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Atlantis (Pre-Health Summer)


As the #1 and largest pre-health study abroad program, Atlantis is dedicated to creating the best healthcare experience for students to both stand out in applications and prepare for future careers in medicine. With shadowing programs across Europe, we provide the right depth and breadth into healthcare exposure that our students deserve.

For many pre-health students, it can be difficult to find time to shadow doctors and other professionals. It is also hard to study abroad with a heavy science course load, making many students unable to gain valuable clinical and cultural experiences that schools request.

Being able to see a variety of different specialties in a safe and AAMC compliant environment during school breaks is exactly how students can decide if healthcare is the right career path for them. With alumni in 40 of the top 50 MD programs, Atlantis teaches students the right skills and competencies necessary to focus their interests and deepen their understanding of medicine.


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Yes, I recommend this program

Barbastro Shadowing Experience with Atlantis

I loved shadowing in Spain with Atlantis. I was given the opportunity to interact with such intelligent and welcoming doctors. I felt comfortable asking any and all questions that I had, and because of this I was able to enjoy my experience within the hospital to the fullest. However Atlantis is more than the opportunities it offers within the hospital. I was also able to experience the culture of a region of the country I had never been to. The adventures I went on with my peers made for memories I will never forget. I learned so much and I would definitely recommend shadowing with Atlantis to anyone with even the slightest interest in medicine.

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Yes, I recommend this program

2022 Valladolid

I attended an Atlantis program in Valladolid, Spain this past summer (2022). My 3 week program consisted of shadowing at Rio Hortega University Hospital various specialties such as OBGYN, General Surgery, and Cardiology. The program makes sure to set you up with doctors who are able to explain everything in English. I was fortunate enough to know the native language, but do not worry if you don't! During your program, you will have a site manager who orients you around your program's city. Your tuition includes very nice housing, nice meals, breakfast groceries, tours, excursions and more. I went without knowing anybody in my group and we all became very good friends instantly! We still talk to this day and visit each other :) The opportunity is definitely one considering and I cannot recommend it more! I mean international shadowing? It sounds amazing by itself! Plus all the extras Atlantis has to offer :)

  • Shadowing experience after pandemic
  • International
  • Global health/Diversity
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Yes, I recommend this program

Glimpse of a Career in Medicine

Applying for Atlantis was a decision I made in order to discover if I truly wanted to pursue a career in medicine, as I was still on the fence going into my junior year of college. The Atlantis experience confirmed my commitment to a medical career and so much more: I established relationships with several surgeons, doctors, and residents who can now write letters of recommendation for me and have been great resources for discovering more opportunities abroad related to medicine. Additionally, you meet fellow pre-med students who will undoubtedly become lifelong friends. My housing was great, single bedroom and bathroom. As an independent women, I felt comfortable and safe exploring my city Pavia, Italy, and Pavia is also centrally located so that free weekends I was able to travel to Switzerland and other places in Italy, such as Cinque Terre and Rome. I could not recommend Atlantis enough for both the career/professional aspects and the unique cultural experience.

  • Explore Different Specialties
  • Network with Doctors
  • Visit new places/immerse into new culture
  • Pre-departure information and response from the Enrollment Team
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Yes, I recommend this program

A life-changing experience

I traveled to Genoa, Italy the summer of 2022. I am a pre-med student and wanted the study abroad experience but wasn't able to fit it into my academic schedule. I found Atlantis through my Pre-health advisor. It was a great way to experience a new culture, while getting shadowing hours and medical experience. I saw such cool things in the operating room that I would've never even imagined that I would be able to see before Med school. I got to be independent in this program, living in an apartment with 3 other girls, but at the same time had structure to my weekdays with the hospital schedule. On the weekends I was able to travel to Florence one weekend and Cinque Terra the other. Truly an amazing time that I'll never forget.

