Waterfront and coastline in Funchal, Madeira (an Atlantis site).
Waterfront and coastline in Funchal, Madeira (an Atlantis site).
A coastal town near Funchal, Madeira (an Atlantis site).
Lush greenery in Madeira (an Atlantis site)


Madeira Island

$6,999 - $8,999


Madeira is known for its volcanic landscapes, high cliffs and pebbly beaches, and for having springtime temperatures year round. Right in the middle of the Atlantic, it is actually closer to the African coast than to the Portuguese coast. It has a unique fauna and flora that varies according to the microclimates of each region, and a history that is intertwined with that of the maritime discoveries.

Apart from the Madeira cake, Madeira wine and the Madeiran Cristiano Ronaldo, Madeira is also famous for being a touristic spot year round, offering endless options for outdoor activities. The name Madeira refers to the autonomous region as a whole (it is a part of Portugal but has political and administrative autonomy), but also of the archipelago, formed by 4 islands, and of its main island.  

Destination Information

The City

Funchal is the capital city of Madeira and the sixth largest city in Portugal. Its name literally means “place/plantation of fennel”, but nowadays it is a lively city that perfectly captures the nature that surrounds it, 600 years of history, amazing culinary, and an incredible culture.

From many parts of cities you can have breathtaking views, with its crooked little streets that go down the mountains and the blue ocean.

The east part of the city, traditionally the fishermen neighborhood, is where you will find the Mercado dos Lavradores, a huge and full of life market with the best homegrown vegetables, fresh fish, and wonderfully scented flowers.

Dates & Availability

  • Summer Break 2024




May 11, 2024 - May 31, 2024 3 weeks


Close to Full

June 1, 2024 - June 21, 2024 3 weeks


Close to Full

June 22, 2024 - July 12, 2024 3 weeks


Close to Full

July 13, 2024 - August 2, 2024 3 weeks


Close to Full

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

Hospital Nélio Mendonça is the main hospital of all Madeiran healthcare system (SESARAM). It is a public hospital that serves the population of the whole island, has 33 specialities and 505 beds. In January, 2023 it completed 50 years.

Alumni Favorite

Funchal Downtown

Funchal’s downtown area boasts beautiful street art in the Rua da Santa Maria, a bustling flower, fruit, vegetable and fish market known as the Mercardo dos Lavradores, wine museums and cellars, and even wicker toboggan sled rides. There’s no shortage of places to explore in Funchal.

Farmers market in Fuchal, Madeira (an Atlantis site)

I have no doubt that I will forever remember this experience. Outside of the enriched clinical component, I learned a great deal about myself while immersed in a culture so different from the one I have grown accustomed to.

Cliffs and ocean in Madeira (an Atlantis site)
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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.