Tips for stay at Université de Lille

Université de Lille, France


  • You will obtain student card in 2-3 weeks
  • Without having a student card/number you can’t apply for sports/physical education courses/ offered by university
  • At the same time, you will obtain student card, confirmation of study and other legal documents needed in order to prove to the French state administration that you are a student indeed
  • This is relevant especially when applying for CAF, which is a state institution that reimburses legal students
    • In France you are entitled to a social security and state gives you money if you complete all legal steps (this is truly a lifetime experience)
    • You have to fill in a form (in French) and despite all tips and tricks available online (either in French or English), it all depends on that particular state officer that dealt with your case, whether you will receive the money or not
    • Once done (good luck), you will most likely be asked to put physical copies of some of the following documents into a sealed envelope, labelled with your „Numéro allocataire“ (you will obtain this once done with the form) and name:
      • Copy of your birth certificate officially translated (and stamped) into French
      • Copy of your passport/ID card, student card and EU insurance card
      • Confirmation of study from the Czech Republic and/or France „Justificatif de scolarité
      • Confirmation that you are indeed living in a French dormitory (Reeflex issues this at the reception) „Attestation de loyer
      • Confirmation that you solemnly sweat to have enough resources to live in France “Attestation sur l’honneur de ressources suffisantes
      • An IBAN number of a French bank
        • Either you create an account there (we recommend BNP Paribas, as the clerk spoke some English and it was done on spot;
          ESN Lille has a deal with the bank and you can even get it faster/with some money)
        • OR you use the account of dormitory Reeflex (they offer this to a limited amount of people, may or may not be an option)
      • In practice this meant we were 9 students from Czech Republic/Slovakia and there were 9 outcomes (both procedural and moneywise)
        • You are entitled to money from the next month on and not for the month in which you submitted all documents for the first time (A RULE)
          • TIP: if you arrive in France on 31.8., you have a higher chance to obtain payment for the September (NOT A RULE!)
        • When writing, do not use Czech cursive but print letters instead (if needed)
        • Bring plenty of passport photos (8-10)
      • On average, we received 174€/month but it all depends on various factors you filled in the form and especially on the particular French officer dealing with your application. Do it French way and don’t stress about it, the process WILL take some time (we applied in September and received money in mid-December/early January)
      • Yes, it’s worth it – you are entitled to this money and an extra effort goes a long way.

Social life & living

  • Campus isolated from the city centre but fully independent
  • New hi-tech library Liliad (highly recommended for studying and group presentations)
  • ESN Lille organizes various events for international students (follow their Facebook)
  • Accommodation arranged by university
    • International university dormitory Reeflex (394€/month)
    • Well equipped, new – IMPORTANT: rooms are bare and with basic furniture: chair, desk, table (sometimes), cupboards, fridge, small kitchen unit (2 electric stoves, sink, cupboard), bed (and mattress), wardrobe + private bathroom. And NOTHING else.
    • Laundromats + drier machines on the ground floor
    • Chip card for entrance to the dormitory/room (15€ fee if damaged/lost)


  • One-way public transport ticket costs around 1,60€ (usually a metro to/from campus)
  • It’s cheaper to visit the Transpole office (provider of public transport services) and apply for a plastic card instead of buying separate tickets:
    • You can get monthly ticket for cheaper or you get the possibility to get 10 rides for 11€ instead of 16€
    • One way ticket costs 1,40€ with plastic card
    • Passport photo needed + the fee for a plastic card
  • Night lines to/from city centre twice per hour and only by bus (last metro after midnight)


  • Auchan (cheapest, huge offer), Lidl, Carrefour
  • V2 shopping mall with various shops


  • BasicFit (registration fee 30€ + each month 20€) – valid in other countries!
  • Feel Sport fitness (registration fee 30€ + each month 20€ + chip card 20€)


  • Haircuts (men) around 10-15€
  • Post office near V2 shopping mall
  • Dominos and other pizza delivery services available


  • Buses
    • Flibco: shuttlebus to/from Charleroi airport (sooner, better)
    • Ouibus: French bus company, cheap tickets around France/Wallonie
    • Flixbus: good for international/long distance travels
  • Trains
    • SNFC: French state railways, pretty expensive (TGV, regional trains)
  • Airplanes
    • Brussels-Charleroi (south airport) (Belgium) – low-cost traveling with Ryanair
  • Other
    • Blablacar: ride sharing works just fine


  • Every last Sunday in the month museums, galleries etc. for free
  • Students up till 26 years of age: major discounts/free entrance across France
    • LAM Museum of Modern Arts, Roubaix Piscine Museum – recommended


  • Rue de Solferino: bars, clubs, major night-life hub
  • On campus and surrounding neighbourhoods there is sadly nothing


Closing a French bank account

  • Once you have received (or not) your CAF payment, it is time for you to close your bank account. We highly suggest you do this in person while still in Lille, as it is the fastest option and it is guaranteed (?) that the clerk will execute the order.
  • However, shall you find yourself in time pressure for a personal meeting, haven’t received your CAF yet or you forgot it entirely, do not waver! It is possible to do it online via email if you follow these simple steps:
    • Write an email to your local bank branch
    • Title – Closing the bank account
      • Clôture de compte bancaire
    • Body of email, where you kindly ask them to close the bank account for you:

Madame, Monsieur, 


Je soussigné (Name SURNAME), titulaire du compte no (French bank account number) auprès de votre institution, vous prie par la présente de fermer ledit compte dans les plus brefs délais.


En vous remerciant par avance, je vous prie d’agréer, Madame, Monsieur, l’expression de mon meilleur sentiment.




  • Attach 2 important files to your email:
    • Scan of your ID card so that they know it’s really you
    • Scan of this exact same text as in email, written in hand, with accurate date and place and most importantly – sign it!
  • Your local branch received all important and legal documents and it is now entirely up to clerk, whether they will accept this way of account closing. It usually works but as with everything regarding French bureaucracy it is not 100 % guaranteed.