Institute of Political Studies, Lille

Facts | Eligibility | Academic | Orientation | Language | Internships | Accommodations | Calendar | Financing | Apply

This is a reciprocal exchange relationship between SJSU and the Institute of Political Studies in Lille. Priority for placement will be given to Political Science majors and minors, but students from other academic fields will be considered if there is space available and appropriate coursework is offered.

  • Take Political Science courses in English
  • Earn SJSU resident credits for all completed courses.
  • Pay your normal SJSU tuition and fees.
  • Use your financial aid and apply for scholarships.
  • Immerse yourself in French culture and learn the language
  • Study for one semester or an academic year.
  • Gain an advantage when applying for jobs and graduate school.

City Facts

Lille, France

Lille is located in northern France on the border with Belgium. It is a short distance by train to Paris (1 hour), Brussels (less than 1 hour) and London (1.5 hours). The public transportation system provides easy access to most cities in France via a high-speed train and an airport. Greater Lille is the fourth largest metropolis in France with approximately 100,000 students amongst the 4 million inhabitants of the Northern district of France.

Lille is a historic city where major elements form the XIX century are still in evidence, as well as well preserved Flemish facades. The city is divided up into districts with many interesting contrasts, from the historic heart of the city to the glass-clad towers of the new quarter. There are opportunities for shopping in ancient streets, visiting the many museums and monuments or wandering through the city past the exuberant décor of XVIIth century architecture.

Campus Facts

Institute of Political Studies, Lille

The Institute of Political Studies was opened in 1991 and today has 750 students, all of them selected by a competitive admissions test. In 1996 the Institute relocated to occupy a former industrial building, whose renovation has been an architectural success. Students following the normal course of study in the Institute come from all over France. From it’s creation, the Institute of Political Studies has developed a European Approach, largely favored by its international location. The university has developed student exchange programs with 80 foreign universities throughout the world and every year the Institute welcomes visiting professors from some of those universities.

Eligibility Requirements

Students must:

  • be enrolled as an SJSU student for one semester prior to departure, or be a California community college student eligible to enter SJSU by the semester of departure,
  • have completed lower division requirements for the Political Science major,
  • have Sophomore, Junior or Senior standing by the semester of departure,
  • have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher.

There is no language requirement, but a minimum of one term of college level French is strongly recommended.

Students coming from countries outside the European Union have to pay the French social insurance (198 euros in 2009/10). The international or personal insurance will not be accepted. While applying for your visa, it is not necessary for you to provide evidence of an insurance policy covering health costs during your stay in France.

Academic Program

TSJSU students can attend classes in five departments: Politics, European Studies, International Relations, Economics and Finance and Public Administration. Students can also attend courses of visiting professors (most of the time in English, German or Spanish).

The academic calendar consists of two sixteen-week semesters. Students are evaluated through exams for each course. The French assessment scale ranges form 0 to 20. Marks between 10-20 are passing and receive credit. Course offerings include the following:

A Sample of Classes in English

Russian Politics
Globalization and Cities
British Politics
Elements of American Political Science
Human Rights in International Relations
The Scandinavian Welfare State in Comparative Perspective
Introduction to China’s Economics and Politics
Transatlantic Relations
Great Britain and European Integration
Nordic Politics
Comparative Political Economy of East Asia
Electoral Studies
Living with the Euro/Key Policy Issues
US Foreign Policy Toward Africa

Students who are fluent in French, Spanish or German have opportunities to take other coursework as well.

For more information regarding the program, check the Student Exchange Programme Fact Sheet (pdf).


Students are required to attend a two-week orientation seminar divided into two parts: an Administrative part (orientation to the city and university) and a methodological and linguistic part ( 20 hours of free French intensive courses and initiation to study methods).

French Language

All SJSU students are strongly encouraged to take French language courses prior to the beginning of the semester and throughout their participation in the exchange. Free regular lessons take place twice a week (4 hours) during the first and the second semester. You have the possibility to attend 100 hours of French language lessons in a year. Evaluations will be organized at the beginning and at the end of the session. At the end of the lessons, you will receive a certificate according to your level.


Students may participate in internships while studying in Lille. The exchange program does not have formalized internship programs, but the university can provide support with internship placements or students can arrange their own internship.


The Institute of Political Sciences offers several options to international students for accommodation, including residence halls, private residences or studio apartments downtown. Check the housing possibilities on Se loger à Lille.

Program Academic Calendar

Semester From–to
Fall Semester September–December
Spring Semester January–May

Financing Your Semester

Estimated Costs

SJSU Tuition & Fees 3,585.00

These costs are current as of 2012–13. These are estimated costs for the whole semester. Consult the Bursar’s Office for up-to-date information on tuition and fees. Personal expenses may vary among different students, and those who will be doing a lot of traveling during the school break and after the program should estimate higher.

Round Trip Airfare 1,100.00
Housing & Meals 4,000.00
Books & Supplies 300.00
Insurance 350.00
Personal Expenses 2,500.00
Total $11,835.00

Apply for This Program

SJSU Bilateral Program Forms