City of Contradictions
From a large working class French commune to an internationally certified city of culture, Lille has been the subject of extreme transformation in the last century. Lille has liberated itself from the shackles of its poor industrial past to become a modern capital of culture, enterprise and tourism. The city is in a prime location and is quite correctly seen as the gateway to continental Europe with the Eurostar and TGV services offering convenient connections to London in just 80 minutes, Paris in 60 and even Brussels in a speedy half hour.
Taking out an extra course during your time in France will mean you can practice something you’re interested in, with the locals - what better way to have fun whilst you’re learning, we say. With so many free hours, it’s easy to stuff yourself silly with choucroute and slurp on fine wine: and although that’s an equally beneficial way to improve your language (as long as you’re oohing and aahing with the Frenchies), you can also get another insight into the culture, the people and their habits.
From cooking courses to clown workshops, find your ideal way to pass the time here:
Christopher Hall is 21 and studies French & Linguistics at Queen Mary, University of London. This year he is spending seven months of his year abroad working as an English Language Assistant in two high schools in Loos, in the outskirts of Lille, France. He chose Lille as it provides an urban environment with excellent amenities yet without the expense of living in a capital city, and has speedy transport connections to the UK and many cities throughout continental Europe. Here he passes on his advice about accommodation, getting around town, student discounts, shopping, eating out and the nightlife in Lille.