International Studies Abroad ®est. 1987

Culture Corner

View Lille in a larger map

What's Lille Like

Lille is a charming city in the Nord-Pas-de-calais region of France, near the border with Belgium. Once principally known as an industrial city, it has since become a center for culture, commerce, and education. Though it is the largest city in northern France, the city and its inhabitants reflect an agreeable, familiar, and down-to-earth nature. Lille, with its strong Flemish roots and youthful exuberance, is an attractive destination for native and international students alike.

You may notice right away that life in Lille is different from life in the U.S. Some differences are subtle, such as the sound of the telephone ringing, while other changes will be more striking. Most things look, sound, and smell differently. Discovering these differences is one of the joys of an adventure in Lille. You will learn to appreciate the French way of doing things, and before you know it, you'll fit right in! By experiencing life in France, you will gain a much greater understanding of the French and their culture, as well as a new outlook on your own American heritage.

Region and Population

The city of Lille is located in the North of France along the Deûle River. To see some highlights of different areas within Lille, please visit the "Cultural Highlights" tab. The population of Lille is just above 225,000.


Lille has a fairly mild climate with cool to cold winters and warm summers. Summer students should be aware that many buildings in Lille may not be air conditioned. Note the average monthly highs and lows (degrees Fahrenheit) and rainfall (inches) in Lille below:
Avg. Rainfall2.

Helpful Links