Sciences Po Lille

The Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Lille is a highly-regarded political science institution located in northern France, just 1 hour from Paris, 40 minutes from Brussels and less than 2 hours from London.

This privileged geographical position, enhanced by its high-quality transport network, makes Lille a real gateway to Europe. Though it was founded in 1991, Sciences Po Lille has become one of France's "Grandes Écoles" (elite schools) and is one of the most selective French universities. Sciences Po Lille opened their new campus in January 2017 in the latin quarter of Lille, improving accessibility and the vitality of study spaces on campus. Lille's Model UN association is currently the top association in France (13th in the world), and the university itself is very internationally-oriented, with a student population of 2,000 students including about 250 international students. 

Key information


Lille, France


English, French


Fall, Winter, Academic year

Program type


Application information

Application status



2024-2025 applications

First come first considered for remaining spaces until

Winter 2025: August 15, 2024

University-specific additional requirements

No reference letter required; minimum GPA 2.7. See Eligibility section below for details.

2025-2026 applications

Open November 1, 2024

Program details

Areas of Study: Sciences Po Lille offers courses in Business, Economics, Geography, History, International Relations, Law & Society, and Political Science at a 2nd and 4th year level (In 3rd year, no courses are offered as all Lille students are required to study/intern abroad). 3rd year UCalgary students are welcome to take 2nd year courses. 

A list of courses can be found here.

Year-long French-speaking students also have an opportunity to gain a certificate for taking all courses in French. This certificate program, the Certificat d’Etudes Politiques (C.E.P.) offers students an opportunity for recognition of academic excellence at Sciences Po Lille. 

Course requirements:
In Europe, full-time course load is typically 30 ECTS (European credits), and exchange students are typically expected to take 24-30 credits per semester. Note: 30 ECTS is the expected course load if you wish to complete the certificate program. 6 ECTS = 3 UCalgary units (1 half-course). 
The amount of credits each course is worth corresponds to the workload/contact hours, and can vary from 1-30 ECTS per course, so please be mindful of this in your selection.

The academic year is divided into two semesters. The first semester runs from early September to mid January and the second semester runs from mid-January to late May. It is usually possible to finish the Fall semester in December. However, attendance at the orientation session running a week or so before classes is required. 

Sciences Po Lille also offers a unique summer program on current issues facing the EU for students that want to explore summer options in Lille. 

Please Note: French visa applications for Canadians may require travel to the Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa VFS Visa Center to submit the documentation and take biometrics as needed within 3 months before departure to France, so students may not have access to their passports during that time. 

  1. Costs

    Exchange students pay their tuition and academic fees to the University of Calgary. Other expenses are paid directly to the service provider. Also, remember to include things like visas, insurance, vaccinations etc in your budget planning.

    Sciences Po Lille estimates that you should have at least €800 per month budgeted for accommodation (generally between €250-€400 per month for residences, and €250-€650 per month for self-arranged accommodation), food, transit, and leisure. Also, don't forget to include things like visas, insurance, vaccinations etc in your budget planning. 

    Also, don't forget to include things like visas, insurance, vaccinations etc in your budget planning. All students will be covered by the national social security system which is free and covers some costs of medical care, but comprehensive travel medical coverage will still be required.

    Please Note: French visa applications may require travel to the Vancouver consulate to finalize your student visa and take biometrics as needed - please speak with the exchange advisor as soon as possible about whether this will be required for you.

    Students considering significant rail travel in France may want to purchase a Carte Jeune via French National Rail (SNCF), which allows for reduced travel for every journey over a year. 

    Lille cost comparison vs. Calgary: Click Here

  2. Funding

    Did you know that you can take your UCalgary funding with you on exchange?   
    Since you remain a degree seeking student at UCalgary while on exchange you remain eligible for any awards and scholarships you are eligible to receive from the university as well as student loans.

    Our office administers several awards, including the Global Access Fund (based on a funding-first model where students apply prior to committing to a global learning program) and the Global Learning Award (students apply after being accepted to a global learning program; the amount varies year-to-year as the money is split among chosen recipients). Students may only receive these awards once. Please see the funding page, linked below, for more information.

    France - Housing Aid
    All students in France who rent housing with a contract, regardless of national origin, are eligible for a National Housing Aid from the ‘CAF’, Caisse d’Allocations Familiales. For the subsidy application, please make sure to bring a copy of your birth certificate.

    E. Catherine Barclay Scholarship
    The E. Catherine Barclay Scholarship is a generous award of $7500 granted to one outstanding full-time student, registered in any faculty at UCalgary, who has been accepted by us to study for a full academic year (French-taught courses only) on one of our official exchange programs.

