Atlantis logo



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, we know how difficult it is 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 are looking for.

Being able to see a variety of different specialties in a safe and AAMC compliant environment 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.


Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Go to Italy with Atlantis!!

I shadowed with Atlantis in 2019 and cannot recommend it enough! As a pre-med student that really struggled finding clinical experience, this was exactly what I needed. I was able to see different specialties that helped me decide what type of medicine I wanted to pursue. Additionally, this was one of the only ways that I was able to have a real travel abroad experience while I balanced a pre-med course load. When I applied to medical school, this was the experience that everyone wanted to know more about. I will be attending medical school this upcoming fall and Atlantis is the biggest reason for that! 10/10 go if you can!!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I had tuna on a pizza and it was DELICIOUS! I was wary at first but don't knock it until you've tried it!
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Atlantis Fellowship in Lisboa, Portugal

I did a 3-week long fellowship in Lisboa, Portugal Summer 2018, and left with an idea of what I finally want to do in medicine. This was a huge leap of faith considering this was my very first time on a plane anywhere, but I wouldn’t change it for the world! On my official first day in the hospital I saw a Tonsillectomy and the insertion of Tympanostomy tubes in the ears of pediatric patients. Over the next few weeks I also saw additional surgical procedures and consultations. I felt I saw more shadowing in Portugal as an undergraduate than in the U.S.
The excursions were amazing, I finally got to explore castles and scenic locations. The castles were beautiful, and the city itself was an architectural marvel. I explored a lot of Portugal alone, and saw some very interesting places. I even became friends with some locals and keep in contact with them today! This trip was a dream come true and educational at the same time. I honestly felt safer walking around in Portugal than back home, and the natives are very nice.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
We frequented a small cafe close to our housing and during my first day there my supervisor suggested I try the “Duck Rice”. I thought of it as the perfect time to see what those cartoons are always talking about with cooking duck. I must say I wasn’t disappointed! Later in the program we went on a group dinner to an outdoorsy African Restaurant and it was my first time trying ”Lamb with Coconut Rice”. The food was again amazing, and I’ve been looking for a restaurant that has both items on the menu since I’ve returned to the United States.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing program and country

I did a 3 week trip to Coimbra Portugal this past summer, and I can say that it is the most valuable and fun experience I have had. The opportunity to see all types of medicine including surgery was astounding. The country is beautiful and exploring the country was breathtaking. This trip allowed me to gain experience medically and culturally which I do not believe I could of received in the US. I recommend this trip to anyone who has even the slightest interest in medicine. I would go on this trip and The Atlantis program over and over if I was able to.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The most surprising thing I saw was an open heart surgery. This was amazing to see in person and the whole process was incredible. The most incredible thing I saw in the country was Sintra Portugal. The colorful castles are a must see for any one in Portugal.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Thessaloniki Fellowship

Had a great time, it was overall an awesome trip. The food was great. There were lots of attraction, historical sites, and places to go. The city is right near the water, so there are great views. The weather was also really great, it was hot all the time. people in the city all spoke english and were really friendly. The hospital shadowing aspect of the program was also really cool. The doctors were all friendly and eager to interact with us. We got opportunities to go to different departments of the hospital and observe many types of surgeries. The shadowing wasn't too long either, so once we finished, we were free for the rest of the day. Our site manager was really amazing and very helpful. We went on group excursions twice, which were also cool

What would you improve about this program?
really nothing. I have no complaints about the experience
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Atlantis Fellowship in Portugal

I did a month long fellowship in Coimbra, Portugal this summer and walked away with so many positive memories. I had the chance to see open heart surgery, cataract surgery and many other different kinds of surgeries and consultations. I felt that I saw more than I would ever have the chance to see in the United States without being in medical school. I also walked away with a greater appreciation for traveling the world to learn more about other cultures. I would recommend this fellowship to anyone who wants to learn more about the medical world whether or not medical school is a plan in the future. I personally do not want to go to medical school, but am interested in PT or OT. This experience was so helpful for me to see that everyone has a different path and direction towards their end goal.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-racking thing for me was watching surgery for the first time, but toward the end of the fellowship I preferred to watch surgeries. The staff at the hospital made me feel so comfortable and reminded me that everyone feels nervous their first time in that kind of environment.


Displaying 1 - 9 of 10

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

The Forum on Education Abroad Logo