Medical Electives in Nepal & India

Medical Electives Explore Nepal & India

Quick Overview

Our medical elective program in India and Nepal is suitable for medical students and pre-med students from any background or healthcare discipline. Designed for those who love to travel and have a passion for helping others, this volunteering experience presents the unique opportunity to discover two amazing nations in beautiful South Asia. With electives available from 4 to 10 weeks and located in the run down slums of Kolkata and the poor neighbourhoods of Kathmandu, medical students and pre-med students will have the chance to learn about healthcare in developing countries whilst gaining invaluable hands-on experience in a real working environment under the supervision of qualified experts in the field.

Millions of people in the world suffer unnecessarily every single year due to not having basic healthcare or having access to doctors. Our volunteering program aims to change that. Not only will you gain the best possible work experience and learn about different cultures as you travel and explore during your own free time, but you will be contributing to a much bigger, ongoing humanitarian project that Volunteering Journeys is a part of. We believe in quality healthcare for everyone, no matter what social class or status and by taking part in our medical elective program in India and Nepal, volunteers will be supporting our work to help poor, disadvantaged communities who can’t help themselves. This program is suitable for medical workers from all backgrounds and medical disciplines; so as long as you’re passionate about travel and making the world a better place, an elective abroad could be the best step forward in your career.

What’s Involved

Programs are available from 4 weeks, 6 weeks and 8 weeks to 10 weeks in total and our elective volunteers will be based in North India’s Dharamshala followed by Kathmandu in Nepal. In both destinations, you will work in a medical department of your choice with supervision and training, and the work experience will be extremely hands-on. During your time in India and Nepal, you may be challenged with the issues of cramped or small working environments or perhaps even a lack of facilities but you will have the full support of the Volunteering Journeys team as well as help from your supervisor. Volunteers will also be placed in shared accommodation with other volunteers or within a homestay with our carefully selected hosts and meals will be provided for you daily.

The medical elective program in India and Nepal is suitable for medical students or pre-med students working across all disciplines including OPD services, Pediatrics, Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy and Imaging, Pathology, Endoscopy, General Nursing, Emergency Services, Medical Library Assistance, Dental and more. You will be working in local clinics and hospitals from Monday to Friday.

During the weekends, you will have plenty of time to travel, sightsee and socialise with other members of the elective team and Volunteering Journeys can help arrange cultural activities wherever possible.

Please note that for our medical electives you will not be allowed to handle patients on your own at any point without a qualified staff present.

All The Details

Kathmandu, Nepal

Dharamshala, North India

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All our rates are in GBP £

For 10 or more weeks email us

2 Weeks3 Weeks4 Weeks5 Weeks6 Weeks7 Weeks8 Weeks

What’s Included?

  1. Pre-departure support and materials – to prepare you for your trip
  2. Accommodation in a homestay in Kathmandu and guesthouse in Dharamshala
  3. Experienced bilingual local staff team
  4. Daily breakfast and dinner –  local food
  5. Area Tour
  6. Project training with the local Program Manager
  7. 24 hour support in your location
  8. Medical Placement Fees

Whats Not Included in your program fee :

  1. Flights to the program destination
  2. Airport Transfers
  3. Project Travel Cost
  4. Daily Lunch
  5. Medical and travel insurance (compulsory)
  6. Visa costs
  7. Vaccinations
  8. Personal shopping and gratuities
  9. Local excursions

Local Team On Ground

Anish Neurone, Program Manager Nepal

Volunteer-in-Nepal-Staff-AnishAnish has more than 14 years of experience working on social development projects, having different roles in Project Management, Planning & Development, Management Information Systems and Qualitative Research.

Currently he is Director of our program Nepal, where his role is mainly tooordinate the relationships between Volunteering Journeys anddifferent international organizations around the world, ensuring having the appropriate volunteer programs and social projects in place

Ribha Sharma, Dharamshala Program Manager


Dr Ribha is a native of Himachal Pradesh and is based in Dharamshala. Ribha is a busy lady being a mother, running her physiotherapy clinic, and leading our medical electives and health care programs. Ribha has always been passionate about volunteering and helping her local community in Dharamshala. Her background and experience in medicine and healthcare is a bonus for our medical placement volunteers and you can be assured your knowledge of healthcare and medicine in the developing world will grow with Ribha.

