Paris, France, by the River Seine

Sustainable Approaches to Health in France

  1. Program Details

    Explore innovative health care and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals in Montpellier & Paris.

    Location Montpellier, France
    Term May Session
    Housing Apartment, Hotel
    Credit Type Resident Credit
    Sponsor Learning Abroad Center

    Program Eligibility

    GPA 2.5
    Student Type UofM Students, Non UofM Students
    Student Year Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors
    Language No Language Prerequisite
  2. About Sustainable Approaches to Health in France

    In a 2000 World Health Organization report, France was recognized as the best health care system in the world for access to and quality of health care delivery. Southern France, especially Montpellier, is known as not only one of the most advanced and prolific biotechnology hubs in Europe and arguably the world, but also as the home to the oldest active school of medicine.

    In this Global Seminar, explore France’s evolving development in health and society, with a particular focus on innovation in the health care sector. Examine the structure of health care systems and reimagine the concept of “socialized medicine” through an understanding of the origins and continued development of the French health care system. Learn about the cultural contexts and societal conditions that support such a thriving industry, as well as the effects of globalization on the health care sector and on broader global health.

    Housing & Meals

    Live in shared housing with other program participants. Welcome and farewell meals are included in the program fee. Take additional meals in the housing or at local eateries.


    Excursions assist in illuminating program coursework and will take place in Montpellier, France. Possible excursions may include:


    • Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole, a business and innovation center (BIC)
    • CIRAD: Agricultural research for development center
    • University of Montpellier Medical School, the world’s oldest active school of medicine
    • Jardin de plantes—the oldest botanical gardens in France to connect natural products to the development of medicine
    • Aigues-Mortes (Languedoc-Roussillon, France) National Monument for a historical and contemporary exploration of salt production and storage, through the lens of 13th-Century fortified walls founded by King Louis IX in preparation for his setting off for the Seventh Crusade


    All program participants are required to and responsible for booking their own round-trip flight through Village Travel, a local travel agency that the Learning Abroad Center works with. The flight is listed as a cost that you will incur prior to departure and the Learning Abroad Center will notify confirmed participants of flight options to book through the travel agency. 

    It might be possible to deviate your return flight. Inquire with your program contact if interested.

    *COVID-19 Updates: Given COVID-19 and entry regulations into the host country, program participants may be required to provide a negative Covid-19 PCR test within 72 hours of travel to the country, as a negative result will allow for a faster arrival process through the airport. Costs related to COVID-19 testing before arrival will be incurred by the individual student.
    *The content of this webpage will be updated regularly. Check back for new information.

    Learning Outcomes

    • Develop independence by challenging yourself in a new environment
    • Function as an effective team member by utilizing your personal strengths in a group setting
    • Explore a specific topic through experiential and interdisciplinary approaches

    Faculty & Staff

    This Global Seminar is led by Tricia Todd, Director, Pre-Health Student Resource Center and Karin Hamilton, Coordinator and Instructor, Global Programs, Pre-Health Student Resource Center.

    About the Learning Abroad Center

    Learning Abroad Center programs are:

    • Affordable: our programs are cost effective.
    • Academically strong: many programs have strong University of Minnesota departmental support and offer pre-approved courses for many majors.
    • Culturally rich: regardless of the program you choose, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.
    • Expertly managed: our staff in Minnesota and abroad are trained professionals and are always available to answer your questions from extensive pre-departure advising and online orientations to reentry programming. Your safety and well-being are paramount, and we work hard to ensure you have a rewarding and safe experience abroad.
  3. Program Structure

    Program Type Field Study, Study Abroad Center, Instructor-Led
    Program Level 3000 level coursework

    One 3-credit course

    Global Seminars are 3-week study abroad programs led by University of Minnesota faculty and staff that feature:

    • Intensive learning in a location that illuminates the topic
    • Small groups of 15–25 students
    • No prerequisites or language requirements
    • Included excursions and cultural activities
    • Instruction in English


    Course Overview

    A wide range of systems influence health status in a country. As the global world developed the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, we have seen an increase in innovative strategies by countries to meet the 2030 goals, and France is a leader in their efforts. From public health and health care systems to food safety and security, the extensive challenges require collaboration, coordination and an inter-professional approach to be successful.

