Santa Luzia church in Viana do Castelo, Portugal (an Atlantis site).
Santa Luzia church in Viana do Castelo, Portugal (an Atlantis site).
A view of the Barca Bridge, Roman Bridge in Viana do Castelo, Portugal (an Atlantis site).
A view of the Barca Bridge, Roman Bridge in Viana do Castelo, Portugal (an Atlantis site).
An arched bridge in Portugal.
An arched bridge approximately 20 miles from Viana do Castelo, Portugal (an Atlantis site).


Viana do Castelo

$2,899 - $4,999


Viana do Castelo is a mid-sized city on the northwest coast of Portugal. It is a beautiful port city that is rich with history, as it was an important entry point for Portuguese explorers as early as the 13th century.

It is considered the jewel of the Green Coast of Portugal, thanks to its medieval architecture, winding streets, and narrow lanes in the historic old quarter, and it features a neo-byzantine church, Santa Luzia, perched on a hilltop looking down on the town.

Destination Information

The City

In the surroundings of the city, you can take a ride on the coastal or river bike path, or on one of the many marked trails. With beaches of fine golden sand, Viana do Castelo is also popular for surfing, windsurfing or kitesurfing, and bodyboarding. You can also go jet skiing, sailing, rowing, or canoeing on the Lima River.

Viana do Castelo is a perfect place from which to organize a weekend visit to nearby Porto, the famous UNESCO World Heritage City. Nature lovers can also visit the Peneda-Gerês National Park, which features a beautiful landscape and rushing waterfalls, and is the only such park in the country.

Dates & Availability

  • Summer Break 2024




May 25, 2024 - May 31, 2024 1 week



June 1, 2024 - June 21, 2024 3 weeks



June 22, 2024 - July 12, 2024 3 weeks



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.

Alumni Favorite

Classic Pastries

Bolas de Berlim are a Portuguese twist on the Berline – a classic German pastry. The most popular place to find them is at a local café called Zé Natário. They’re 100% worth the wait in line!

Enjoy pastries in Viana do Castelo (an Atlantis site).
Enjoy pastries in Viana do Castelo (an Atlantis site).

It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life. I was able to learn so much about the medical field from the hospital, and I was able to have an amazing time exploring Viana and making life-long friends.

Students at the Santuario de Santa Luzia
Atlantis students at the Santuario de Santa Luzia (Viana do Castelo, Portugal).
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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.