Medical Volunteer in Sri Lanka
Take your medical elective abroad and expand your horizons with immersive travel and training at the same time. Our medical volunteer program in Sri Lanka offers you a chance to gain international experience, where you can get invaluable training supervised under experienced medical experts, and you will have the rare opportunity to learn more about healthcare and medicine in a different country. Sri Lanka is known to have one of best preventative and curative health care system in South Asia. As a model for developing countries, you will learn a lot from the dedicated doctors in Sri Lanka about medical and healthcare in developing countries. This unique experience will open your eyes to the world of medicine in a developing country, and you will be amazed to see how well run and managed and sophisticated some of the hospitals in Sri Lanka are.
This medical experience is suitable for pre-med and medical students. Your medical placement will allow you to get the work experience you need to give your CV an edge to help advance your career or boost your medical school application, and you will also benefit from an immersive cultural experience through living in Sri Lanka.
Our medical programs in Sri Lanka are strictly observation based only. If you are doing an elective with us we will ask you to send your scope so that we can confirm what you are able to achieve. We will ask you for your clinical area of interest but your location will ultimately depend on availability during the time you arrive. Being a very popular program location we encourage you to apply in advance to guarantee your spot. A certificate will be given on completion and we would be glad to complete any paperwork related to your electives forms.
Our Medical students get the choice of choosing one of two exciting locations in Sri Lanka: Colombo (a major city) OR Galle (a small town in Southern Sri Lanka). We have strategic partnerships with well renowned private hospitals in Sri Lanka and your placement will be in one of them (depending on availability). In Colombo the hospitals are slightly bigger and we encourage advanced level students to choose this so you get exposure to big hospital with more activity. However, Galle is also well equipped but the number of cases will be limited being a smaller town.
This medical programs in Sri Lanka is ideal for students looking for an opportunity to train alongside medical specialists and to spend time in hospitals with access to various clinical areas of your choice. Our programs in Sri Lanka are also suitable for pre-med students who are also looking to gain some experience and want to boost their application process for medical school.
On average medical student will work for 3 to 5 hours a day depending on hospital and clinical area allocations given. At the hospital a coordinator will be assigned to you who will give you your clinical allocations and hospital timings(depending on doctors availability and patient cases). On your first day at the hospital you will get a general introduction and tour of the different units. We will try to give you a placement in your clinical area however we can not guarantee this as ultimately it depends on the hospital.
What you do at the placement is dependant on a host of factors including patient cases at the time, medical staff availability, clinical area chosen, timings and so on. Being a real world setting things in hospitals change rapidly, and we expect you to be flexible and embrace every learning opportunity that this program offers you.
All The Details
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Galle, Sri Lanka
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All our rates are in USD $
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- Pick-up and Drop from airport *
- Shared accommodation **
- Breakfast and Dinner
- Project Transport
- Project training with the local coordinator
- Hospital placement fee
*Your airport transfers are free only if you arrive or depart on Saturday. If you arrive or depart on any other day you have to pay for your transport to the airport/to Galle ($80 approx)
**During busy months we may give you room in alternative housing nearby the volunteer house.
Whats Not Included in your program fee :
- Flights to the program destination
- Medical and travel insurance
- Visa costs
- Personal shopping and gratuities
- Local excursions
Local Team On Ground
Rishad: Galle Program Manager
Rishad is our Program Manager in Sri Lanka. As a local from Galle he is passionate and extremely knowledgeable of the local area and are instrumental for helping the volunteers, organising projects and development. A caring and friendly personality, Rishad’s eye for detail and work ethics will ensure things get done and your experience is beyond amazing!
Udara: Colombo Coordinator
Udara is our local coordinator in Colombo. He will come and meet you on arrival at the guesthouse and give you the necessary information and training before your first day in the hospital. Udura will be your main local contact and he will liase between yourself and the hospital coordinator to ensure your program is successful. Udara is a medical student so he will also help you understand the medical system in Sri Lanka.
- The nearest airport for this program is Colombo Airport ( CMB )
- We recommend you apply for TOURIST Visas ONLY
- Travel Insurance is compulsory on this program.
- You need to submit a copy of your passport, resume and a letter from your university stating your course (in English) to us before you begin this program.
- Clear indication of clinical area of interest has to be submitted to us.
What your Week looks like:
Your medical placement will be from Monday to Friday. A working day will generally last between 3 and 5 hours, however, specific details of the placement schedule will be agreed upon during orientation.It is extremely important to have a flexible attitude and fit in with the needs of your project. Please keep in mind that work hours may vary, but a typical pattern is likely to be:
6.00am Wake up and have breakfast
6.45am Depart for the hospital
7 am to 11am Hospital work. Timings are subject to change depending on hospital and doctors availability.
12 to 2pm: Lunch time
6 to 7.30pm :Dinner Time at the volunteer house- usually a curry with rice or bread.
Evenings: Your evenings are free except on some days you have to go into the hospital during surgery observations. If you are in Galle once a week we organise a free yoga class for all. We also have a monthly paddy field bike tour in Galle.
What Happens When I Arrive?
Living Arrangements for Medical Volunteers:
Accommodation is provided in our volunteer villa in Galle and in a guest house if in Colombo. While your home may be basic you will have the following amenities: Internet/wifi, rooms with fans and western style shared bathrooms. Rooms are shared and you will be sharing your bathroom as well. During busy months we do use alternative housing (of equal standard) and you may be in one of these.
For our medical students only breakfast and dinner is included. Lunch is at your own expense and can be eaten at the hospital (if you are there) or at a local restaurant or cafe. Breakfast can typically be Sri Lankan style like milk rice with sambol or eggs, bread, with tea/coffee and fruits. Dinner is usually rice with Sri Lankan curries with rice or Sri Lankan bread. Project transport will be arranged by our local teams for you.
If you need accommodation upgrades such as private rooms or air conditioning we can provide this if you let us know in advance. There will be an extra charge for this.
Weekends are free for your to explore beautiful Sri Lanka. We normally have plans for Udawalawa wildlife safari, Sinharaja rain forest hiking, water rafting in Kithulgala, whale watching in Indian Ocean and country side bike rides. Our local team would be glad to help organise or give you advise on whats best.
Galle Villa Tour :
Below is a video of our Galle location volunteer house.
Why 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.’
‘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!!!’
‘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’
“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”
‘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’
‘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.’
‘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!’
‘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!’
“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.”
‘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’
‘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.’