Sciences Po Lille does not have on-campus housing, however the International Office provides this very useful page on Housing Solutions. It contains a housing platform for students. And these are a few options they suggest:

Residence Crous: a common housing provider in France
Private accommodation
Housing Anywhere: assists students with housing search

For more information, please visit Lille's housing guide.

Students have access to a variety of affordable options through CROUS. Average meals at the university cost about €3.25 and money can be loaded on to a meal card as well. For the most up to date information, you can find more information on their site

The CROUS Cafeteria of SCIENCES PO LILLE, is open from Monday to Friday, from 10am to 2.30pm (found in the students’ hall, on the ground floor)

RESTAURANT UNIVERSITAIRE LILLE MOULINS, on the corner of Rue Massillon and Rue Thumesnil - Place Déliot à Lille (11.30am-13.45pm), Métro : Porte de Douai

RESTAURANT UNIVERSITAIRE CHARLES DEBIERRE, 171 rue Charles Debierre à Lille (11h30-14h), Métro : Mairie de Lille

RESTAURANT UNIVERSITAIRE CHATILLON (LILLE CENTRE), 24 rue Gauthier de Châtillon à Lille. Open for lunch and dinner (11.30am-1.45pm and 6.30-8pm). Métro : République Beaux-Arts

This exchange is open to regular, full-time students in any faculty at UCalgary, who have completed at least 1 full year (10 courses) at the post-secondary level, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 (B-).

For English courses, while advanced French is not required, all students should have some basic knowledge of French and be able to independently navigate websites and forms written in French.

For courses in French, applicants must have a command of French at the B2 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Language (CEFR) at a minimum, or have completed at least two 300-level or above courses in French. Certification of language proficiency may be required.

Students do have the opportunity to take French language courses during their stay.


What supports or services are available at Sciences Po Lille? 

Sciences Po Lille offers supports for students needing arrangements for exams, captioning services, equipment loans, and more. For information on accessibility and support services of campuses across Europe, please check out Inclusive Mobility. For city-specific services and places in Europe, the Jaccede interactive platform (website and/or smartphone app - both Android and iOS) also provides a searchable user-built database to identify important accessibility information of public places and locations.

What kind of clubs or groups are available at Sciences Po Lille?

Lille offers a multitude of organizations and clubs in response to interest. They offer more than 25 athletic, political, artistic, and environmental clubs - including a Model UN club (MUNWalk), an LGBTQ+ Club (Bon Chic Bon Genre), a Snakes & Ladders club (Le Jeu de l’Oie), sustainability clubs (The Political Institute Gardens, The Young Ecologists of Sciences Po Lille), a theatrical club, a satirical newspaper organization, a law club, and a variety of sports clubs (rugby, volleyball, dance, soccer, etc.), amongst other various groups. 

More information on sports clubs can be found under the "Sports" heading on their page.  

What options are available for improving my French at Sciences Po Lille?

Sciences Po Lille offers a free program for incoming exchange students throughout the year. These classes are offered at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. 

Visa/Residence Permit Procedures:

Lille offers information on general procedures regarding your preparation and arrival in Lille.

Have questions?

Global Learning 101

Please watch this short YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment. In these videos, you will learn much of the basics about Global Learning, which may answer your initial questions.

Watch Global Learning 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how this program might align with your degree (e.g. best time to go, what courses you need).

After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/transfer credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.

Find your academic advisor

Global Learning Advising

If you have questions, please reach out to our office! We offer drop-in advising for general inquiries, and if you have questions about this specific program or any others, you can book an appointment with the responsible advisor.

Please use the link below to find the most up-to-date information about our current advising options.

View the Global Learning Advising page

The exchange advisor for this program is: Tara Jorgensen

How to Apply

Download the application guide

This PDF contains information on how to complete your application and what to do after you have applied.

Application guide

Identify three programs of interest

We recommend applying for your top three programs for the priority application deadline, as placement may be competitive. We will assess your applications in ranked order.

Check requirements and deadlines

These may vary by program, so check the individual program pages and make sure that you are aware of any different application deadlines or eligibility requirements.

Start your application

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!

Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.


International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular global learning program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Global Learning Advisors will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

If you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Global Learning Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.

Please note: All participants must adhere to COVID-19 and other vaccination-related requirements for the destinations visited on this program. Failure to do so may have consequences such as being denied access to accommodation/housing, program activities, or to the host country itself.