Mornings: Our program secures daily internships (“stages d’observation”) enabling students to shadow a doctor at CHU Hopital Pasteur in Nice. They witness patient-doctor interactions, are introduced to medical procedures, and above all to a different medical culture in a university hospital that bears the prestigious name of Louis Pasteur.

Afternoons: Courses take place at the Pasteur Medical School.

Students choose two courses (6 credits) according to their language proficiency:

French 210: French Healthcare (for students who place into intermediate French)

This course provides an introduction to French for Health Professionals (“Français Professionnel de la Santé”) as well as a survey of the French public health system. By acquiring a specialized vocabulary, students learn to interpret interactions between doctors and patients in a variety of medical settings. At the same time, they learn about public health policies and their application in the city of Nice. Through extensive discussions with experts in the field of medicine and public health, students will gain authentic expertise in a universal health system considered by the WHO to be one of the best in the world. Taught in French with some readings in English. Prereq: Placement into 203 / Completion of 2 semesters of college-level French, or the equivalent, as assessed by program director. This course counts for the French for the Medical Professions track.

French 3111: Culture and Public Health in Contemporary France (for all students)

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.  How are we to understand these ideals in the context of contemporary France?  To what extent do they apply to immigrants, to the underprivileged, to the dependent elderly?  How are these traditional French values reflected in public health policy? In order for students to better understand French values and how they are transposed into public policy, this course examines a certain number of fundamental tenets : the Republic, citizenship, secularism, taking examples from key episodes in French history.  It also calls upon health specialists to explore what is being done to improve public health for all, and especially for an aging population which constitutes, in today’s France, the most important challenge.  Following are some of the themes which will be discussed : universal healthcare, mental health, disabilities, senior care, preventative care, and how the French deal with emergencies like Covid-19. Taught in English. No prerequisite.

French 383: Literature and Medicine (for students who place into advanced French)

“Anecdotes are not reliable evidence!” Yet storytelling can serve a valuable purpose: it can document personal experiences, produce change, and inspire action. The business world has long recognized the power of storytelling. The medical field, on the other hand, is just now rediscovering the benefits of studying narratives for medical education. This current medical trend was anticipated four hundred years ago by several health care providers who clearly understood the powerful appeal of combining medical skill with creativity.

This course will explore how writers and patients’ stories employed storytelling forms to facilitate their advocacy, self-promotion, and transmission of medical knowledge. The authors studied include Rabelais, Montaigne, Molière, Voltaire, Balzac, Flaubert, Maupassant, Zola, Rimbaud, Breton, Camus, and Guibert. Taught in French with readings in French. Prereq : Placement into 307 / Completion of 4 semesters of college-level French, or the equivalent, as assessed by the program director. 

Credits and Grades

Students will receive a total of 6 credit hours for two courses (3 credits each).  Students may also request a professor’s evaluation for each of the courses taken to be sent to their major advisor. The courses can count towards the French for the Medical Professions track and the 300 level courses can count towards the French major or minor at Washington University in St. Louis.


The program is organized and taught by Washington University faculty, and French healthcare specialists. The on-site director, Dr. Lionel Cuillé, will always be available to assist students on an individual basis and to solve academic or housing problems. 

Living accommodations

Students have the possibility of living with a host family, or in a studio at residence Saint François, near the Pasteur Hospital. Accommodation in a French home includes a private room and meals. Lunch plans are included during the week of classes for all students. Immersion in French life enhances the student’s knowledge of French language and social customs. Particular attention is given to the association between the students and his/her host family, based on a housing questionnaire filled out by the student. Students at Saint François will be paired with French families for week-end activities.

Cultural activities are included for our students: local trips in Nice and the surrounding area ( Eze Village, villa Keyros) ; visits to museums Chagall and Matisse ; outings to eat local food…

Our students say it best :

It was a realistic experience.  Instead of just going in to shadow a surgery for a few hours, we were able to see the daily lives of the doctors and students as well, from doing rounds to filling out paper work, and of course a lot of time spent in both consultations and the operating room.


I have gained valuable communication skills relevant to my abilities in French as well as to my future career as a doctor.  The best part about shadowing is being able to interact and communicate with patients and doctors.  This experience is not something that can be learned in a classroom.


I no longer have any doubt in my mind as to whether I want to do medicine. I know for sure that this is what I want for my career and my life, and I’m ready to work harder than ever to succeed in it.