After four months of volunteering at Interreg Europe, Pauline Djian, our Interreg reporter is leaving the secretariat today. Looking back on her experience, here are her six reasons why to be a volunteer in Lille, at Interreg Europe:
6. The sun...no just joking!
With 31 hours of sun in January I think we hit an overall record in France! If you are French, they even talked about it on the news! It makes an average of one hour of sun per day. At that stage, I can tell you that when you see a sunbeam, you learn to cherish it.
Of course, thank god for the Lillois! (see reason number 5...)
5. Les "Lillois"
Even though the sun is not always there, you get warmed up by the kindness and art of living of the Lillois, who are always, from my experience, in a good mood. Their mood reflects on you!
Even if you don’t come to work in Lille, if the place is not on your list of cities to visit in France, you should remediate to it.
Of course it may look a little bit cliché, and you may have seen this picture on all the touristic guides about Lille, but this square is definitely the most beautiful place in the city.
Besides being well-located (half an hour away from Brussels, an hour from Paris and an hour and a half from London), the city of Lille has undeniable assets.
First, it is a very lively city, especially in the night in the city centre when the bars and cafés around the Grande Place start hosting costumers.
One thing not to miss is the Wazemmes market on Sundays where you can find good quality meat and vegetables at a good price. According to me it is one of the typical Lillois folklore which should appear on your to-do list.
Then, it is a cultural city, with a great number of interesting museums such as the Musée de Beaux Arts de Lille, the Musée “La Piscine” in Roubaix, the Villa Cavrois.
Also, Lille wouldn’t be Lille without the food. It is not my favourite one in France, but tasting the carbonade, the welsh, the fries or the maroilles is part of the Lillloise experience.
At last, I had the chance to see a football match at the Pierre-Mauroy Lille Stadium in Villeneuve d’Ascq. It is one in a kind experience I would recommend to anybody coming to Lille.
Of course there are so many other things to see and do in Lille. So I would suggest to come and discover them for yourselves.
3. Interreg Europe: a great place to start on territorial cooperation
Interreg Europe is one of the four interregional cooperation programmes (alongside with Interact, Urbact and ESPON). It is also one of the two interregional cooperation programmes dealing with projects and exchange of good practices (alongside with Urbact). It makes Interreg Europe a great place to start if you are new in european territorial cooperation (ETC) and want to have an overall insight of the ETC.
2. The Interreg Europe headquarters and especially the kitchen!
This is what I see every day from my office window. I don’t know for you, but I love this view.
I also love this view! Almost every day you have surprises in the kitchen from colleagues coming back from trips or from projects visiting us.
1. The team!
The Number 1 reason to volunteer at Interreg Europe! It is not only a rather young and international team, but it is a very dynamic and friendly one.
As I hadn't posted any photo of me, just for your information, I am in the first rank and the third person from right to left (with a purple pullover).