Colorful umbrellas hanging above a street in Ferrara, Italy (an Atlantis site).
Colorful umbrellas hanging above a street in Ferrara, Italy (an Atlantis site).
A cathedral in Ferrara, Italy (an Atlantis site).
A cathedral in Ferrara, Italy (an Atlantis site).
A view of the city of Ferrara, Italy (an Atlantis site).
A view of the city of Ferrara, Italy (an Atlantis site).



$2,899 - $4,999


Ferrara is a city in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, northern Italy, a small jewel situated 44 kilometres (27 miles) northeast of Bologna, on the Po di Volano, a branch channel of the main stream of the Po River. There is no record of Ferrara earlier than 753 CE and Its origins are very  mysterious eventhough Ferrara was one of the most important European capitals during the Renaissance period. Ferrara is a university town, with its 16,000 students and overall population of about 132,000. Linked by rail with Bologna, Padua, Venice, Ravenna, and Comacchio, Ferrara is the centre of a prosperous agricultural area, much of it reclaimed marshland.

Destination Information

The City

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 medivial walls.

Dates & Availability

  • Summer Break 2023




June 17, 2023 - June 23, 2023 1 week

$2,899 from $112/month


June 24, 2023 - July 14, 2023 3 weeks

$4,999 from $230/month


July 15, 2023 - August 4, 2023 3 weeks

$4,999 from $230/month


You may pay over time, fundraise, consider scholarships, and more. See more on the financing and aid page.

Dates may be subject to change, in rare cases, depending on hospital availability. Students may transfer to another program or receive a refund up until a pre-defined amount of before the start date. All fees include an initial $900 deposit, which is non-refundable. Accepted students or their parents are welcome to apply for financing through Uplift (up to 24-month terms, with a 4% to 36% fixed APR based on creditworthiness). Monthly payment amounts are for those paying via Uplift and are for illustration purposes only.

What’s Included

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

Hospital Overview

The University Hospital of Ferrara. The University Hospital of Ferrara “Arcispedale Sant’Anna”, or more simply the Arcispedale Sant’Anna of Ferrara, is the largest and most important hospital in Ferrara and its province, as well as one of the main and largest polyclinics in the Emilia Romagna. Since May 2012, the headquarters of the hospital have been located in Cona, a district of Ferrara, where it has been transferred to a single structure. It is part of the Emilia-Romagna Health Service and is owned by the region itself. The hospital, despite being a separate and autonomous corporate entity both from an administrative and financial point of view, is strongly integrated with the University of Ferrara (Faculty of Medicine and Surgery).

Alumni Favorite

Cappellacci di zucca

Cappellacci di zucca or the pumpkin hats of Ferrara – as translated in English is Ferrara’s signature pasta dish and its first recipe was written in 1584!! Cappellacci are a type of fresh filled pasta made with a delicious filling of velvety, pre-cooked butternut squash, and grated parmesan cheese. This is a must try.

Atlantis students learning how to make pesto in Italy (Genoa, Italy, 2019).

It was an incredible experience from start to finish. I learned tons and gained valuable experience in a hospital. Not just that, I made incredible friendships along the way.

Atlantis students outside the hospital where they are shadowing (Genoa, Italy, 2019).
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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, 2019).

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, 2019).
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, 2019).

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, 2019).

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, 2019).

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