Global Study
Australia Flanders France _ YMCA Global Study _ Cover

Australia Flanders France

Lille, France

Explore Australia’s significant ties to France and Flanders through its involvement in WW1 through photography, film and culture.

ANZAC Day was established to commemorate the 1915 landing of New Zealand and Australian troops in Gallipoli, yet what is still remembered as ‘the worst day in Australian history’ would come a year later at Fromelles, just west of Lille. This region would also become the site of a number of notable Australian victories, such as the victory at Hill 60, where just across the Belgian border, Queensland miners played a crucial role in setting off a series of explosions that helped break the front lines. During this time Australian Frank Hurley, a war photographer captured a number of images that would go on to define ‘The Great War’ for many around the world.

Yet the stories of Australian successes during WW1 did not go on to define the ANZAC spirit in the same way that the event in Gallipoli did, and Hurley’s stunning photographic montages were condemned at the time as ‘fake’. What are the issues involved in communicating such events and their importance? To answer this question and more, the course will analyse both Hurley’s photographic work and two modern Australian films set in the Flanders region – Beneath Hill 60 (2010) and An Accidental Soldier (2013), in relation to their historical and cultural contexts, including other regional Australian connections.

Students will  
– Visit the Cobbers memorial and museum at Formelles. 
– Cross the border into Belgium to visit Ypres, rebuilt after near-total destruction during the first world war.
– Attend the Last Post ceremony, performed at the Menin Gate Memorial every evening since the 1920’s.

The study of film and photography is necessarily intertwined with the study of art and art history, which likewise played an important role in the culture of the Flanders region from the middle ages onwards. As part of this course, students will visit Lille’s Palais des Beaux-Arts, whose collection is second only to the Louvre in France, and La Piscine, an art museum set in a former art deco swimming pool in the former textile centre of Roubaix, a suburb which today is part of the Lille metropolitan area and has significant ties to Australia through the wool trade.


Studying abroad was the best decision I’ve ever made. The lecturers are all engaging and invested in their subjects. It’s really interesting to see how universities are different in France. It was particularly moving to stand in the places where Australian blood was spilt during the first world war and where many Australians rest. – Alyssa, Edith Cowan University

I’ve learnt a lot about myself whilst on this trip. I had many obstacles, as well as a language barrier to contend with, but by putting myself out there I was able to overcome them.
I’m very grateful I had the opportunity to attend this program, I only wish I had time in the beautiful city of Lille. – Keyan, Curtin University


Intended Learning Outcomes & Additional Course Information

After successfully completing this short course, participants will have gained the following skills and knowledge:

  • Understand and be able to utilise key terms and concepts pertaining to the formal analysis of art, film and photography
  • Recognise key developments in the history of film and photography, in specific relation to World War I
  • Demonstrate insight into the Australian experience on the Western Front during World War I, and its relevance to the present, particularly within an intercultural context


Student Participation (20%)

Continuous Assessment (20%)

Final Exam (60%)

University & Faculty

Universite Catholique de Lille is one of the largest universities in the French higher education system, boasting 28,500 students, 6 faculties, and 20 colleges and institutes.
Founded in 1875 the Universite Catholique de Lille has grown to include 33 research teams, a hospital complex with 700 beds, and a child guidance centre. These institutions share the same educational philosophy based on excellence, humanist values, achievement, solidarity and are open to students and staff of all cultures and beliefs. Even though Universite Catholique de Lille is a private university, the university is a not-for-profit institution which aims to make the university’s services available to everybody in order to contribute to both economic and social progress.


Baguettes, berets, stripy shirts, and cheese are not the only things France is known for. With stunning coastlines, forests and valleys, fantastic wine country, historic towns, and rich history, there’s almost too much to do!

You will be based in Lille, which is located in the north-east of France and is the country’s 4th largest city. Influenced by its solid industrial history, Lille has come a long way to the commercial and cultural hub it is today. Despite being the largest city in the north, Lille has a laid-back feel to it without the big city arrogance.
Being a popular student city definitely contributes to its laid-back attitude and also drives its nightlife, making it one of the best cities in France for a fun night out.

