), "gratin à la crème" (sliced potatoes baked with cream and browned on top), "macaronis aux morilles" (macaroni with mushrooms) and the not-to-be-missed house speciality "fondant au chocolat maison" (rich chocolate cake).

The region is also a producer of specialty cheeses such as the hard cheese Montbrison, an AOC lightly coated with orange and parsley, and the brique du Forez, a small cheese block made from cows milk (sometimes mixed with goats milk). The ideal accompaniment to the regional dishes is one of the local wines: choose for instance a red Côtes du Forez (pictured below). This AOC Gamay has a lively colour and a fruity aroma and is very smooth on the palate. Other prestigious wines of the region include AOC Saint-Joseph, a favourite of the kings of France, which is a full-bodied red and is perfect with cheese.
The chefs of the region are also famed for their refined desserts. The Mardi Gras bugnes (strips of fried dough sprinkled with icing sugar), are good enough to compete with those of Lyons. Saint-Etienne's chocolate production is famous and all chocolate connaisseurs will know the name Weiss, where the cocoa beans are still roasted in the traditional way. Visitors to the town are welcomed by the sweet smells emanating from the Weiss factory, situated just next to the Châteaucreux rail station. The one thing to do is to visit the town's already numerous, but constantly increasing, restaurants. Here is a just a small selection.

Opened 7 years ago in the center of town, rue Saint-Jean, this Michelin starred restaurant (one star), owned and run by former Troisgros chef Stéphane Laurier (pictured left with his team) is one of the best restaurants in Saint-Etienne, Menu changed regularly.
Located in the centre of town in the Place Grenette, this gourmet restaurant is renowned for its warm welcome, delicate flavours and lovingly prepared desserts (the pineapple ravioli is a must).
For those looking for a less traditional eating place the newly opened Zoobar is situated on the avenue de la Libération. With the soulful sounds of Cesaria Evora playing in the background, candle lit tables in a design interior, diners choose from a menu of poetically named dishes. House specialities include, an "avocado, crab and asparagus charlotte" and for dessert the "chocolat à la coque, mouillettes de cake à l'oranger" (strips of orange-flavoured cake in a chocolate shell).

  Around and about

Saint-Etienne has much to offer. Situated a stone's throw from the Pilat Regional Nature Park, the Forez mountains and the gorges of the River Loire, the city is lucky enough to be sufficiently near the countryside while offering all that can be expected of a major cultural centre. Climbing, paragliding, hiking and mountain biking, are just some of the activities accessible to sports lovers, making the city of "Les Verts" (Saint-Etienne Football Club) a joy for them. In summer, they can make use of the Saint-Victor water sports centre where it is possible to water ski and canoe. In winter, transfer their allegiance to the Chalmazel ski resort. The list, however, does not stop there. As Saint-Etienne's position at the crossroads of several major motorways makes major cities and areas easily accessible, cities like Lyons, Geneva and Marseilles, regions like the Alps, the Drôme and Provence. Who has not dreamed of living in Cézanne's country? Well, for students of the ENSM.SE specialising in microelectronics, that dream will soon become a reality with the opening of the new Georges Charpak Centre for Microelectronics in Provence (CMP-GC).

 Saint-Etienne - Mixing nature and sports
 Access to other cities


  • Saint-Etienne - Mixing nature and sports

Not only is it a vibrant cultural centre, but it benefits from being in an area of outstanding natural beauty offering as it does a multitude of possibilities for relaxation to its inhabitants. Very few big cities can claim such diversity.
The Pilat Regional Nature Park (which brushes the southern outskirts of the city and is the only one of France's thirty-six regional nature parks to have some urban structure) is so close to the city that the inhabitants think of it as another of their city parks. Only this particular park is a little bigger than the others (some seventy thousand hectares) and a little more untamed (pine forests and moor land for as far as the eye can see).
The jewel in the local crown, the Pilat Regional Nature Park, is a mid-height mountain reserve that was created in 1974. It covers both the Loire and Rhône departments. Its summit, called the Crêt de la Perdrix or the Perdrix Ridge, rises to 1432m or 4700ft. From here, there are sensational views of the surrounding area, the Rhône Valley directly to the front, to the east the Alps and then Mount Ventoux, to the west the Forez mountains, and to the north the Lyons mountains where you can even see the Jura. Medieval villages and old stone castles are scattered around the landscape and host festivals and fêtes throughout the year.
Ideal for picnics, paradise for the hikers and fans of mountain biking with over 1500km (930 miles) of trails, including the GR7 and the GR42, the craggy slopes of the Pilat also lend themselves to climbing and paragliding, especially Rochetaillée and Roche-Corbière, which are fifteen minutes from the centre of Saint-Etienne and only two minutes from the Student Residence.
The Gouffre de l'Enfer (or Chasm of Hell) and its via ferrata are well known to ENSM.SE students. Beyond the Pilat is the Furan valley, for which the Saint-Etienne Forest marks the point of entry. The village of Bessat, situated at an altitude of 1170m or (3800ft) is the starting point of one of the most popular local trails.

The former is right on the outskirts of Saint-Etienne and the latter attached to its other side. The villages of Saint-Victor and Rochetaillée offer the visitor a superb rural landscape. From its rocky spur, Saint-Victor overlooks the edges of the Loire gorges and Rochetaillée is snuggled around its castle and fortress which overlook the Furan valley.
Surrounded by this natural setting and benefiting from altitude, Saint-Etienne offers numerous excellent star gazing points. There is also a planetarium in the city which provides descriptions of the sky on any given day and also organises field trips. One of the most popular vantage points for amateur astronomers is the hill at Guizay, where many congregate with their telescopes and maps of the night sky.

