Global Study
Lille YMCA Global Study

Corporate Social Responsibility

Lille, France

This course is ideal for students studying business who have a particular interest in learning more about corporate social responsibility.

As our society becomes increasingly concerned about global environmental and public health issues such as climate change, resource scarcity, loss of biodiversity, social inequalities and the impact of pollution on human health. More consumers are expecting businesses to move away from unsustainable industrial systems designed to make single-use products, the use of non-renewable energy sources and toward sustainable business practices and fair trade. Everyday people are influencing governments, corporations and communities to make more conscious decisions about the impact our current path will have for future generations. The attitudes and expectations from consumers are forcing large businesses to think about their impact and find new and innovative ways to lower their carbon footprint, create sustainable supply chains and ensure that the communities they do business in are treated fairly. While at the same time, still producing the same high-quality products and services at a competitive price.

In this course, students will examine corporate social responsibility and the influence that it is having on international business practices. The course will focus on the roles and responsibilities of multinational corporations and corporate managers working in an increasingly complex social, political, and ethical international environment. Students will explore the responsibilities of corporations in their relations with public authorities in developing countries as well as NGOs and other civil society organisations. This course will include a critical examination of the different “vocabularies” or “normative frameworks” used for discussing and evaluating these responsibilities. The themes that student will cover in this course include:

  • Stakeholder and shareholder capitalism
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Corporate citizenship
  • International business and human rights
  • Ethics and economics of sustainability

Students will study a number of important policy documents that continue to shape the complex environment in which international businesses interact, most importantly the United Nation’s Global Compact, the infamous Report of the Brundtland Commission, Our Common Future, and the recent Protect, Respect and Remedy: a Framework for Business and Human Rights (Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, by John Ruggie).

In addition to this course, students will also complete a morning elective. Students can choose between Intensive French Language and Culture or Project Management for Everyone.


I thoroughly enjoyed my study abroad experience in Lille, France. The opportunity to push myself beyond my comfort zone and study alongside students from across the globe has enabled me to build international connections and friendships. I loved experiencing a completely different culture and miss French picnics more than I care to admit! – Georgia, Swinburne University of Technology

Intended Learning Outcomes & Additional Course Information

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

  • Explain why and how the development trajectory of our societies is not currently sustainable
  • Understand the challenge  of transitioning to a sustainable model
  • Describe the four ‘Conditions for Sustainability’ and how they can be considered as a definition of sustainability
  • Understand how ‘backcasting’ can be used for planning towards sustainability
  • Apply a four-step strategic planning process in various contexts (product/service development, business strategy, urban planning etc.)
  • Identify the socio-economic impacts of current development trends


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, and 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!


The accommodation is in a private residence on or off-campus with easy access to the university. The residence offers a secure setting, each building can be accessed using a swipe card. Students will stay in private self-contained studio apartments with a private bathroom and a kitchenette – bedding and dishes are provided. All rooms have internet (wired or wifi depending on residences). Wifi internet in all common spaces. All residences have shared laundry. Some residences also have a dining room and/or a leisure room.

Social and Cultural Program

Visit Fromelles Australian War Memorial and Ypres, Belgium

Students will head to Ypres in nearby Belgium where they will visit a city that played a major role in WW1. Then students will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant before attending the Last Post remembrance ceremony. This ceremony has taken place every day at 8 PM since the end of the first world ward.

The Battle of Fromelles was the first major battle fought by Australian troops on the Western Front in WW1 and was meant to be a feint to draw German troops away from the Somme offensive, then being pursued further to the south, but it was a complete failure. The Australian Memorial Park contains a memorial statue called ‘Cobbers’ by artist Peter Corlett of Sergeant Simon Fraser carrying a wounded soldier back to the trenches across no man’s land and is a poignant reminder of Australian sacrifice and an important location for travelling students to recognise.

Trip to Brussels

Brussels is the capital city of Belgium for a reason. Not only is it the de facto capital of the European Union, but it spans both the historic and the present through its architecture. It is also home to a broad artistic scene, is one of Europe’s best capital cities for flea market shopping, and has a great culinary scene (famous for its chocolate, French fries, numerous types of beers, and – of course – Brussel sprouts).

Trip to Bruges

This city is built like a medieval fairy-tale, with an abundance of cobbled laneways, canals, market squares, and a busy atmosphere. An understandably popular tourist destination, Bruges has many attractions for visitors to take advantage of; the two standout attractions of the city are the Groeningemuseum and Belfort. While the Groeningemuseum’s rich collection of artworks is worth a look for any visitor to the town, the Belfort has little to see from the inside. 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.

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.

La Piscine

Also a museum, La Piscine received its name due to the fact that the museum is housed in a former indoor swimming pool. It’s art deco interior and unconventional history are not its only draw cards. The museum’s collection is diverse and includes elements of literature, fine arts, science, and industrial products.

Also Included

Additional Morning Elective

In addition to this course, students will also complete a morning elective. Students will have a choice between two morning electives

Intensive French Language and Culture

Project Management for Everyone


5 Group Dinners are included in the cost of the program


Transfers from Lille train station to your accommodation and a Lille public transport pass are included in the program fees

Optional Field Trips

Students can also book a number of field trips for an additional fee

Normandy ($420) 4th July – 5th July

Included: Return transport from Lille, 1 night in a hotel, breakfast and dinner, Visits to Mont-Saint-Michael, D-Day Beaches

Amsterdam ($420) 11th July – 12th July

Included: Return transport from Lille, 1 night at a hostel, breakfast and access to public transport

Paris ($350) 18th July – 19th July

Included: Return transport from Lille, 1 night in a hotel, breakfast, boat cruise on the Seine and access to public transport

Amiens ($70)

Included: Return Transportation and a guided tour of Amiens and it’s medieval cathedral

Dunkirk ($70)

Included: Return transportation and guided tour of Dunkirk

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.

You can register your interest for a future program by clicking here.

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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