Students putting on masks in the hospital.
Atlantis students putting on masks in the hospital (Athens, Greece, 2019).

COVID-19

Please refer to this page for information on how Atlantis is navigating the rest of the pandemic.

Context

Safety and the quality of shadowing continue to be our paramount concerns. We monitor CDC guidelines and other sources to determine the best course of action regarding safety precautions and program changes. For programs taking place after the summer of 2021, in the unlikely event (going forward) that cancellations are needed, Atlantis will promptly announce these and provide advance notice for enrolled students to choose an alternative program or receive a refund.

As with all study abroad program providers, Atlantis was very affected, especially by the earlier stages of the pandemic. However, we’ve been fortunate to work with incredible partners and students, and together we’re poised to tackle the post-pandemic period with the determination and diligence that our students have expected from us for almost 15 years. This is all the more important at a time when the need for globally connected healthcare professionals is so clear.

Although they’ve been smaller than usual, Atlantis has run programs in the summer of 2020, the winter break of 2020-2021, and the summer of 2021 (including a program specifically focused on the impact of the early pandemic in a European hospital), and we plan to be running programs in all upcoming breaks.

The stakes are high. An article in the Journal of Surgical Research, recognizing that “the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a lack of in-person science courses and laboratories, reduced ability for face-to-face experiences in shadowing or volunteering, [etc.],” concluded that ” these changes may impact the next generation of medical students” since “this reduced ability for premedical students to experience the day-to-day interactions of a physician may lead to applicants with unrealistic expectations and contribute to the already high rate of physician burnout.”

Health and Safety Measures

  • We provide travel health insurance plans for all students during their time abroad, which cover medical expenses due to accidents, sickness, and specifically COVID-19. Benefits include emergency medical evacuation.
  • We provide elementary training for all Site Managers on the basics of how to isolate students who may have been exposed to COVID-19, and how to respond quickly (as circumstances allow) to issues that may arise. Site Managers are available 24/7 and will assist with health-related needs.
  • We carefully select housing that is clean and safe. Disinfection protocols are overseen by the Site Manager throughout the program.
  • Shortly before departure, students must declare in writing that they have not had any recent symptoms of COVID-19 and that they will follow all instructions of Atlantis and hospital staff regarding social distancing, hygiene, wearing masks, and other safety measures. Detailed protocols will be communicated pre-departure and during onsite orientation.
  • Responsibility lies with students to abide by all rules and regulations, and students should recognize that there can be a loss of shadowing hours if students develop symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19 such that they are not able to enter the hospital.
  • We require a full COVID-19 vaccine, fully administered at least two weeks before the program start date, in order to participate in programs.
A student scrubbed into a procedure.
An Atlantis student scrubbed into a procedure (Klaipeda, Lithuania, 2018).
Students wearing masks in the hospital.
Atlantis students wearing masks in the hospital while shadowing (Rome, Italy, 2019).

Process In The Unlikely Event Of Cancellations

With the development of COVID-19 and through ongoing conversations with our hospital partners, we are cautiously optimistic that students will not have disruption to their future shadowing and travel experiences. If it is determined that a program must be canceled, our goal is to have a final decision communicated to students at least 60 days before the program start date, and ideally several months in advance. That said, if last-minute decisions do need to be made, we appreciate your flexibility and openness to alternative programs. Rest assured that throughout the process, we will communicate what to expect and how to plan so that your preparations go as smoothly as possible.

Alternative Programs

  • Atlantis partners with many hospitals, and we are happy to be able to offer a wide variety of shadowing settings for students.
  • Should your first-choice program be canceled, alternative programs will be offered that are as similar as possible to your original program.
  • Our team is happy to help you find a program that best fits your interests based on hospital size, specialties offered, cultural experiences, and other factors.

Refund & Program Credit Policy

Our refund and credit policy is reason-neutral, meaning that the same policy applies to withdrawals by students or cancellations by Atlantis, whether they are related to COVID-19 or any other factor. The $900 deposit is considered a separate, non-refundable payment, but it will also carry over as program credit.

Policy Date Effective
Full refund, deposit counted as credit >60 days before program
No refund, 100% of fees (including deposit) counted as credit <=60 days before program

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