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Assistantships - Joseph Habbouche '12

French and PreMed

France for the Premed

At first I was disappointed to discover that I had ended up in the small town of Saint Avold (pop. ~20,000), in the province of Lorraine in eastern France, but I can now say with certainty that I was privileged be there. Being in a smaller town allowed me to engage in the community and make strong connections with the people I met, in addition to forcing me to speak almost exclusively French as English speakers were few and far between. Finally, because the cost of living was far less than it would have been in a large city such as Paris, I was able to afford quite a bit of traveling. While there, my main role was to teach English to high school students ranging from 15 to 22 years old. I worked with students one on one as well as in classes of over 30. I also developed good relationships with the teachers I worked with and saw them occasionally outside of the classroom.

Besides working at the high school, I took a position teaching English to kids and adults at an organization called "Apprends-moi ta Langue" (teach me your language). I also had the opportunity to play in a semi-professional orchestra, go to an independent winery exposition with open tasting of over 2000 wines, and visit many of the famous sites in the region with my students.

Among what I am going to miss most from France are efficient public transport, the quality and rhythm of life (in school, for example, there are two weeks of break for every six weeks of class), the food (the baguette, cheese, and wine stereotypes didn't come about for no reason), and the wonderful people I met over there.

So while now it seems like the next eight years or so of my life are pretty straightforward with medical school and residency, life has proven to me so far that it won't be as simple as that and I'm beyond excited to see what new, unexpected adventures await me!

Joseh Habbouche
Hope '12