A view from the Sacro Monte di Varese, a UNESCO World Culture Heritage site of the city of Varese, Italy (an Atlantis site).
Sacro Monte di Varese, Lombardy, Italy, is a famous crhistian sanctuary and is listed as UNESCO World Culture Heritage site
View of Ferrara, Italy (an Atlantis site).
View of Ferrara, Italy (an Atlantis site).


Lombardy Health Agency Project & Ferrara

$7,598 - $13,298


This program is made up of the following consecutive components, and takes place in the order shown (you visit the first city first, etc.):
Lombardy Health Agency Project

Destination Information

The Cities

Varese is located in the Lombardy region, settled in the Alpine foothills near Lake Varese, and only a few kilometers from the Swiss border. The area is often referred to as the “Garden City” due to its beautiful backdrop of the Alps, lakes, valleys and parks.

The UNESCO World Heritage site, Sacro Monte di Varese, is one of nine holy mounts scattered around the region and is the top attraction in the city. The mountainside is adorned with cobblestone paths that link to elaborate chapels.

Varese has a beautiful old town, and the whole area is rich with architecture and art, including Esetence Palace (often described “Little Versailles”), Villa Panza (an impressive villa now home to a large art collection), and the Basilica di San Vittore (a stunning 16th and 17th century church).

All of this natural beauty and historical culture lies just about an hour drive from Milan, making it a great gateway to see other cities.

The town is still surrounded by more than 9 kilometres (6 miles) of ancient walls, mainly built in the 15th and 16th-centuries, and they are one of the the best preserved renaissance walls in Italy. The impressive brick Castello Estense sited in the very centre of the town is iconic of Ferrara.

You can go for a long stroll, navigating between the city’s churches and palazzos, or stop for an espresso or aperitivo on the piazza. You won’t see many cars in the city center, which makes it an especially peaceful place. When hunger strikes, Ferrara has iconic dishes to try. These can be tried at a restaurant or pack yourself a picnic to enjoy under the shade of the medieval walls.

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




June 1, 2024 - June 28, 2024 4 weeks 3 weeks in Varese
1 week in Ferrara



June 1, 2024 - July 12, 2024 6 weeks 3 weeks in Varese
3 weeks in Ferrara



June 15, 2024 - June 28, 2024 2 weeks 1 week in Varese
1 week in Ferrara



June 15, 2024 - July 12, 2024 4 weeks 1 week in Varese
3 weeks in Ferrara



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