The Anglophone Section was first established in 1987 and was located elsewhere in Lyon before becoming one of the CSI Lyon's founding language sections at its launch in 1992. It is currently the school's largest language section, making up over a quarter of the student body.
The decision to create the Cité Scolaire Internationale Lyon (CSI Lyon) was made by the Rhône-Alpes Regional Assembly (Conseil Régional) in 1988. The aim of the new school was to meet the strong demand for international education in the region and, in particular, to encourage Interpol to locate its headquarters in Lyon.
In 1992 the CSI Lyon opened on its current site in the 7th arrondissement of Lyon near the banks of the Rhone. Its buildings, featuring a curved structure and a glass facade, are a distinctive local landmark.