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Roman architecture in the city of Merida.
Roman architecture in the city of Merida (an Atlantis site).
Aqueducts in the city of Merida.
Roman architecture in the city of Merida (an Atlantis site).





Rich in history and once one of the most important cities in the Roman empire, the city preserves more ancient Roman structures than any other city in Spain. Mérida, with a population of 60,119, is the capital of the Extremadura region in Spain and is located by the banks of the Guadiana River. It has one of the best conserved archaeological sites in Spain, and has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993.

Destination Information

The City

Mérida is a destination that brings the old Roman Empire back to life. A short walk through the town will reveal numerous landmarks that serve as a reminder of the town’s past: a temple, an amphitheatre, the circus, the thermal baths, aqueducts, arches.

This World Heritage City boasts a Roman theatre that is over 2,000 years old and is still in use. In June, the “Emerita Lvdica” festival is held, returning the streets of Mérida to the Romans and the gladiators. In the evenings of July and August, the Roman theatre hosts the International Classical Theatre Festival. From Mérida, you can easily visit another of Spain’s heritage jewels, the city of Cáceres.

Dates & Availability

  • Summer Break




May 21, 2022 - June 10, 2022 3 weeks

$4,999 from $230/month


June 11, 2022 - July 1, 2022 3 weeks

$4,999 from $230/month


July 2, 2022 - July 22, 2022 3 weeks

$4,999 from $230/month


July 23, 2022 - August 12, 2022 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 60 days before the start date. All fees include an initial $900 deposit, which is non-refundable. Monthly prices are for illustration purposes only. 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).

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 Mérida Hospital was founded in 1981 and it is situated in the center of the Extremadura region, in western Spain. It is a medium-sized hospital (300 beds), and is accredited for teaching medical 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.

Alumni Favorite

Roman Era Landmarks

Immerse yourself in the Roman era while you walk through the 2,000 years old streets of Mérida. At every turn you will be surprised by a different landmark: Diana’s temple, the Roman Theater, the Roman Bridge or the Roman Circus.

Diana's temple in the city of Merida.
Atlantis students exploring Diana's temple (Merida, Spain, 2019)

My trip to Merida has changed my life. The opportunities provided by Atlantis are nearly unattainable elsewhere. The program has made me confident in myself and my future.

Students sitting in an archway posing for the camera.
Atlantis students exploring the city on a program excursion (Merida, Spain, 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