    While France is geographically about the same size as Texas, France has a population of 66.99 million while Texas has 29 million. Life expectancy is among the highest in Europe, however that is slowing. And while France has a nationally funded health care system which provides good access to high quality health care, there are noticeable differences among those with higher SES and those with lower SES. The other significant disparity is gender, with women living significantly longer than men with a 6 year gender gap.

    In a 2000 WHO report, France was recognized as the best health care system in the world in terms of access to and quality of health care delivery. We will discuss these measures and what they really mean.

    Receive credit for: AHS 3003

    Course Objectives

    Through this course the student will:

    • Describe the various systems that contribute to the health of France
    • Compare and contrast the health care system in France with other healthcare systems in the world
    • Articulate the Sustainable Development Goals, and France’s plans to meet those goals by 2030.
    • Describe how culture influences and shapes systems that influence health in France.
    • Participate in mapping the complex components, systems and organizations that contribute to France’s SDG work.
    • Understand consumption and how it affects health: space, garbage, water, animals, food, water, the values that drive consumption.
  4. Dates & Deadlines

    Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
    Term Program Dates Application Deadline
    May Session 2021 May 14, 2021  –  Jun 5, 2021 Mar 1, 2021

    Program dates are subject to change.

    If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.

    Important Note: Enrollment on this program is limited to 16 students. Admission is granted on a rolling basis and applications are reviewed in the order they are completed. Some programs may fill to capacity prior to the application deadline, therefore applying early is recommended. Additionally, applying early will allow for more time to plan ahead and prepare for the program.

    Orientation Dates & Locations

    Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.

    See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.

    Term Abroad Date/Time Location
    May Session TBD TBD
  5. Priority Deadline

    If you apply by the priority deadline and confirm within the allotted time you will receive the published program fee. Applying after the priority deadline and/or not confirming within the allotted time means you may be subject to an airfare increase.

    Fees for Sustainable Approaches to Health in France

    May 2021 Cost of Participation

    Program fees can vary widely due to location, cost of living, airfare, and program inclusions. The program fee generally includes tuition, airport transfers, in-country program related transportation, housing, some meals, entrances to course-related excursions and site visits, program administration, and international health insurance. Generally, the program fees range from $4,500–$5,500. You must also budget for the international flight, passport and passport photos, some meals, textbooks, independent travel, and miscellaneous living expenses.

    The Learning Abroad Center has worked with Village Travel to identify a coordinated flight that program participants will travel on together. You can view the coordinated flight itinerary here. You will be responsible for booking this flight for the program through Village Travel mid-March. The program contact will let you know when to book the flight. The Cost of Participation lists the estimated flight cost in the Estimated Additional Expenses box. Please note that the flight cost is subject to change. 

    Billing & Payments

    Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

    Financial Aid & Scholarships

    Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

    Cancellation Policy

    Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.
  6. Prepare

    Complete pre-application advising.

    Be aware: All programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.

    To complete the online application for this program, you will need to select or provide the following information on the online application:

    Center Name TC Learning Abroad Ctr
    Education Abroad Term May Session 2020
    Program Name Global Seminar: Sustainable Approaches to Health in France
    Track Name Sustainable Approaches to Health in France
    Country France


    May & Summer Programs – University of Minnesota Students

    Use your University of Minnesota internet ID and password to log into the Education Abroad application system. Your student account will be charged a $50 application fee.

    Apply Now

    May & Summer Programs – Non-University of Minnesota Students

    Once you submit your application, Learning Abroad Center staff will create a University of Minnesota student internet account for you. You will use this account to access the Education Abroad Application System, and other University of Minnesota services. You will be charged a $50 application fee for this program.

    Our staff will contact you within 2–3 business days with your internet account information, and additional application instructions.

    Apply Now

    Fall 2021 & Beyond Programs – All students

    All students, both UofM and Non-UofM should use this apply button if applying for a program Fall 2021 or beyond (academic year, winter break etc.). You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

    Apply Now


    After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:

    • Application Essay

    Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.

    Next Steps

    After your application checklist is complete, your application is reviewed by our program team. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. If accepted, you will be assigned a confirmation checklist, which you will complete to confirm your participation in the program. If you decide not to continue with the application process, log into the online application system and submit a Cancel Request.
  7. Program Contact

    For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

    Amy Garwood-Diaz or call at 612.624.1537.