What will I do on this project?
With a range of observational and hands-on activities, this internship gives you a well-rounded medical experience abroad. You will be able to get involved in:
- Observe local doctors and medical staff during their rounds
- Participate in medical outreaches which serve disadvantaged communities
- Learn about traditional Ayurvedic medicine practices
- Raise awareness about important healthcare issues
Your work will focus on the following areas:
Observe local doctors and medical staff
Your main role on this internship will be to learn from doctors and other medical staff. You’ll have the chance to witness consultations and procedures, and ask questions about what you’ve seen. Wherever possible, doctors will take the time to explain what they are doing, and how they came to the diagnosis.
Participate in medical outreaches which serve rural communities
Get involved in practical work on our regular medical outreaches. These provide basic yet important medical care to members of disadvantaged communities, as well as free food and medication. They serve over 100 people at a time.
You’ll assist the doctors in checking vital signs such as blood pressure and sugar levels, and dispense medication under supervision.
Learn about traditional Ayurvedic medicine
We offer interns an exciting opportunity to learn more about traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Sri Lanka has special hospitals that are dedicated to this practice. Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world’s oldest medical traditions. You’ll get involved with preparing herbal medicine, caring for patients, working in the clinic, and much more.
Raise awareness about important healthcare issues
We also run educational outreaches and workshops in local schools and community centres. You’ll give presentations on specific healthcare issues, with the goal of raising awareness around prevention and treatment.
Where in Sri Lanka will I be working?
You’ll be working in one of several towns in Sri Lanka. There are placements available in both government and privately funded hospitals. The country has an affordable and extensive public transport, so it is easy to get from place to place.
All the towns where we work are situated on the coast. This is great news if you’re a fan of the beach or thrilling ocean activities such as scuba diving.
Interns in Colombo will work in the southern parts of this bustling city. Colombo is the former capital and the largest city. It’s also the financial hub of Sri Lanka, and a popular tourist destination.
You will be based in a major teaching hospital, a hospital focusing on women’s health, or a private hospital.
Located on the west coast of Sri Lanka, Panadura is an unusual town in that it is surrounded on all sides by water, namely the Indian Ocean and the Bolgoda lake and river. It’s situated 27 km from Colombo.
You will be placed at a local base hospital here or in a hospital focusing on women’s health. There is also the option to work at a hospital in a neighbouring town 18 km away.
Galle is a major Sri Lankan city, located at the southwestern tip of the country. It is situated 119 km from Colombo. Here you will have the chance to work at a major teaching hospital, or at a private one.
The old part of the town is a designated UNESCO heritage site, due to its historic fortifications and blend of European and South Asian architecture. It’s a charming city to explore in your time off, with a variety of beautiful buildings, museums, cafes, and small shops.
Balapitiya is another town on Sri Lanka’s west coast, and can be found 80 km south of Colombo. You will either work at a teaching hospital, or intern at a private one.
The town is situated next to two lakes, which together form the protected Madu Ganga wetland. Over 300 species have been discovered so far, with many more still to be encountered in the depths of the mangrove forests. Some of the country’s oldest temples can be found on the islands in the wetland area.
Medical electives for students
This project is also perfect for university medical and healthcare elective students. The real-world insight and knowledge you gain will help shape you as a future medical professional. You will also learn to work with different people and get a broader perspective of global healthcare systems and issues. This benefits your career for years to come. We can organise a placement that meets all of your university's requirements.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Leisure activities and free time
Sri Lanka is well-known for its diverse landscapes. From beaches to tropical jungles, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant country.
The buzzing Pettah Market is a must-see. You can chat to friendly vendors, buy handmade products, and enjoy the electric atmosphere around you. For cultural enrichment, you can spend an afternoon in the National Museum of Colombo. The Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple is also a highlight, with its vast collection of artefacts.
The town of Galle is a sea port with a strong Dutch heritage and plenty of old colonial buildings to explore. You can also venture inland to hike in the hills, swim in the cool waterfalls, and visit traditional hill towns.
Sri Lanka's national parks include safari parks where you can spot wildlife like leopards and elephants. Or spend an early morning bird-watching in one of the wetland sanctuaries. There are also rainforest reserves crammed full of tropical biodiversity.
You’ll be sharing this unique experience with many other volunteers. This means you can travel solo or spend your free time with the friends you make during your trip.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
This placement is fully researched, safety audited, and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.
Meet the team in Sri Lanka
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