Home to the Université Catholique de Lille since 1875, Lille is a vibrant and dynamic university city at the centre of Western Europe. With swift connections to Brussels (35 minutes), Paris (60 minutes), and London (80 minutes), Lille is perfect for students planning to visit and study Europe. And there is always much to see and do in Lille itself – a welcoming multicultural haven.
Getting to know Lille and its region
Lille Tourist office
Open 7 days a week.
From Monday to Saturday: 9.30 am – 6 pm.
Sunday and bank holidays: 10 am – 4.30 pm
Closed January 1., May 1. and December 25.
3 rue du Palais Rihour 59800 Lille Cedex – Metro Rihour
Estimated monthly expenses for 2021/2022
|Accomodation (university dorms)||from 240€ to 550€|
|Meals (university restaurant)||around 300€|
|Phone & internet||from 30€ to 100€|
|Electricity/water (in university dorm)||about 60€|
|Transport within Lille Metropolitan area (pass including metro, tramway and bus)||from 30€ to 60€|
|V’Lille pass (Public bike system)||around 3,5€ (40€/year)|
Information provided is only indicative. We recommend that you visit specialised websites as well as links provided in this section to accurately estimate your living expenses.
Opening a bank account
Anyone staying in France for more than 3 months can open a bank account at the main banks.
For shorter stays (less than 3 months), you will have to go to “Caisse d’Epargne” or to “La Poste” which offer the same service as banks.
Documentations to provide: student card, passport and an accomodation certificate in French
Banks situated near the Vauban Campus:
- Société Générale: 75bis boulevard Vauban – 59000 Lille - www.societegenerale.fr
- Crédit Agricole: 87 rue Colbert – 59000 Lille - www.creditagricole.fr
- BNP: 85 rue Nationale – 59000 Lille - www.bnpparisbas.net
Loss or theft of your credit card: inform as soon as possible your bank agency.
- Health insurance
Students from outside the European Union spending more than 3 months in France are required to register to the national health insurance scheme, the « Sécurité sociale » (even if they come to France with their own health insurance). The registration is free of charge.
- Health center on the University Campus
- Hospitals (open 24/7)
Centre hospitalier Saint-Vincent
Boulevard de Belfort – 59000 Lille
Tel. (+33) (0)3 20 87 48 48 – Metro Porte de Douai
Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Lille (CHR)
2 rue Oscar Lambert – 59037 Lille Cedex
Tel. (+33) (0)3 20 44 59 62 – Metro CHR B. Calmette
In emergency cases, call SAMU (Emergency Medical Assistance): 15
Medicines are exclusively sold in Pharmacie (drugstore) recognizable by its green cross sign.
Mail boxes are yellow with the logo “LA POSTE”. You can stamp letters or parcels at the post office. Letters can be dropped of in any street mail box (check collection hours on the mail box) or sent from the post office. Parcels can only be sent from the post office.
You can find stamps at the Post Offices and at tobacconists’ shops.
Nearest Post Office on the campus: 129 rue Colbert – 59000 Lille
Monday-Wednesday: 9 am -12.30 and 1.30 to 5.30 pm
Thursday : 9am- 12pm and « pm-5 :30pm
Friday : 9 am -12.30 and 1.30 to 5.30 pm
Saturday : 9 am- 12 pm.
For further information, check this website and type « 59000 Lille » in the research bar. You will have access to information on all post offices in Lille.
If you already have a cell phone, you can buy a French sim card from the following operators : Orange, Bouygues Telecom, SFR, Free.
- Orange: 10 rue Neuve – 59000 Lille
- Bouygues Telecom: 157 rue Léon Gambetta – 59000 Lille
- SFR: 280 rue Léon Gambetta – 59000 Lille
- Free : 6 rue des Manneliers – 59800 Lille
If you want to buy a mobile phone, operators propose two kinds of offers: monthly rates or pre paid cards. You can get the prepaid cards from the tobacconists.
- Buses run from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm (for night service, check the Ilévia website).
- Metros run from 5:30 am to 0:30 am
- Tramways run from Lille-Flandres or Lille Europe stations, to Roubaix or Tourcoing from 5 am.
Tickets and passes for buses, undergrounds and tramways are sold in automatic machines inside each station and in buses. Passes can also be bought online. More information on tickets and passes
Maps and timetables are available at Ilévia Information Centre and on Ilévia website.
For it to be valid, don’t forget to « tap » your card in the bus, at the control point in the tramway or metro station. A single card is valid for one hour from the first validation, it allows you to travel at will: connections, interruptions and returns included.
The SNCF (national railway company) has an important rail network in the Hauts-de-France region. TGVs (high-speed trains) from Lille serve 60 towns every day. Reservation is compulsory on TGVs. The price for a ticket can greatly vary depending on the class, the time and the day of your departure and time of purchase.
Swift connection to major European cities:
- Lille - Paris: 1 h
- Lille - London: 1h20
- Lille - Brussels: 35 minutes
- Lille - Cologne: 3h15
- Lille-Amsterdam : 2h30
For more information: www.oui.sncf
Discounts are possible for students and people under 28 with the “Carte jeune 12-27 ans”. It is valid for a year and offers reduction from 25% up to 50 % for trips in France and abroad. More information on "Carte jeune"
Bus connection to other cities in France and Europe
- You can get a taxi at the stations marked by a taxi sign or you can book one by phone. Extra charge is made for luggage. Fares can be higher at nights and weekends.
Please note that some taxis may not accept credit cards. A ride from Lille train stations to Université Catholique de Lille will cost you from 10 to 15 Euros, depending on the time of the day and your luggages.
- Gare Taxi: Tel. (+33) 03 20 06 64 00
- Taxis Rihour: Tel. (+33) 03 20 55 20 56
- Taxis Union: Tel. (+33) 03 20 06 06 06
- You can also get an Uber, mostly for short rides and inside the metropolitan area.
Open Air Markets
Going to open air markets is a French tradition. There you will find a variety of fresh products like fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish. Some suggestions in the close neighborhood of the university, or in the historic city center:
- Wazemmes market, place de la Nouvelle Aventure. On Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, from 7 am to 2 pm.
- Place du Concert market in Vieux-Lille, near « Conservatoire de Musique ». On Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, from 7 am to 2 pm.
- Place Sébastopol market On Wednesday and Saturday, from 7 am to 2 pm.
Grocery store & supermarkets
Usually open from 8 am to 8 pm, except on Sundays. Supermarkets often offer an organic food sector.
Near the university:
- Carrefour Express: 298 rue Nationale
- Petit Casino: 204 rue Nationale (at the corner of rue Colson)
- Carrefour Market: 281 rue Léon Gambetta
- Match: 97 rue Solférino
EURALILLE shopping mall (near Lille Europe station): Carrefour (hypermarket, open till 10 pm).
- Biocoop Saveurs et Saisons: 98 rue Solférino (It is the nearest grocery)
- Bio C’Bon: 154 rue Solférino
- Naturalia: 342 rue Léon Gambetta
Options for vegetarians and vegans, as well as gluten-free and dairy-free diets
Traditional supermarkets often offer vegatarian and vegan options, as well as some gluten-free and dairy-free products. Hypermarkets tend to have a higher supply for specific diets.
All-organic stores traditionnaly offer a very extensive choice for vegetarians and vegans, as well as for gluten-free and dairy-free diet.