Piazza della Vittoria in Pavia (an Atlantis site).
Piazza della Vittoria in Pavia (an Atlantis site).
The Certosa di Pavia in Italy (an Atlantis site).
The Certosa di Pavia in Italy (an Atlantis site).
Students standing in front of a building.
Atlantis students standing in front of the Visconteo Castel on a program excursion (Pavia, Italy).





Pavia is a mid-sized city, about 30 miles south of Milan, in the southern part of the Lombardy region – that is to say, deep in the heart of northern Italy’s rice-growing territory.

No visit to Pavia would be complete without a visit to the famous Carthusian Monastery known as the Certosa di Pavia – the most impressive example of Renaissance architecture in the region. Founded as a monastery in 1396, most of the building dates from the 15th century.

Pavia also has a prestigious University (IUSS) engaged in several international exchange programs, lively cultural life, and a wide variety of delicious, traditional Italian food.

Destination Information

The City

Pavia dates back to pre-Roman times and possesses a wealth of important historical sites, including many churches and museums, and a 14th century walled monastery: Certosa di Pavia.

In medieval times, Pavia was known as the “city of a hundred towers.” Although not many of these towers remain, there is still a great deal to enjoy as you explore the narrow streets of the historic center, including numerous churches and pretty small piazzas, the castle, and the cathedral.

Dates & Availability

  • Summer Break 2024




May 11, 2024 - May 31, 2024 3 weeks



June 1, 2024 - June 21, 2024 3 weeks



June 22, 2024 - July 12, 2024 3 weeks



July 13, 2024 - August 2, 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

Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo

Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo is located near the city center of beautiful Pavia, Italy. It is just a quick train or bus trip from the Milan metropolitan center. The Hospital San Matteo was started in 1449, and in 1932 it moved to its present campus of pavilions where it has over 1,000 beds. This public hospital has a strong university presence and is a general hospital that covers all aspects of medicine. The hospital has a strong commitment to research, service, and teaching.

Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri

Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri is a research hospital located in the heart of the beautiful city of Pavia, near the Ticino river. The clinical and research focuses of the hospital are the diagnosis and treatment of occupational diseases, the prevention of risks in work environments, and the rehabilitation of people suffering from cardiovascular, respiratory, or neuromotor disorders. The hospital’s foundation is tied to Professor Salvatore Maugeri’s creation of the “Clinica del Lavoro” in 1965 – a private law firm established to support the activities of the University of Pavia in workers’ health protection. Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri belongs to a qualified circle of highly specialized institutions for the National Health System.

Alumni Favorite

Magnificent Monastery

The excursion to Certosa di Pavia is incredible. When you first see the monastery – one of the largest and most beautiful in all of Italy – you will be struck by its beauty and by the history, art, and architecture which can all be found in this magical place. You could write pages about this incredible place and probably still wouldn’t do it justice.

The Certosa di Pavia in Italy (an Atlantis site).
The Certosa di Pavia in Italy (an Atlantis site).

I absolutely loved my experience. My site managers did an amazing job giving us a real authentic Italian experience and were also very helpful with any questions we had. My group overall was fantastic, and it really made the trip that much better. I am so happy to have been able to see a different kind of healthcare system and use what I’ve learned in the hospital in my future career in medicine.

A student in front of a lookout point over the city during a program excursion.
An Atlantis student in front of a lookout point over the city during a program excursion (Pavia, Italy).
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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.