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Annalise Almdale

Annalise Almdale ('11) is from Fort Wayne, Indiana. She is a Biology and Chemistry Major and a French minor. She plans to continue studying at graduate school in the field of medicine.

This summer I had the opportunity to study abroad in France, specifically in Nice. Like any city in the Côte d’Azur, Nice is meridional but because of its location, offers a variety of both scenery and activities. Nice is situated on the Mediterranean and is surrounded by the French Alpes. And yes, if you were wondering, Nice is very nice. While in France, I was able to experience the French culture and language to the fullest as I was working, studying, living and eating with real French people.

Through a program titled France for the Pre-Med, I was able to shadow several pediatric doctors at l’Hôpital Lenval for five weeks. Watching every part of a doctor’s routine was exciting as I was able to see complex surgeries, rotations, and consults. By actually being a part of the hospital, I was able to more effectively compare and contrast the French medical system to the system in the US. The facility was exquisite and even offered a view of the Mediterranean and the beach from the lobby. A menial task such as studying for class became enjoyable as locations for studying included the beach or an outdoor café while sipping espresso. And while I did enjoy eating a fresh baguette every day, this program allowed for more substantial benefits such as the study of the French language and culture in a beautiful location.

Living with a family was an experience as I was able to travel to cities such as St. Tropez and Aix-en-Provence with them as well as go on several day hikes in the Alpes. One can never experience French culture the way you can in France or another francophone country, so I suggest that if you can, take the opportunity to travel and experience la belle vie dans un beau pays, la France.