Why did you choose this program?
I chose the Atlantis Fellowship because I found it to be the of the most fitted internship programs for pre-medical students to complete abroad. It fits just right to equip students with the shadowing, volunteer and even MCAT preparation that they need in order to apply for medical school.
The Atlantis Fellowship arranged for our housing, transportation, breakfast, group dinners and excursions abroad. I was lucky enough to receive some funding from a couple departments at my University for the trip. I was responsible for my airfare which is not included in the program fee and money for daily activities and food.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
I did my program in the winter so it was really cold; coming from Texas I'm not really used to the cold. For those who are like me, I suggest that they do the program in the summer instead. Going abroad is such an eye-opener and unique adventure that I encourage others to go on.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
An average day/week includes waking up in the morning, eating breakfast in your room then meeting with everyone to catch the bus and head over to the hospital. Shadowing goes on from about 7:30 am to 2 pm, after which you pretty much have the rest of the day to explore the city or volunteer or study depending on your program type.
On Wednesdays, the entire group goes on an excursion to a nearby city or town or maybe on a hike, and on Thursdays, you have dinner with your site coordinators.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
My biggest fear was how to get around in the city and getting lost! However, when picked up at the airport by the site coordinators they helped us get to the hotel. That night, we had a mandatory orientation to attend which also covered how to get around in the city and the next day they showed and helped us catch the bus. Thankfully, Trieste is a small enough town with specific bus lines that by the time my program was over I felt very comfortable getting around.
Also, the people were really friendly and tried their best to speak English when asked for directions. I realized that I simply needed to be open to learn, and just like we learn route systems here in the US we can do the same in a different country.
What was your favorite thing about Italy?
The food, of course! It was delicious and amazingly cheap! So were clothes for those who love to shop, and the best part is that they're tax-free!
My group and I also organized a day trip to Venice which is a city completely on water in Italy and it was absolutely beautiful. Coming back from Italy I felt as if I needed to take Italian classes because I fell in love with the language and hearing it. I would do this trip all over again (in the summer this time) and encourage those who can to definitely go.