Student Life

Student social clubs 

There are three main kinds of student social clubs : “cercles”, “régionales” and “ordres”.

  • the “cercles”are student social clubs linked to a faculty. They have their own bar open every day except Friday and Saturday and organize many activities such as welcoming new students and organizing big parties. The main advantages are that the beer is significantly cheaper than in bars and it’s more convivial. But we strongly advise you not to take your jacket or best clothes/shoes to go there! The student social club linked to Ecole Polytechnique de Louvain is called CI (Cercle Industriel).
  • the “régionales”gather students coming from the same region regardless of their studies. Their activities are quite similar to those of the “cercles” but most of them don’t have their own bar and thus rent another one. The Lux and the Carolo have their own bar.
  • the “ordres”, are a bit different. They gather people who share the same ideas on life and party and people can still join them when they’re not students anymore. They do not have bars and most of the time their activities are not open to public. They hold meetings regularly where the members drink and sing around a table, following some rules. You can recognize their members because they wear a ribbon across the chest with the color of their “ordre”.

How to recognize them?

There are several features you can see on a student at a party. As we just said, the ribbon is the attribute of the member of an “ordre”. Worn on the right shoulder it indicates a full member, on the left one a candidate to become full member.

There is also a kind of laboratory apron, initially white but covered with lots of writings and a big drawing in the back. Their owners have been "baptised", an activity aiming at integrating new students. On one sleeve you can see his/her university career and on the back the date of the baptism and the faculty. It’s usually worn only in the beginning of the academic year and when going to student gatherings outside the home university.

What you will probably see the most is a kind of hat called a “calotte”. It is a very personal and precious item for its owner. To obtain such a hat, students have to pass a sort of test during one afternoon or one evening called a “corona”. During this event, students are tested on their knowledge of student folklore, Latin formulas used during a corona, of songs (some are “sacred” and compulsory, other are to be freely chosen among the students songs), on their ability to “read” the hat, and finally, after many many beers, on their real motivation to get that hat. If you can read such a hat, you can tell many things about a student’s life, career and character. When they have it they can take part in coronas. Usually students also wear labelled sweat-shirts or T-shirts of their student social club/association which make it easy to recognize to which club they belong.

Student clubs at Ecole Polytechnique de Louvain

In our School, student clubs are very active and have been grouped together to be stronger. Together they form the GCI (Grand Cercle Industriel). Here is a short description for each of these clubs:

Contact Europe Cercle Industriel , aka the local BEST branch of Louvain-la-Neuve. BEST (Board of European Students of Technology) is an international student association organizing exchanges between students of technology universities in Europe. It has 66 local groups in more than 20 countries creating a wide student network. In Louvain-la-Neuve we organize a Summer Course each year to which students from abroad can take part. We are also in charge of the exchange activities of the faculty: Athens, Cluster, Erasmus. So when you’ll arrive at our faculty, we will welcome you with a little drink and help you to settle comfortably in our city.

Cercle Industriel is the student social club which organize parties and social activities and has a bar. Go there at night if you want to drink a beer not too expensive with people belonging to the faculty. Of course it’s also open to other people as well.

Service d’Impression du Cercle Industriel provide the syllabi and books you need for the courses. The delegate of your class will inform you about the availability of these course materials.

 Contact Cercle Industriel Industries organizes a yearly job fair called "Les journées de l'Industrie", companies'visits, CV books and all activities connecting students and the industry.



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For all sporting activities organized by the Sports Service of UCL, a sports membership is needed. This membership is usually valid from Mid September till June the next year. This membership will be added on your UCL student card once you have paid the membership.

UCL covers a part of the cost as to ensure a very competitive price:

  • Incoming exchange students : 30€
  • International students registered for one academic year : 50€/year

The UCL sport membership allows you

  • a free access to all sport activities mentioned in our program.
  • an insurance which covers any risk while practicing your sport.

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