During the day why not relax at a café with a coffee, cycle around taking in the city’s historical architecture, or head to one of Lille’s (and France’s) most famous art galleries: Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art and Roubaix’s La Piscine, a unique gallery located in a repurposed art deco public swimming pool.

If you’re looking for the real touristy stuff you always have the option of catching a one hour train to Paris, and it only costs 20 Euros!


Twin-share accommodation at a hotel located close to the university

Students will stay at a hotel close to the university and share with another participant of the same sex.

Each room has its own ensuite and is equipped with hi-speed WiFi.

Your stay will also include breakfast and dinner so each day you are on the program.

Students can request to upgrade to a private room for an additional cost

Social and Cultural Program

Weekend Trip to Paris

Spend a weekend exploring France’s enchanting capital and see some of the world’s most famous sites like the Effiel Tower, the Lourve and the Champs-Élysées.

Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille

The Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille is one of the largest fine art museums in France. Located in the centre of Lille, this museum is truly a must-see location; not only does it have a beautiful Belle Époque style exterior but it houses sculptures, paintings, drawings, and ceramics by famous artists such as Raphael, Donatello, Tissot, Goya, El Greco, Delacroix, Rodin, and Rembrandt.

Wazemmes Sunday Market
Wazemmes is Lilles largest market with plenty to offer from food, flowers, exotic products to local produce. Vibrant and colorful with a “Soho” vibe to it, Wazemmes is the perfect place for a stroll and people watching-  not to mention practising your french!

Guided visits to Fromelles/Ypres
Students will visit various Australian monuments such as the Cobbers memorial and museum at Formelles. They will also cross the border into Belgium to visit Ypres, rebuilt after near-total destruction during the first world war. While there, the group will attend the Last Post ceremony, performed at the Menin Gate Memorial every evening since the 1920’s.

Trip to Bruges

This city is built like a medieval fairy-tale, with an abundance of cobbled laneways, canals, market squares, and busy atmosphere. An understandably popular tourist destination, Bruges has many attractions for a visitor to take advantage of; the two standout attractions of the city have to be the Groeningemuseum and the Belfort. While the Groeningemuseum rich collection of artworks is worth a look for any visitor to the town, the Belfort has little to see from the inside but it is the view from the top that makes this a spot to check out as it towers over the town centre providing an amazing 360-degree outlook.

Guided Groups Dinners – Discover French Gastronomy

Baguettes, wine, cheese, snails, frogs legs…. You know, all the good stuff

Access and Disability Support

YMCA Global Study aims to provide study abroad programs that are accessible to all students and work with participants on an individual basis to ensure they are supported throughout the entire study abroad process. Click here to learn more about how we with students living with a disability to study abroad.

Application Information

If you have any questions about our programs check out the frequently asked questions page, or if you would like to ask specific questions about the courses we offer feel free to contact us, we’re more than happy to help.

Places are limited and are usually oversubscribed. Students are encouraged to apply early to secure their spot.

The YMCA Global Study Application Process

Step 1: Apply Now

Click here to complete the online Registration and Application forms. This will give us the information we need to access your eligibility for a program. After you have completed the online application forms you will be prompted to book a time to have a telephone interview with one of our staff.

Step 2: Phone Interview

Phone interviews are usually about 15 minutes and give us a chance to talk to you about your program choice, make sure all the information we have is correct, and talk you through the rest of the application process.

Step 3: Finalising your application

Once you have completed YMCA Global Study will send you an email with instructions detailing how to finalise your application.

Step 4: Receive your acceptance pack

Once your application has been approved YMCA Global Study will send you an ‘Acceptance pack’. This pack will include important documents such as a course syllabus, acceptance letter from your Host University and advice on how to apply for credit with your home university, the pack may also include information on any funding specific to your university.

Step 5: Apply for credit and funding (if applicable)

Now you are ready to apply for credit and funding (woohoo!) – all the information you need will be in your acceptance pack

Step 6: Pay your deposit and confirm your place 

Once you have paid your deposit your place on the program confirmed.

For further information about the application process check out our Frequently Asked Questions, or if you would like to ask specific questions about the courses we offer feel free to contact us.

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