Intensive French Language for Health Sciences (Intermediate & Advanced | J-Term)

Develop French language skills for public health through cultural immersion and experiential learning activities on the tropical island of Madagascar.

At a Glance




4 semesters French

Language of Study


Language Levels

Intermediate, Advanced


Dec 28 ‎– Jan 16

Program Countries


Program Base


Critical Global Issue of Study

Identity & Human Resilience

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Development & Inequality

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Global Health & Well-being

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This program, aimed at students and professionals in health-related fields, will provide you with resources for building French language skills for public health, with an emphasis on topics such as epidemiology, biostatistics, global health, and mental health, among others.

Your program will be delivered through a three-credit immersion course in Antananarivo, Madagascar, which will employ experiential learning opportunities and lessons in grammar and vocabulary related to the program theme. Discussion sessions will provide opportunities to practice and develop French language skills for use in medical contexts and other practical healthcare scenarios.

Antananarivo, the economic capital of Madagascar, has the most advanced network of professionals in medical and public health services on the island. While in Tana, you will have opportunities to practice your French through interactions with medical and public health professionals. You will also visit urban and rural health care centers in Andasibe and the surrounding area, where you will examine intercultural healthcare systems for the local community and learn about the challenges facing rural health care workers. In both Antananarivo and Andasibe, you will live with a host family to advance your French outside of the classroom.

SIT is also offering a supplementary online French Language for Health Sciences course during the fall semester.


  • Build your French language skills related to public health issues.
  • Discover how Malagasy culture and healthcare issues are intertwined and learn how to apply this to sustainable and effective public health policy solutions.
  • Practice French for public health by working alongside health workers and collecting data with study subjects in Madagascar.
  • Experience daily life with homestay families in Antananarivo and Andasibe.


4 semesters of college-level French, students are recommended to complete SIT's summer online component first, or have the equivalent of 4 semesters of college level French when starting the J-term program.

Program Sites

Antananarivo, Madagascar

During this three-week course in Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital city, you will be grouped in a small class based on a written and oral proficiency evaluation. Hone your speaking, reading, and writing skills through classroom activities, excursions, individual study, the homestay family experience, and lectures related to public health, with built-in feedback sessions included. Read professional health science literature and learn formal terms and local expressions needed to discuss health and healthcare issues.

Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.



The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term. 

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.

Program Components

  • Learn French for public health from experienced language instructors
  • 45 hours of immersive language learning in Madagascar, with health-focused talks and immersive field study
  • Readings, assignments, and excursions to complement language learning
  • Live with Malagasy homestay families in Antananarivo and Andasibe and immerse yourself in the French language

French for Health Sciences

French for Health Sciences – syllabus
(FREN-2003-3503 / 3 credits)



Your home base will be with a host family in the capital, Antananarivo, often referred to as Tana, a beautiful city built on hills, with buzzing open-air markets, and distinct neighborhoods reflecting a mix of 19th century Malagasy and more recent European influences. Your family will introduce you to the warmth and generosity of Malagasy life. You will also have a homestay in the rural area of Andasibe. 

Other Accommodations

While not in homestay, accommodations include campsites and small hotels.

Faculty & Staff

Madagascar: Intensive French Language for Health Sciences (Intermediate & Advanced | J-Term)

Andolalao Rakotoarison, PhD
Academic Director
Alida Hasiniaina
Site Coordinator

Discover the Possibilities

  • Cost & Financial Aid

    The tuition for this program is $2,919. You may be able to use financial aid from your home school, if applicable. Contact your study abroad, advising or financial aid office for more information. SIT Admissions is also available for questions.