  • independent living accomodations
  • freedom on weekends
  • hospital shadowing experience
  • money spent
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Yes, I recommend this program

Shadowing in Spain with Atlantis

I loved shadowing in Spain with Atlantis. I was given the opportunity to interact with such intelligent and welcoming doctors. I felt comfortable asking any and all questions that I had, and because of this I was able to enjoy my experience within the hospital to the fullest. However Atlantis is more than the opportunities it offers within the hospital. I was also able to experience the culture of a region of the country I had never been to. The adventures I went on with my peers made for memories I will never forget.

  • Meeting doctors and students on your same track.
  • Learning about different specialties within the hospital.
  • Building your resume.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose the Atlantis program because it offered me two things that I was eager to accomplish.

One, it provided me the opportunity to shadow physicians for over 60 hours in a variety of hospital departments. In the U.S., I have had difficulty finding physicians to shadow or hospitals with shadowing programs that give you enough experience in shadowing. I believe shadowing is critical in a pre-med’s decision regarding what type of physician they want to become, and if medicine is truly the best career path for them.

Second, this program offered shadowing in a foreign country in Europe, like Greece, where I went. By shadowing in a healthcare system other than your own, you truly get to experience global medicine. There is so much that cannot be taught about global medicine; what you really need is first-hand experience. There is so much of value to learn from foreign health care systems and I believe my experience will help to make me an even better physician one day.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The Atlantis program is great for pre-med students traveling outside of the U.S. for the first time, especially by themselves. The program includes lodging for your entire stay, two group meals (with the other fellows and your site manager) per week, and an excursion to explore parts of the country you are visiting every week.

The program includes shadowing in the hospital for about 5-6 hours, four times a week, and your Site Manager arranges all of that in the hospital so that you get the most of your shadowing every day. The trip also provides travel insurance.

You are responsible for airfare and getting to your place of lodging from the airport. You are also responsible for the rest of your meals (other than breakfast and the two group meals per week). Prior to the start of the program, you must attend three Pre-Departure group calls where your Site Manager and Program Coordinator help you to prepare for your fellowship. With their help, I had no trouble traveling to my program and never once felt unprepared. Having a Site Manager with you during your program is incredibly helpful. As I mentioned already, s/he places you with doctors/hospital departments each day for you to shadow.

They are also there to help you navigate the city that you are staying in so that you are safe and getting the most out of your fellowship.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Fortunately, Atlantis does a great job preparing you for your fellowship program. Although Atlantis does suggest this, I want to stress the importance of trying to learn some basic proficiency in the language of the country you are visiting. I learned some Greek, but I wish I had learned more. I stress this because it will help you to get more out of your shadowing experience. While it is true that the doctors will speak to you in English, they talk to each other and to their patients in their language (Greek, in my case). It made it difficult to understand the patient-doctor or doctor-doctor dynamic. If you learn enough Greek (or whatever language they speak in the country you are visiting) to follow basic conversations in the hospital and basic medical terminology, that will go a long way in helping you to get the most out of your shadowing experience.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

For my program in Larisa, Greece, I was there for three weeks. The weeks looked like this:

Four days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday), we spent shadowing in the hospital from 8 am - 2 pm. Our group dinners were on Tuesday and Thursday.

On Wednesdays (for the first two weeks), we went on our excursions. For the first excursion, we visited Mt. Olympus, where we hiked a bit through the mountains and then went swimming in a spring/lagoon in the mountain. Then we went to a beach resort where we spent the afternoon and ate at the buffet. The second excursion took us horseback riding in Mount Olympus, then we visited a different beach right off the coast of the mountains and ate there as well. All the rest of the time (afternoons after shadowing and the weekends) we had free to do as we pleased (shopping, exploring the city, going to the beach, etc).

An average day at the hospital looked like this:

We walked 10-15 minutes to the hospital where we would change into scrubs and then meet in a break room with our Site Manager. He would tell us what doctors and departments were available for the day and split us into groups depending on where we wanted to go. Once we finished with that department or if it wasn’t working out for some reason (no patients, doctor didn’t speak English well enough, etc.), we could meet with our Site Manager again where he would assign us to a new department. We shadowed in countless surgeries, in the ER, the ICU, pediatrics, OB/GYN, orthopedics, internal medicine, and urology. At the end of the day (~2 pm), we would change and walk back to the hotel.

