WU Healthcare in France

May 15 – June 19, 2022 (5 weeks)

WU Healthcare in France offers participants a unique opportunity to experience the French medical system first-hand while refining their French linguistic and cultural competence in a fully immersive environment. During this five-week program in Nice, students spend weekday mornings at CHU Hôpital Pasteur, completing a daily shadowing internship (“stage d’observation”) aligned with their areas of interest (pediatrics, oncology, cardiology…). In the afternoon, students take two three-credit courses taught by Wash U instructors and featuring guest speakers in medical and public health fields: these courses are designed to complement students’ shadowing experience by placing it in broader cultural contexts. The program also includes a series of visits with local members of the health sector in Nice (such as workers in daycares, retirement homes, and pharmacies) to provide a fuller picture of the French health system’s universal vocation. 

Our program is open to students having completed at least two semesters of college French (or the equivalent). Entering its twenty-seventh season, WU Healthcare in France (previously France for the Pre-Med) accommodates students interested in a broad spectrum of health-related fields including medicine, public and global health, psychology, or nutrition. Aside from Washington University in St. Louis, the program has served students from Berkeley, Brandeis, Brown, Carnegie Mellon, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Oberlin, Michigan, MIT, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Yale. Participation in this program gives a significant advantage to students who will apply to medical school or pursue other careers in healthcare, public health, or global health.

Students register for two afternoon classes: we offer an introduction to the language of French healthcare, a culture course on the French healthcare system featuring guest speakers from the Medical School, and an advanced course on the representation of medicine through literature and the arts. Program participants have a choice of living with a French family or in a studio at the Résidence Saint François near the Medical School, where classes take place. They also benefit from a variety of safe cultural activities in Nice, including occasional meals and outings with a French family. Organized trips to art museums, outings to the Vieux Nice (‘Old Town’), to the open-air market, or the Promenade des Anglais provide a welcome break from daily studies. 

According to the World Health Organization’s official rankings, the French healthcare system is ranked number one among the 191 member countries surveyed and Nice Medical School is ranked 5th in France.

Watch Karen Dordor, who talks about her experience in 2019 :