Getting There

  1. You can reach Dharamshala by flight. The airport is Gaggal Airport DHM
  2. You can reach Kathmandu by flight. The airport is Kathmandu Airport KTM
  3. If you need help to book flights fill in this form.
  4. Visas are on arrival in Nepal and you can get E-Tourist Visas for India.
  5. Travel Insurance is compulsory on this program.
  6. We have partnered with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for travel guidance. Goto to find out how best to avoid trouble when abroad. Packed with essential travel advice and tips, the website also offers up-to-date country information.
  7. For support on any of the above email us

Your first few days on this medical elective:

Day 1: Volunteers are welcomed by a Volunteering Journeys representative at the airport who will take you to your new home. You will meet the Program Manager on arrival. Your first day will be quite relaxed.

Day 2 : You will be shown around the local sights and get acquainted with the area. You will also have personal meetings with the representative to determine how to best utilise your time. 

Day 3: You will be starting your medical volunteer placement and also shift to your homestay. The program manager will be taking you to the medical placement site and introduce you to the local doctors and you will begin your medical placement.

Weekends :

In Kathmandu, you will be ideally located to explore the Himalayan Mountains and close to major national parks plus there’s a lot of sightseeing to be done within the city too ‘“ don’t miss the Boudhanath, Swayambhunath and Pashupatinath temples. Some of the must dos are Chitwan Jungles and Pokhara for views of the Himalayas.

Dharamshala is famous as the home of the Dalai Lama and a must visit is the Dalai Lama Monastery in McLoed Gunj. A really relaxed place you can go trekking to Triund and also Bir for Paragliding. You are also a short drive from Amritsar where you can visit the famous Golden Temple.

What Happens When I Arrive?


Living Arrangements for Medical Electives:

During your time in India, you will be placed within shared accommodation or a homestay with a local guest house with clean, comfortable rooms which come with a fan and en-suite for your comfort. Rooms are usually shared but you may request private rooms in advance if this is what you prefer. During your stay in Nepal, you will be placed with a host family who will provide room and board. In both cases, we always ensure that families or hosts will be welcoming and as hospitable as possible but we also ask volunteers to respect house rules at all times. Project travel will be arranged on your behalf and two meals per day (breakfast and dinner) will be provided for you either by your host family or by a member of the team with food sourced from a local café.


Health and Safety :

When you join our programs you can be assured we have carried out Risk Assessments to identify potential safety and health risks on projects and in the community. We protect the safety of children and vulnerable adults by police verification checks on all participants. Please read our Child Protection Policy for more details.

Volunteering Journeys Foundation:

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Volunteering Journey’s Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities. Go to our Donation page if you wish to pay any funds.


Volunteers Love Us!

  • ‘My experience in India was absolutely fantastic. Having never done anything like this before, Volunteering Journeys made sure I settled in well and supported me throughout my time. Being placed with an amazing family gave me the chance to experience Indian culture first hand.  I was part of the Disabled Childcare Programs for two weeks.  Although short, I felt the time I spent was so valuable for the children. If this is something that you are interested in I would 100% recommend it. The memories, friendships and experiences you will develop will be ones that you will never forget.’

    Fiona Kirk
    Connect with Fiona via our Facebook page
  • ‘The teaching experience was second to none. I was overwhelmed by the respect and politeness all the children have, which made it some much easier to work with them, even with the language barrier. The amazing thing about the schools I visited was that all the children are like little sponges, they absorb everything you say, teach and do! It’s quite outstanding how much they gain from just a small conversation in the playground or in the class room.
    So in general if you are questioning whether you want to volunteer and you don’t know what company to go with, it has the be Volunteering Journeys. You will be well looked after, gain an immense experience and make friends for life!!!’

    Jemima Kershberg
    Connect with Jamie via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • ‘I took a short sabbatical from work in November 2013 and decided to come to India. I was helping at a small school in Fort Kochi, teaching English, Maths, Science and the odd nursery rhyme. The school where I volunteered had amazing teachers and the kids were great. Ridhi and the team organised everything brilliantly – from cycling tours to the backwaters, to hosting me with a family that made my stay feel like home. If you’re going to volunteer in India then I highly recommend Volunteering Journeys’

    Glyn Owen
    Connect with Glyn via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • “J’ai passé deux mois formidables à Kochi en travaillant comme volontaire avec Volunteering Journeys. Deux mois de ma vie que je n’oublierais jamais. J’ai rencontré des gens incroyables et participé à des projets qui me tenaient vraiment à coeur. J’ai pu voir l’aboutissement de mes efforts et le sourire sur le visage des enfants. Une expérience magique que je recommande à tous. Merci Rainbow”

