Why French?

Mohana Biswas

  • Graduation Year: 2018

Mohana BiswasRobert Wood Johnson Medical School / 7-year BA/MD Program

I started learning French in 6th grade and it was my favorite subject. I knew that I was nervous to continue it in college because I wasn't sure if I would be able to balance the workload with an intensive Cell Biology and Neuroscience major on the premed track but it was truly the best decision I made in my undergraduate career. My French classes were taught by brilliant professors who taught French to me in a way that was personal, entertaining, and never intimidating. My French literature classes were a welcome respite from my science classes because they taught me how to communicate effectively, write more conscientiously, and familiarize myself with another culture. Even in my neuroscience classes, I learned that multilingualism can yield many cognitive benefits that can impact your brain for the rest of your life! More practically, my French minor helped me to distinguish myself from other candidates in my interviews and personal statement for medical school. I was able to talk about how I used my French knowledge to communicate with a French-speaking patient as a volunteer in the Emergency Room at Robert Wood Johnson. I also used my French knowledge when I volunteered with a refugee resettlement organization to comfort a refugee mother from Malawi whose infant daughter just went through open heart surgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital. My French classes taught me profound lessons about human emotion and cultural sensitivity that I was able to apply in the clinical setting and communicate to the admissions committee. The small class sizes allowed me to really get to know my professors as well, who also wrote me recommendation letters for medical school, and more importantly became some of my closest mentors. It is my pleasure to announce that I will be starting medical school a year early at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School where I know I will continue to apply the lessons I learned through pursuing French at Rutgers.

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