An aerial view of Praia de Santiago and the Praia lighthouse near an Atlantis site.
An aerial view of Praia de Santiago and the Praia lighthouse near an Atlantis site.
The Duomo at sunrise in Milan, Italy (an Atlantis site).
The Duomo at sunrise in Milan, Italy (an Atlantis site).

Italy + Cape Verde

Cape Verde Islands (Africa) & Milan

$13,298 - $14,248


This program is made up of the following consecutive components, and takes place in the order shown (you visit the first city first, etc.):
Cape Verde Islands (Africa)

Destination Information

The Cities

Praia — literally “Beach” in Portuguese — is the capital and busiest city of the island nation of Cape Verde. Located in the southern end of Santiago Island, Praia is a port city with some of its biggest exports being bananas, coffee, sugarcane, a variety of tropical fruits and castor beans.

The city is divided into various small unofficial districts, the most important ones being, Platô (city center), Achada Santo Antonio, Palmarejo, Fazenda, Achada Grande, Varzea, Safende, Sucupira (bazaar area), Calbeciera, Terra Branca, Vila Nova, Achadinha, Bairro, Prainha, Monte Vermelho, Achada Mato, Achada Sao Felipe, and other smaller ones. With a population of only about 160,000, Praia is home to over 90% of the nation’s population.

The city experiences a mild desert climate due a short monsoon season and the surrounding Atlantic Ocean moderating the weather. The history of Praia dates back to 1615 when it was originally founded by Portuguese explorers and named Praia de Santa Maria. Cape Verde gained its freedom from the Portuguese on July 5, 1975 after an almost 15 year war for independence which was linked to anti-Portuguese struggles in Guinea-Bissau, Angola, and Mozambique. All four nations became free in 1975. Upon independence Praia became the official capital of the new nation of Cape Verde.

Praia has a cosmopolitan culture. People of African ancestry are the majority in the city, mainly because of the centuries old slave trade and plantation economy of the islands, but there is still a significant European population including many Portuguese. The African influence predominates in the languages, food, and social patterns. The European influence can be seen in the Catholic religion, urban architecture, and clothing. Like other former Portuguese colonies there is a significant Kriol (creole) culture as a result of the intermarriage of many Portuguese and Africans.

While parts of Milan were destroyed during World War II and now feature modern buildings like 32-story Pirelli Tower, you can still find many historical gems such as the Duomo (Italian for Cathedral) and La Scala opera house. It is also in Milan that travelers can admire one of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous paintings, The Last Supper.

In addition to the architecture and history, for those interested in shopping, art or fashion, Milan has Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Italy’s oldest shopping mall, as well as many galleries and designer stores.


What’s Included

Atlantis programs include ~20h/week of shadowing, housing, some meals, transportation, travel health insurance, and more. Airfare is not included but can be very affordable.

Dates & Availability

  • Summer Break 2024




May 11, 2024 - June 21, 2024 6 weeks 3 weeks in Cape Verde Islands
3 weeks in Milan



June 1, 2024 - July 12, 2024 6 weeks 3 weeks in Cape Verde Islands
3 weeks in Milan



June 22, 2024 - August 2, 2024 6 weeks 3 weeks in Cape Verde Islands
3 weeks in Milan



You may pay over time, fundraise, consider scholarships, and more. Learn about our significant partial need-based scholarships here.

Participants may transfer to another program or receive a refund up until a predefined amount of time before the start date.

Atlantis is an opportunity of a lifetime…The program helped catapult me to a full-tuition (and generous living stipend!) merit scholarship at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine where I currently attend and will graduate with an MD.

I believe that highlighting the Atlantis experience significantly bolstered my candidacy and helped lead to numerous eventual [medical school] acceptances I was fortunate enough to receive.

The Atlantis Fellowship has given me a broader perspective on the field of healthcare. The program has also brought wonderful people into my life.

A flowering tree outside of a building.
A flowering tree outside of a building (Lisbon, Portugal).
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Our excursions are designed to offer a deeper look into your host culture, for both the educational benefit and the pure enjoyment of exploring a new place with others who share your interests in travel and medicine. If you happen to make travel plans outside of your city for a weekend, and thus your travel plans conflict with the events your Site Manager has planned, we ask that you notify your Site Manager several days in advance so that they’re able to plan the excursion accordingly. Excursions range from historical tours to culinary and cultural explorations. Your Site Manager will inform you of the different excursions they have planned during your program orientation.

Atlantis students on a program excursion.
Atlantis students on a program excursion (Genoa, Italy).

Clinical Experience that Stands Out to Schools

Medical schools want 3 things: healthcare exposure, GPA/MCAT, and certain competencies. Uniquely, “360 Shadowing” gives you the best version of the 1st, frees you to focus on the 2nd, and cultivates/shows the 3rd to medical school admissions.

Two students walking out of a hospital wing.
Atlantis students in a hospital wing (Lisbon, Portugal).
Students tubing in the ocean in Greece.

Watch the Atlantis Experience

Language Skills Not Required

Almost all alumni have not spoken the local language. English levels vary within the hospital, but no knowledge of the language is required for Atlantis to be valuable. There is English ability in enough places in the hospital for participants to benefit, as you can read in our testimonials. Moreover, a program in an English-speaking country would take away some of the value of Atlantis, particularly the intercultural perspective that Atlantis participants gain, in a world where many of your future patients in your career later on will not speak your language and will come from a different cultural background. Any possible language barrier you may encounter at Atlantis, even if slight, is also an opportunity to develop “resilience and adaptability,” one of the 15 AAMC core competencies for entering medical students.

Funding Your Future

The cost of Atlantis isn’t too dissimilar from the cost of many study abroad programs that you may find. And we’re here to help: from our extensive fundraising guide to flexible payment plans and financing options, we make the process simple and easy, allowing you to focus on what really matters.

An Atlantis student smiling while shadowing abroad.
An Atlantis student on an excursion experiencing culture while shadowing abroad (Athens, Greece).

Hear More Directly From Our Alumni

Hear more from them on their experiences during and after Atlantis.

An Atlantis student standing outside the hospital where she is shadowing.
An Atlantis student standing outside the hospital where she is shadowing (Barcelona, Spain).

Bring a Friend

Consider bringing a friend to the same program you’re applying to. Although the vast majority of Atlantis alumni have gone on programs without knowing someone in their cohort, bringing a friend allows your experience to be shared in a unique way, while still allowing you one of the benefits of Atlantis: meeting new pre-health friends from across the country. Consider sharing this idea with your friends.

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students walking and smiling.
Atlantis students exploring together on a program excursion (Athens, Greece).

Med School Interview:
Atlantis Alum vs. Typical Pre-med

Compare a possible medical school interview of an Atlantis alum with that of a typical applicant by looking at responses to common questions.

Greek ruins on a sunny day.

Gain the Exposure, Stats, and Competencies that Med Schools Want

  • The vast majority of alumni accepted into med/PA school said Atlantis “strongly” or “very strongly” impacted their admittance
  • 81% of alumni accepted into med/PA school said Atlantis impacted their passion for medicine
  • 93% of our pre-health alumni progressed on the AAMC Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students