At a glance
- You’ll gain practical work experience while observing and assisting experienced local pharmacists. You also have the chance to take part in medical outreaches in disadvantaged communities.
- Find out more about healthcare practice in a different country and learn about medical issues that are prevalent in the area, and how they are treated.
- In Sri Lanka you’ll live with a local host family, an excellent way to immerse yourself in the local culture. You’ll make new friends, and explore some of the incredible sights in Sri Lanka.
16 or over
What will I do on the Pharmacy Project in Sri Lanka?
On this internship, you’ll take part in a range of observation-based and practical activities in a hospital pharmacy. Duties at your pharmacy placement in Sri Lanka include:
- Observe local pharmacists as they go about their day-to-day work
- Assist with a variety of tasks around the pharmacy
- Take part in medical outreaches which benefit disadvantaged communities
- Improve your own skills at educational monthly workshops
Your work will be divided into four main categories:
Observe local pharmacists as they go about their day-to-day work
An important part of this internship is learning from skilled professionals. You’ll observe local pharmacists as they go about their day, preparing and dispensing medication to patients. Ask questions, take notes, and make the most of this educational opportunity.
Assist with a variety of tasks around the pharmacy
You will also have the chance to help with the packaging of medication, as well as the dispensing, under supervision. If you are confident, there may also be an opportunity to do data capturing alongside the local pharmacist.
Take part in medical outreaches which benefit disadvantaged communities
We run regular medical outreaches in disadvantaged communities, which are open to all our Medicine & Healthcare interns. Here you will conduct basic health checks, such as blood pressure and sugar levels. You will also dispense medication where needed, under the supervision of a local doctor.
As part of our outreach work, you might also have the chance to help raise awareness about specific issues relevant to the local community. Topics could include Dengue Fever symptoms and treatment, or the importance of hygiene for reducing infections. These presentations take place at local schools and community centres.
Improve your own skills at educational monthly workshops
There is an opportunity to improve your skills and expand your knowledge at our regular monthly workshops. These are also open to all our Medicine & Healthcare interns, and are led by a local doctor.
You will learn about illnesses that are specific to the area, for instance, and how to diagnose and treat them. You may also learn basic medical skills, which you will then put into practice at our outreaches.
Where in Sri Lanka will I work?
Our Pharmacy Internships in Sri Lanka are based in two towns, Panadura and Horana. The two are only 18 km apart, and are located south of the former capital Colombo. Sri Lanka has plenty of incredible sights to explore and activities to experience during your time off. Why not visit some of the national parks, historic temples, bustling restaurants or beautiful beaches? And that’s just to start. You can also get involved in sporting activities such as scuba diving or hiking, discover the local markets and check out some of the ancient ruins.
Panadura is a large coastal town situated around 30 km south of Colombo. As an intern, you’ll spend your time in the pharmacy unit of a local hospital. Panadura is home to a number of beach resorts, temples and an extensive bus network for easy travel.
Horana is a small town located around 40 km south of Colombo. You’ll be working in the pharmacy department of a local hospital, which is easy to access via public transport. Horana has all the modern conveniences you might need, including banks, grocery stores and restaurants.
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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