‘A New Perspective’: HHS Class Visiting France

By Ryan Clark
CHS Communications Director

About 70 years ago, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra sang about loving Paris “in the summer when it sizzles.”

Turns out, students from the College of Health Sciences can now say — or sing — the same thing.

Eighteen students from Human Health Sciences and Clinical Leadership and Management, as well as other UK majors, joined Assistant Professor Christy Brady, PhD, and Associate Professor Sarah Kercsmar, PhD, MHA, on a trip to discover the French healthcare system, their social support system, and the French lifestyle as it contributes to health.

The three-week class, “HHS 470 Health and Health Care in Paris,” continues this week, before the students come home July 22.

“Paris has welcomed us with open arms!” Brady said. “Our students are living like true Parisians with their homestay hosts, exploring French health and healthcare with local guest speakers, mastering using the Metro to get around the city, and turning in all their assignments right on time. We’ve also had time to take in some culture. You’ll see us at the Louvre, and also competing against one another in a cooking competition!”

They also went off to visit the palace at Versailles — which was a long, long way from the castle near Versailles, Ky. 

Students say the trip has been more than worth it.

“I have loved being a part of this program because it has expanded my comfort zone and helped me improve my independence and confidence,” said Kaylin Crowe, a CLM major. “Being immersed in a different culture has forced me to have a new perspective on my own, and I am excited to take home some of the values I have learned here.”

But there was also a lot of learning in the classroom, too.

“In the classroom, this experience has not only helped me expand my sense of community with my peers, but it has also deepened my passion for equitable healthcare and renewed my ferocity in wanting to change our healthcare system for the better,” Crowe said.

Leah Butler, an HHS major, said the trip allowed her “the opportunity to develop a unique perspective and understanding of health policy and culture.”

It’s all been a part of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the students.

“Competing in a cooking competition with my peers to learn about French cuisine has been my favorite class activity while studying abroad,” Butler said. “I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity."

Find out more about the trip on Kercsmar’s personal blog.