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 going into the program was getting to my hotel from the airport in a foreign country that speaks a language that I do not know, especially since I was by myself and traveling outside of the US for the first time. My flight landed in Thessaloniki, Greece. I then had to get my luggage and go through customs, buy a city bus ticket that took me from the airport to the bus station. Then I had to buy another bus ticket that took me from Thessaloniki to Larisa where my program was (a 2-hour bus ride).

When I got to the Larisa bus station, I then had to take a taxi to the hotel I was staying at with all my luggage where I finally met my Site Manager. And while yes, it was as frightening and difficult as I thought it would be, I did do it. And so did all the other nine fellows in my program. That is a reflection of my biggest fears for the whole program, doing something unknown, in a foreign language, that made it so I felt like I had little control. But the total immersion really helped me to grow as an individual, and over the three weeks that I was in Greece, I became less frightened and found traveling in this unknown city less difficult.

By the time I left and had to make the same trek back to Thessaloniki to the airport, I felt no fear and I had total control of the situation. Before my fellowship, the thought of traveling overseas, especially by myself, seemed impossible. Now that I’ve done it and know how realistic and plausible it really is, I am eager for my next chance to travel again.

What was the most valuable part of your fellowship in Greece?

There were two aspects of my fellowship that I found to be the most valuable. First, as expected, I learned so much of value while shadowing in the hospital. I got so much more exposure than I could in the US, and the opportunity to experience global medicine first hand was truly invaluable. The 60+ hours I spent in the General Hospital of Larisa will stay with me always and have already helped to shape me into the physician I will someday be.

The other most valuable part of my fellowship was something that I was not expecting. It was the new family I made in Greece. I have made friends for life in the other pre-med fellows in my program. I am still in contact with them even now that I am back home, and we are already planning a reunion since we all come from different parts of the US. We are all a family now, and although we are all at different stages in our pre-med careers, we understand what it’s like for each other in ways that no one else can, and because of that, we became very close. We are a part of each other now, always.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Marissa Jansen

Job Title
Alumni Representative
Marissa is a recent graduate from Clemson University, where she received a BS in Health Science. She will be attending medical school in the fall of 2022 and plans to become a primary care physician with a focus in women's health.
Marissa Jansen standing in a square in Spain with a crowd of people behind her.

What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite memory with Atlantis was the weekend a few girls from my group and I took a road trip down Italy. Throughout the weekend, we made stops in Verona, Florence, and Jesolo Beach. It was a great way to experience all Italy had to offer. If you ever go to Italy, I recommend getting tuna pizza and gelato in every city you visit! You will not be disappointed.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Through Atlantis, I have grown significantly. Many professional skills that I thought I developed in undergrad and in previous employment have been refined and improved upon. I am more confident in my own skills and abilities, and take more initiative when it comes to completing new projects. The work I do with Atlantis challenges me, and it is through those challenges that I see myself more resilient and dedicated than ever before.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

One of my colleagues who is also an Atlantis alumni told me that he made the decision to travel to Poland strictly off the fact that there would be plenty of sausage to try during his time abroad. It was funny when I first heard it, but now I can truly understand wanting to travel somewhere based on the food.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would choose to go to one of the smaller city programs in Spain, such as Calatayud or Merida. I want to visit Spain because it is a European country I haven't been able to travel to yet. Additionally, when I traveled with Atlantis the first time, I went to a smaller city in Italy. This was by far one of the best decisions I could have ever made. Small cities allow you to get to know the area and everything it has to offer.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Our company is unique because we design our programs with the student in mind. The dates, locations, & shadowing opportunities are all created with the intention to make this an impactful experience for those interested in healthcare. I am proud of my team because they always put the student first. We are dedicated to listening to feedback and constantly finding ways to improve the opportunities we have available.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

In order to be a successful company, they cannot lose sight of the goal. This can be difficult at times when a company is under stress or is quickly growing. With Atlantis, our goal is to give pre-health students the experience of a lifetime, and we do that every day. I can confidently say that this is a mission we have never, and do not intend to, lose sight of.

Professional Associations

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