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Hospital Shadowing in Spain

Hospital Shadowing in Spain
A six-week program where students shadow doctors to gain professional experience in the medical field. Earn credit, build confidence, and be immersed in a new culture.
Language of Instruction: 
Academic Disciplines: 
Community Health
Exercise Science
Program Type: 


●     Spend the summer in Spain shadowing doctors four days per week (for 20+ hours) over a 6 week period

●     Learn first-hand about an international publicly-funded healthcare system

●     Build confidence in a hospital setting through extensive observation of physician to patient contact

●     Gain a competitive edge in graduate school applications, domestic health related internships, and a broadened perspective on the medical vocation

●     Earn KU internship credit for your shadowing experience

●     Experience the rich culture and cuisine of Spain through weekly group excursions and group meals

Program Summary: 

The six-week program offered through the Atlantis Project (AP), a provider focused exclusively on healthcare internships, consists of a 20+hours per week hospital shadowing experience at a hospital in Spain. It is the ideal experiential learning opportunity for pre-med and pre-nursing students as well as those interested in clinical health areas such as physiology, developmental biology, exercise science, medical diagnostics, microbiology, neuroscience, physical therapy, and other allied health fields.  Participants will gain extensive observation experience in a hospital setting, a broadened perspective on the medical vocation, and a comparative lens to examine global healthcare. 

Students selected as AP Fellows will shadow four days per week (a min. of five hours daily) from early morning to early afternoon and rotate through different clinical areas on a weekly basis.  All Atlantis Project partner hospitals, from the smallest to the largest, offer a large array of medical departments to observe, however, it is important to note that some specialties may not be available.  In addition to shadowing, students will have the opportunity to give back to their community by teaching English to medical professionals or volunteering in other capacities at the hospital for 3-5 hours per week.  

It is important to note that, unlike other global health experiences which send students to developing nations, this program operates in Spain where the hospitals and healthcare practice standards are comparable to those of the United States. Though AP Fellows often see more than they typically would in a United States hospital, they are expected to only do that which they would be permitted to do in the United States. The Atlantis Project is committed to adhering to AAMC guidelines for pre-health students participating in a clinical experience abroad and so the fellowships are observational-only (clinical skills are not practiced). 

AP Fellows will also have ample opportunity to experience the cuisine, immerse themselves in the culture and history of Spain, and explore its breath-taking natural beauty. Two cultural immersion events will be offered weekly (one all-day on Wednesdays and one half-day on Sundays), typically to locations of cultural and historical significance near the program site.  Depending on the program location, excursions may include hiking, whale-watching, beach trips, attending local festivals, caving and canyoning, visiting historical sites and national parks, and more.


The program will begin with a comprehensive one day orientation in Madrid after which the group will be transported to its program location.  The Atlantis Project regularly places students in a variety of locations throughout Spain such as Almansa, Guadalajara, Mallorca, Talavera, Toledo, Zaragoza and many more.   Because group size is an important factor, the program location will be determined/announced after the financial contract deadline in late February. 

Academic Information: 

AP Fellows will earn credit for their shadowing experience through one of the KU courses listed below.  

BIOL 490
Biology Internship & Practical Applications (1-3 credits)
This course supports the supervised practical experiences in an occupational area of interest. In addition to the work-related activity, students will likely be asked to complete reading and writing assignments, participate in on-line discussions, and create a final summary of internship accomplishments. Hours of credit recorded are based on number of hours at internship site and agreement of instructor. Credit hours will be assigned a letter grade. Repeatable for up to 6 credit hours, provided the internship experiences are different.

HNRS 496
Honors Program - Honors Internship ( 1-3 credits)
Students participate in an internship in an organization related to their professional/career goals. An internship plan is developed by the student in conjunction with the student's academic adviser and an authorized agent of the internship site. Satisfies: U Undesignated elective (U), Honors

HSES 335
Health, Sport, & Exercise Sci - Clincial Field Experience ( 3 credits)
Clinical Field Experience is designed to allow students who plan to pursue clinical careers the opportunity to observe and assist (as appropriate) in the evaluation and/or treatment of patients by licensed clinicians in fields such as medicine, physical therapy, and cardiac rehabilitation. Only one enrollment permitted each semester. A maximum of six hours will apply towards the bachelor's degree, or a maximum of three credit hours will apply towards the bachelor's degree if the student subsequently enrolls in HSES 580 (Internship). Prerequisite: Admittance to the Community Health or Exercise Science undergraduate degree program in HSES.

LA&S 490
Liberal Arts & Sciences - Internship Exploration ( 1-3 credits)
This course provides credit for supervised practical experiences in an occupational area of interest. In addition to the work-related activity, students complete reading and writing assignments, participate in an on-line discussion and create a final portfolio of internship accomplishments. Hours of credit recorded (1-3) are based on number of hours at internship site and agreement of instructor. Credit hours will be assigned a letter grade. Repeatable for up to 5 credit hours, provided the internship experiences are different. Satisfies: Goal 6 Outcome 1 (AE61), U Undesignated elective (U)


Participants will be housed in furnished university residences, hotels, or apartments.  Units are single-gender and typically double-occupancy with shared bathrooms and common spaces.  Towels, linens and internet are provided.  Transportation costs between the program housing and hospital are included as well as airport transfers at the beginning and end of the program. 

A light breakfast is provided from Mon-Fri, as well as four weekly group meals at local restaurants. For most lunches, fellows buy and prepare their own food or stop in a local cafe for an inexpensive sandwich.


This program is open to students of all undergraduate levels pursuing a degree in the healthcare fields interested in gaining shadowing (observational only) experience in a hospital setting. 

There is no language requirement as all AP partner doctors speak some level of English, but their levels vary from very basic to fluent so students should not expect to have full communication with their doctors.   Fellows will be able to learn while shadowing even with a language barrier by paying attention to non-verbal actions. 


Add Course: 
Language of Instruction: 
English or Spanish
Date Reviewed: 
Fall 2016
Equivalency Valid Until: 
Fall 2021
KU Course
KU Credit Hours: 


Summer & Fall Program Deadlines Extended for some programs.
See list of programs for more information.

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