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Exchange in Lille: Underrated?

Hey guys! My name is Cristina, and I study Economics at The University of Groningen. I am currently doing my Erasmus exchange in Lille, France, at Ieseg School of Management. I’ve been falling in love with this city ever since I came here, and this post will summarize what I enjoyed the most so far.

If you want to experience a new culture, with minimum effort and expenses this is the perfect place for you

1.Cultural Shock

So close, yet so different. French people are nothing like the Dutch, even though you’re barely moving a couple of hours away. Here beauty, discussion and… alcohol is way more valued than in The Netherlands. If Dutch people are chill and practical. The French are very driven, and they might not succeed to be efficient. However, they are great at looking amazing, and creating gorgeous cities. Therefore, you’ll be a well-rounded adult if you get to learn from both of these cultures.

The most shocking difference is how unsustainable they are. So much plastic, paper, energy consumption. Please, bring some good habits when you come here.


With Flixbus you can reach any of these big cities for a very cheap price and in no time. If you’re down to pay more, take the train and you’ll reach even further. It is the perfect city to attend all the big events, without constantly dealing with the huge cost of living in a central city.

-Brussels – 2 euros; 1 hour;

-Paris- 4 euros; 3 hours;

-Amsterdam – 10 euros; 5 hours;

-London- 17 euros; 6 hours;

3.French Food& Fashion

Clothes: I’m not a fan of luxury nor fast fashion. However, I love quality clothes for affordable prices that look different. With Paris being the world’s capital of fashion, France is the perfect place to find them. Moreover, I’ve learned so much about styling from observing French people.

Food: You will never find this type of Patisserie in The Netherlands. Cheese and local Beer& Wine are on the daily menu and you won’t be disappointed with your French diet.


Learning French has its pay-offs: it is the main language in 9 countries, and the world’s 5th most spoken. You will expand your career opportunities by so much. In comparison to The Netherlands, the English level is low which really helps with learning.

The French system is attending a Business School. You will build completely different skills than in a Dutch University. For example, attending interactive classes for over 28h/ week and waking up early sounds like going to a full-time job. Learning how to make a business model, and attending a lot of practical courses will broaden your perspective and complete your education. You will feel way more international and prepared for a workplace after this.


Of course, a lot of time is in school, but you will also have so much play-time. However, you get a couple of free weeks and the material won’t challenge nor stress you. It is a 6 months holiday, especially because you’re done with class in December. And, most likely, you will end up with a higher average grade.

There are plenty of bars constantly full. There is not only ESN Lille, but all universities have their social clubs. Meeting people, and doing interesting activities is easy in Lille.

P.S. All of this happens in a gorgeous city, with lots of art, and splendid architecture. I don’t want to spoil the discovery for you. I hope that if you come here, you will enjoy it as much as I do.

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