Learning Abroad Center
two students walking on a narrow French street

Sustainable Approaches to Health in France

Info Session
LAC Program

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

Program Details

Montpellier, France
May Session (Spring Semester)
Credit Type
Resident Credit
Learning Abroad Center

Program Eligibility

Student Type
UofM Students
Student Year
Language Prerequisite
No Language Prerequisite


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 will take the coordinated group flight to and from the program site. The cost of the group flight is included in the program fee that will be posted to your student account. Do not book your own flight; you will receive information from the Learning Abroad Center about your seat on the group flight once your participation has been confirmed.

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.

Program Structure

Program Level
3000 level coursework

One 3-credit course

This seminar is a 2+ week study abroad program 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 Schedule

This is an embedded spring semester course, with the abroad portion in France taking place over May session at the end of the semester. and on-campus classes taking place in the second half of the spring semester. On-campus Spring Semester 2022 course meets: TBD. Abroad term: May Session-2022.


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.

Dates Details

Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:

Program Term Program Dates Application Deadline
May Session 2022 May 13 - 29, 2022 January 15, 2022

Program dates are subject to change.

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

Important Note: Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. If you wish you register for the course during your designated registration window in November 2021, submit your application by November 1, 2021. 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.

Important Note: Enrollment on this program is limited to 25 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.

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.


May 2022 Cost of Participation Forthcoming

Program fees can vary widely due to location, cost of living, airfare, and program inclusions. The program fee generally includes tuition, group flight airfare, 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 fee ranges from $6,000-$8,000. You must also budget for passport and passport photos, some meals, textbooks, independent travel, and miscellaneous living expenses.

If you do not see a budget estimate for the term you intend to go abroad, the fee has not yet been finalized. We strive to post fees for this program at least 30 days prior to the application deadline. The Learning Abroad Center will delay the posting of some fees until enrollments, inflation and exchange rates are determined. Note the average increase in fees will be 3–10%. Program fees are based on estimates and may change depending on international economic factors.

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.


Complete pre-application advising.


The COVID-19 vaccine is now approved by the FDA and has been added to the list of required vaccinations for study abroad. We encourage you to complete your COVID-19 vaccine immediately.

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.

Program Contact

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

Amy Garwood-Diaz or call at 612.624.1537