Yingjie WengYingjie Weng
©Yingjie Weng

Yingjie Weng, arrived from China for her studies and… never left!

Yingjie Weng, who came from China to study, blossomed in Lille and… hasn’t left!

A warm welcome, European openness, solidarity, quality of training, professional opportunities, lifestyle, cultural events… So many assets she discovered and appreciated during her studies that she now promotes the city to foreign investors.

Meet this young Chinese graduate who has fallen in love with the Lille metropolis…

From China to Lille, it's just one step 

Yingjie arrived in France in 2017. She had a choice between Paris, Clermont Ferrand and Lille, and chose Lille to pursue her master’s degree in intercultural relations.

I was attracted first and foremost by the content of the training offered at the University of Lille, and then by the geographical location of this city at the heart of Europe.

In addition, her French teacher in China, a native of Lille, inspired her to find out more about this city in Northern France…

During her Master’s degree, Yingjie took a year off to work in the international relations department of the Hauts-de-France Regional Council. This was followed by an internship with Nord France Invest, the region’s international attraction agency.

Welcomed as a foreign student, her internship assignments consisted in promoting the assets of her adopted region, and in her eyes, there are many…

Lille, a welcoming city for foreign students 

I initially chose Lille for the quality of the training on offer, but what I discovered on arrival, and throughout my years of study, only reinforced my choice,” she says.
I remember my first conversation with a shopkeeper in Lille, who spoke to me in English to make my job easier! And when people saw me with my suitcase on the metro, they helped me up the stairs… It may seem simple, but it’s not always the case elsewhere in Europe.

An anecdote she shares with us, underlining the quality of the welcome offered by the people of Lille and the natural mutual aid between residents. She was also impressed by everything that has been put in place to make life easier for international students.

In every university or school, there is an International Student Welcome Office, which organizes outings and gives us practical information on life in Lille… This is invaluable when you arrive alone in an unfamiliar city!

As a new arrival, Yingjie had the opportunity to share a Sunday lunch with a family in the metropolis, to discover the regional gastronomy and create links with the locals. There were even invitations offered to families for Christmas, so as not to be left alone when you couldn’t go home for the holidays, she recalls.

Once this network of acquaintances was established, she was able to take advantage of Lille’s cultural life: the Séries Mania festival, Lille 3000, the musée de la piscine… and, once you’ve done the rounds of all these museums and events (which already takes a while!), it’s very easy to go to London, Brussels, Amsterdam or Luxembourg to open up to other European cultures, adds this traveler curious about other horizons.

Hello Lille ambassador by nature 

I post lots of photos of what I’m doing and discovering on the Chinese social network WeChat, and several friends have told me that it really makes them want to come to Lille on a trip to France.

Speaking to students who have just arrived in Lille is also part of her commitment to Hello Lille: I shared my expatriate experience at the welcome evening for international students at the beginning of October during Lille’s Street Food Festival, an opportunity to give all the right tips for making the most of everything this magnificent city has to offer!

A born ambassador who wants to give back to Lille what the city has given her: personal and professional fulfillment.

What's next: After studying, a job... in Lille!

Yingjie, a young graduate with a master’s degree in intercultural relations, has joined Eurasanté, the incubator and gas pedal of health, nutrition and ageing innovations in the Hauts-de-France region.

With 3 incubators (Bio-incubateur & Bio-accélérateur, Euralimentaire and Eurasenior), Eurasanté also runs a park of 200 companies, 8 hospitals and the Clubster NSL (Nutrition Santé Longévité) competitiveness cluster, the only one combining health and nutrition in France.

What's the purpose of this system?