The gorges of the Loire, situated 15 km (9 miles) to the west of Saint-Etienne, offer a large number of nautical leisure pursuits, principally thanks to the construction in 1959 of the Grangent dam, which created a large lake. In fact, containing as it does some 57 million cubic metres of water, it is one of the largest boating lakes in France and has over three hundred boats moored in its marina.
There, just next to an artificial beach ideal for sunbathing in the summer, the Saint-Victor-sur-Loire water sports centre offers water skiing, windsurfing, sailing, canoeing and rowing. In this gorgeous romantic setting, couples can also take private cruises to the Grangent island and Châtelet peninsula.
When winter comes, the Forez mountains take over. At the juxtaposition with Auvergne, the Loire department has built a ski resort at the foothills of the Massif Central.
The Chalmazel station is about 40km from Saint-Etienne. A small town of around five hundred inhabitants, Chalmazel is an ideal skiing center; it is equipped with a chair lift, a drag lift, a snow park and snow cannons. Its highest peak reaches 1634m at Pierre-sur-Haute (the summit of the Forez mountains).



WITH MORE THAN 600 SPORTS CLUBS and forty-five thousand members, practising sports of all types from judo to hang-gliding, rollerblading to football, cycling to athletics, Saint-Etienne is one of the most sports-oriented cities in France. It has six swimming pools, fifteen tennis courts, an eighteen-hole golf course and the mythical Green Cauldron (Chaudron Vert or Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium), the home of A.S. Saint-Etienne which in the seventies lived one of the greatest adventures of international football by qualifying for the final of the European Cup. Since 1998, "les Verts" have been rekindling the fires of success and the cauldron will soon be ready to boil again...
  • Access to other cities

AS IT IS SITUATED AT THE CENTRE OF SEVERAL MAJOR ROAD AND RAIL LINKS, Saint-Etienne is ideally placed for fast access to the major cities of France and Europe.

  • Lyon: There is 40mn from Saint-Etienne by car (using the A45). There are 81 trains pet day leaving from the station Saint-Etienne Châteaucreux and the journey takes about one hour (these are local TER trains and this line is the most used in France outside of the Paris region).
  • Geneva: There is an hourly TGV to Geneva from the Lyons Part-Dieu railway station, the journey takes 2 hours.
  • Paris: There are four direct TGVs per day to Paris from Saint-Etienne-Châteaucreux. They arrive at Paris Gare de Lyon and the journey takes 2hr 50mn. If it's not possible to get on one of these, there is always the possibility of connecting by TER to Lyons where TGVs to and from Paris run from 6am to l0pm (one every 30mn at peak hours). By plane there are three 50mn Air France flights per day to Paris Orly-Ouest from the airport Saint-Etienne-Bouthéon. The journey is about four hours by road to Paris using the A6 or A71.
  • Marseilles: Take the TER to Lyons and from there the TGV to Marseilles, the journey takes around 3hr l0mn. It is about two-and-half hours by car.
  • London: There is a daily Ryanair flight from Saint-Etienne-Bouthéon, the journey takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  • Brussels: There are four TGVs per day from Lyons (4hr 20mn of travel time).
Good communication with the outside world is obviously a local tradition if we are to believe the major role Saint-Etienne has played in the development of railways in France. Not only does Saint-Etienne have five passenger railway stations, it was also the birth place, in 1823, of the first railway in France. At the time, the wagons were pulled by horses! Over one hundred and fifty years later, Saint-Etienne was the first city in the Provence area to be connected to the TGV network.

ALSO WORTH NOTING: From Saint-Etienne-Bouthéon there are also direct flights to London, Paris and Fès.
Aix-en-Provence and Gardanne:
The opening of the TGV station at Aix in June 2001 has made Aix much more accessible from anywhere in France and Europe.
Paris: TGVs leaving from the new station take 2hr 50mn to reach Paris, the first one is at 5:30am, the last one around 8pm. It is also possible to reach Brussels in 5hr 20mn. There are also numerous flights from the international airport Marseilles-Provence.
Marseilles: There are TER trains every half hour from the railway station at Gardanne (the journey takes around 30mn), Marseilles is also only 20mn drive from Gardanne (around 30km or 19 miles).
Lyon: There are seven TGVs per day to Lyons from the TGV station at Aix, the journey takes around 1hr 30mn.

Saint-Etienne's geographical location and its network of motorways (that of the Rhône valley is the densest in France) give excellent access to surrounding areas. It is 1 hr 30mn to Grenoble and therefore a 2hr drive to the winter ski resorts. The beaches of Marseilles and Montpellier are only 2hr 30mn away, the Drôme Provençale but a 1hr 30mn drive. Italy is only 3hr 30mn away (Saint-Etienne - Turin) and the students of the School regularly take advantage of this proximity.
SAINT-ETIENNE-BOUTHEON AIRPORT has daily flights to London.
From Lyons-Saint-Exupéry there are regular flights to Amsterdam, Brussels, Milan, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome. South-East Asia and US flights are available from Geneva-Cointrin Airport (about two hours from Saint-Etienne by road).