A view of the streets in the city of Madrid (an Atlantis site)
A view of the streets in the city of Madrid (an Atlantis site)
Students kayaking on an excursion.
Atlantis students kayaking on an excursion (Madrid, Spain).


Madrid + HMX

$3,699 - $7,699


Madrid, the capital of Spain, is located on a plateau in the middle of the country.

Historically and culturally rich, Madrid boasts world-class art museums, parks and gardens, as well as incredible architecture like the impressive Plaza Mayor. Stunning sights, sounds, tastes, and experiences await those who come to the city. In addition to beautiful buildings and art, Madrid boasts a thriving fútbol culture with nearby stadiums.

The third-largest city in the European Union after London and Berlin, Madrid is a bustling metropolis with plenty to enjoy and a metro system to facilitate exploration. This city offers participants the opportunity to gain valuable medical understanding through shadowing while affording them an experience of a vibrant city that will enrich their appreciation for the world.

This program includes an HMX course and the potential to earn a certificate from Harvard Medical School depending on performance in the course. The HMX course would be taken over several weeks before, during, or after your Atlantis program depending on the space available in HMX cohorts at the time that you enroll in Atlantis. Read more.

Destination Information

The City

The Madrid of the Austrians (the old center of Madrid) was built during the reign of the Habsburg Dynasty (1516–1700). The most notable feature of the area is the Plaza Mayor, constructed in 1619. Other unique tourist attractions in the city of Madrid are the Royal Palace, the Retiro Park, and the Temple of Debod, a true Egyptian funerary monument transported and rebuilt stone by stone.

The Region of Madrid is home to three urban enclaves included in the World Heritage List: Alcalá de Henares, with a beautiful historic center and one of the oldest universities in Europe; Aranjuez, with its royal palace and famous gardens; and San Lorenzo de El Escorial, with its Palace and Monastery, where the kings of the houses of Austria and Bourbon are buried.

To the north of Madrid, the Sierra de Guadarrama offers numerous opportunities for nature lovers.

Dates & Availability




December 14, 2024 - December 20, 2024 1 week



January 5, 2025 - January 11, 2025 1 week



May 10, 2025 - May 30, 2025 3 weeks



May 31, 2025 - June 20, 2025 3 weeks



June 21, 2025 - July 11, 2025 3 weeks



July 12, 2025 - August 1, 2025 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

Infanta Elena University Hospital 
Opened in 2007, the Infanta Elena University Hospital is a public hospital situated south of Madrid that is able to provide quality healthcare services to a population of more than 110,000 people. This small-sized hospital (around 150 beds) is a teaching hospital, meaning that students will be in contact not only with physicians and nurses but also with Spanish medical students and residents. Both its size and the presence of residents make this hospital a perfect environment for students to shadow and familiarize themselves with the operation of a Spanish public hospital.

Hospital Universitario Rey Juan Carlos
The University Hospital Rey Juan Carlos, inaugurated in 2012, is located in the municipality of Móstoles, Madrid. It is a center integrated into the public health network, designed to offer universal, close and effective care to nearly 174,000 citizens. The design of the hospital building stands out for giving special importance to the control of sunlight and the quality of the spaces intended for patients and families. It has 12 operating rooms, 358 rooms and 18 ICU positions, and is a university hospital, which makes it a great learning environment.
Hospital Universitario General de Villalba
The Villalba General University Hospital is located in the municipality of Collado Villalba, Madrid. It was completely remodeled in 2017 and is a center integrated into the public health network, designed to offer universal, close and effective care to approximately 110,000 citizens. It has 9 operating rooms, 140 individual rooms and 12 ICU positions and is an accredited hospital for undergraduate and graduate medical tutoring.
Alumni Favorite

Oldest Restaurant in the World

Do you know where the world’s oldest restaurant is located? According to the Guinness World Records, it is in the center of Madrid, and it’s called Restaurante Botín. Founded in 1725, here you can eat some of the most traditional dishes in Spain, such as the roasted lamb or the roasted suckling pig.

Students in Madrid at one of the oldest restaurants in world.
Atlantis students in Madrid at one of the oldest restaurants in world (Madrid, Spain).

It was the best shadowing and the best foreign experience I’ve ever had. A must for any pre-med student with travel fever or an interest in foreign medicine.

Students outside the Royal Palace.
Atlantis students outside the Royal Palace (Madrid, Spain).
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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.