    Laura Prigogine
    Connect with Laura via our Facebook reviews page
  • ‘I spent 3 wonderful weeks with the Volunteering Journeys team in Kerala, it marked the beginning of almost 2 months adventuring through India, and I can say without a doubt it was one of my favourite experiences of my time spent in incredible India! From the moment my plane landed and I was greeted by a friendly face and whisked away to a wonderful home, the local staff were incredibly welcoming, helpful, supportive and great fun to be around!
    I spent my time volunteering in 2 local schools, assisting with English studies. The enthusiasm and joy with which the children approach their days will ensure you never want to leave!I cannot recommend Volunteering Journeys highly enough, it was such a joyful introduction to India – it’s culture, people and crazy beautiful way of life. You will leave with some fond memories and firm friendships’


    Katie Parsons
    Connect with Katie via our Facebook Reviews page
  • ‘I volunteered by teaching English both at a school and at an all girls’ orphanage for two months. It has been the best experience of my life so far. I really got to know the children I was teaching and seeing the children’s English improve over my time was an incredible feeling. From being introduced to yoga to tasting delicious flavoursome Indian cuisine and living in “God’s own country”, has left me eager to return. I have made friends across the World who made my time spent in Kerala unforgettable. I highly recommend volunteering with Volunteering Journeys; Kerala is beautiful and you will gain fun memories.’

    Elidith Cameron
    Connect with Eilidith via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • ‘I spent two weeks running an art workshop which was absolutely fantastic. The children were so enthusiastic and bustled about with paste and paint, putting together the most amazing creations. They were not used to producing collaborative work and were thrilled when their individual efforts achieved a glorious whole. Their personalities really shone through and I became very fond of them in the short time I was with them. Thank you to Volunteering Journeys for enabling me to have such a wonderful experience!’

    Jane Daniell
    Connect with Jane via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • ‘There is some kind of magic that happens when you’re in India. The climate, the people, the warm welcome, the happiness in every person, the culture, it’s simply inspiring. On top of that having a group of friendly, thoughtful organizers guiding me through the program made my time volunteering with Volunteering Journeys one of the most memorable moments in my life.
    If anyone reading this is considering becoming a volunteer, don’t hesitate, become a volunteer. It will be the most rewarding experience and adventure of your life. I assure you that you will have a vital impact on the community, the place and the children. I would recommend Volunteering Journeys without hesitation. Well organized and hassle free adventure. You get help and guidance with everything you need. Kerala was my destination. Safe, beautiful and very friendly. Just do it and have an adventure of your life!’

    Harminder Athwal
    Connect with Harminder via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • “Volunteering at the schools was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Once again the friendships you create are irreplaceable. Admittedly, the first few days were scary, in the sense that my partner and I were only 18 & 20 yrs old and we were teaching women and children a language that was not their first. However the persistence and willingness of Indians is not to be tested. Each of our students put in 100% and naturally we became very personal with everyone and these women and children taught us much more. We came out of this experience with more than we had ever anticipated. It can’t be put into words just how much we learnt from volunteering. Ever aspect of our lives and mindset has changed.”

    Aimee Chirio
    Connect with Aimee via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • ‘I think it was quite an eye opening experience to kind of see how people live and enjoy their lives very differently to what we do probably in UK. Even though comparatively they didn’t have as much, the children still came to school with a smile on their face and they were really keen to learn. They were ever so happy and always had a smile on their face regardless of the circumstances that they are living in, and I think that was an amazing experience for us to take back. We have comparatively much more wealth in the UK and we have much more available at our fingertips. Yet we were quite not so happy’

    Andrew Davies
    Connect with Andrew via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • ‘We decided to volunteer as part of our family vacation. It was the perfect balance: making a contribution but not being asked to do too much, with Volunteering Journeys staff with us every step of the way to help, support, clarify, etc. I was also impressed that they didn’t feed us a line about how we were changing the world in a week; I knew going in that *we* would be the ones most changed, and the staff’s perspective’s was the same: we were making an impact by showing we cared and sharing experiences, which hopefully meant something to a lot of people.’

    Bob- Family-Volunteering-Review
    Bob Macauley & Family
    Connect with Bob via our Facebook Reviews Page

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