Lille is situated in the very North of France, just a one hour train ride away from the French capital Paris. With around 200k inhabitants, Lille ranks 10th in France. The city itself is the capital of the region Nord-Pas-de-Calais. After we had arrived and checked our rooms, we left the hotel to discover the city on our own. It was freezing cold during the conference week, so we were glad, that warm French crêpes and waffles could be bought at every corner. Warm local food and the narrow streets and small restaurants everywhere conveyed a cozy feeling to all of us.
While we had gotten a first impression of Lille on arrival day by ourselves, we were glad that students of SciencesPo Lille invited all conference delegates to city tours in the next morning. That way, we could learn about the rich history and culture of the city from local students first hand. Did you know, that the Lille train station was actually built from material from the Paris train station, which had been destroyed in World War 2? We also took the opportunity to meet delegates from other countries who attended these city tours, as well. Slowly, the expectations and excitement about the first session of debate the next day rose.
We were glad, that the local government supported the NMUN and therefore allowed them to hold the conference in the buildings of its regional parliament. The modern complex with its wide, open spaces and its glass-and-steel architecture made us feel like truly real delegates, ourselves. Moreover, it is situated in walking distance from the city center and our hotel, which allowed for enough rest in the morning before session and offered several opportunities for a nice dinner in a French restaurant after debate had ended in the evening.
Even though our stay in beautiful Lille was short and even though it was just too cold for long walks through the city, we were very glad to have been there. We experienced a warm welcome by the French organization team and funny French-English-German-mixed conversations with local takeaway Food shops and will keep our week in France in good memory.