If you are a foreign student on an exchange program, when you have made your travel arrangements, you should contact the International Relations Office and let them know the day and time of your arrival at the train station or university. In that way, a student or a member of the IR team will be able to welcome you and help you find your way around. The student designated to welcome you will contact you in July or December depending or whether you come for the first or second semester.
The International Relations Office on the Arras campus is open from Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 12am and from 1.30pm to 4.30pm.
The Office organizes reception days for exchange students at the beginning of September and January of each year.
Your attendance is compulsory.
French law requires that foreign students in France provide evidence that they have sufficient funds to carry out their studies without taking up paid employment (the monthly minimum is 430 euros).
In fact, it is estimated that a student will need 600 euros on average each month.
- Housing: 150 - 350 euros per month depending on the type of accommodation
- Food: 150 - 200 euros
- Transport: Allow 25 euros for the bus in Arras; 20 - 25 for BÃ©thune. Additional costs may arise if you have to travel to another campus.
- Telephone: approximately 30 euros
- Leisure (sport, cinema, clothing, etc.): depends upon the individual
Important: these estimations do not take into account the additional expenses you may encounter in the first month of your stay in France. You may need up to 1500 euros initially as you may have to pay one month's rent as a deposit for your accommodation; insurance costs; and social security contributions for non-European citizens.
The usual way to travel is the 'plane+train' combination. The nearest airports are Lille Lesquin, Beauvais, Brussels, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Paris Orly.
If you are travelling by car or bus, check the maps corresponding to each university site.
- From Lille-Lesquin Airport
Take the shuttle which goes to Lille Flandres station and then a regional train (TER) or high-speed train (TGV) will take you to Arras, BÃ©thune, Lens or Douai.
- From Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport
Take the high-speed train (TGV) which leaves directly from the airport (CDG2).
- From Paris Orly Airport
There is no train station in Paris Orly so you must go either to Charles de Gaulle airport (CDG2 station) or to Paris Gare du Nord station by subway (Orlyval or RER B) or bus, and then catch a train.
For further information, see 'Paris Airports' or the Paris Public Transport Operator (RATP).
- From Beauvais Airport (near Paris)
Take the shuttle bus between the airport and Beauvais railway station, then catch a TGV to Arras, Lens, BÃ©thune or Douai.
- From the 'Gare du Nord' station in Paris
You can catch a direct train to Arras, Lens, BÃ©thune or Douai. The journey lasts about an hour by TGV.
- From Brussels
You can catch:
- A TGV train from Brussels rail station to Arras, Lens, BÃ©thune or Douai
- A Eurostar train from Brussels Midi station to Lille Europe station or Paris Gare du Nord
- A Thalys train from either Midi or Charleroi Sud stations to Paris Gare du Nord
From Brussels airport (Zaventem) you can take a train to Brussels Nord station or Brussels Midi or Brussels Central; or by the Lijn express bus service to Brussels Nord Station or to Brussels Sud - Charleroi Airport or Charleroi-Sud train station.
Note: for the TGV and Thalys trains you should book your seat in advance.
Please note: the town of LiÃ©vin does not have a railway station but the Tadoa bus network provides a good service between Lens and LiÃ©vin.