View of Piazza Maggiore square and San Petronio church in the city of Bologna, Italy (an Atlantis site).
View of Piazza Maggiore square and San Petronio church in the city of Bologna, Italy (an Atlantis site).
Building facades and medieval architecture along the streets in Bologna, Italy (an Atlantis site).
Building facades and medieval architecture along the streets in Bologna, Italy (an Atlantis site).
Atlantis students standing in front of a city landmark.
Atlantis students in front of a city landmark on a program excursion (Bologna, Italy, 2019).





Bologna is the capital and the largest city of the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy. It is the seventh most populous city in Italy, at the heart of a metropolitan area of about one million people. It boasts one of the oldest and most famous universities in Europe, dating from the 11th century, as well as lavish porticoed walkways and squares, fine historic buildings, and an interesting medieval city center.

Destination Information

The City

Bologna is also known for great cuisine, some of the best in Italy – the original home of balsamic vinegar, Parmesan cheese, Parma ham and Bolognese sauce. It’s a perfect location to immerse yourself in the Italian culture while enhancing your experience in the medical field.

Dates & Availability

  • Summer Break 2024




June 15, 2024 - July 5, 2024 3 weeks


Close to Full

July 6, 2024 - July 26, 2024 3 weeks



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.

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.

Hospital Overview

Ospedale Maggiore

The Ospedale Maggiore “Carlo Alberto Pizzardi” belongs to the Azienda Sanitaria Locale (local health authority) of Bologna, together with Ospedale Bellaria “C. A. Pizzardi.” It is the second biggest hospital of the city, with more than 900 beds. The hospital is made up of three, 15-story main buildings as well as several other smaller buildings. Among these, the two biggest are the Maternity Hospital and the Infectious Diseases Department. The newest tower (Building D) even has a heliport on the roof. The Maggiore Hospital has the biggest and most frequented medical laboratory in Italy – one of the most prominent in all of Europe – conducting more than 18 million tests per year.

Alumni Favorite

Unforgettable Excursions

“The incredible group excursions to Cesenatico and Sirmione were absolutely unforgettable, making us feel we were with family. It’s when we were there that we understood how this entire experience was important, not just from a professional point of view, but as a unique opportunity to grow as a human being.”

Atlantis students in a city square.
Atlantis students in a city square (Bologna, Italy, 2019).

Atlantis was the perfect opportunity to meet like-minded, driven people who have become my lifelong friends. Atlantis also reminded me why I want to become a doctor and helped fuel my passion for medicine.

Students in scrubs and masks while shadowing.
Atlantis students in scrubs and masks while shadowing (Bologna, Italy, 2020).
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Our excursions are designed to offer a deeper look into your host culture, for both the educational benefit and the enjoyment of exploring a new place with others who share your interests in travel and medicine. Excursions range from historical tours to culinary and cultural explorations.

Your Site Manager will inform you of the excursions they have planned during your program orientation. If you make travel plans outside of your city for a weekend and it conflicts with the events your Site Manager has planned, notify your Site Manager several days in advance so that they can plan accordingly.

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

Language Skills Not Required

Most participants do not speak the local language at their Atlantis program. English levels vary within the hospital, but no knowledge of the language is required for Atlantis to be valuable. There is enough English spoken in the hospital for participants to benefit from the programs, as you can read in our testimonials. 

Many patients in your future career will not speak your language and will come from a different cultural background, so the Atlantis experience prepares you for that intercultural perspective. Any slight language barrier you may encounter at Atlantis also helps you develop “resilience and adaptability,” an AAMC core competency.

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).

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).

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.