Medical Volunteer in Sri Lanka

Medical Volunteer in Sri Lanka

Quick Overview

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 work experience, where you can get invaluable hands on 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 public health care system in South Asia. A model for developing countries you will learn a lot from the dedicated doctors in Sri Lanka about medical and healthcare in developing countries. Thrown into a completely different setting, this unique experience will open your eyes to the world of medicine in a developing country, a place where resources are not readily available to everyone and a place where the poorest communities are unable to access appropriate healthcare.

Working and travelling at the same time, your medical volunteer placement will allow you to get the experience you need to give your CV an edge to help advance your career and you will also benefit from a fully immersive cultural experience; this is real travel that really matters and you will touch lives along the way. This medical volunteering is suitable for pre-med and medical students and is suitable for doctors, nurses, paediatricians, dentists, midwives, medical researchers, pharmacists and more.

What’s Involved

During your medical volunteer program, you will be working and living in Southern Sri Lanka. Our medical placements are at at few selected government hospitals in Wadduwa. We have organised permission from the Health Ministry for you to work in hospitals. At the local hospital you can be assured of support from the hospital authority and medical specialists in relevant wards that you choose to be in.

You can also opt to work in a medical centre in an area affected by the Tsunami in Hikkaduwa. This is a one of a kind project where you will train alongside a team of medical specialists and you will spend your time in a local medical centre in Seenigama which sees an average over 15,000 patients from over 30 villages every single year. This centre has become one of the most comprehensive medical facilities in rural Sri Lanka and it provides necessary healthcare to poor, disadvantaged communities who don’t have access to hospitals and clinics otherwise.

During evenings and weekends, you will have the opportunity to explore the local area, take part in cultural activities and travel around to nearby destinations such as Colombo, Galle or Kandy.

Please note that your placement location is dependant on what medical area you want to work in. You will be informed about your placement hospital on arrival by our local team in Sri Lanka.

All The Details

Wattala, Sri Lanka

Galle, Sri Lanka

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All our rates are in GBP £. You can convert to USD $ or any other currency using the current exchange rates when you make payments.

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Price Includes

  1. Pre-departure guide  – to prepare you for your trip
  2. Pick-up from Colombo Airport
  3. Accommodation in a guest house homestay (Twin Room)
  4. Experienced bilingual local staff team
  5. All Meals – traditional Sri Lankan Cuisine
  6. Location orientation – showing you the ATMs and amenities
  7. Project training with the local Program Manager
  8. 24 hour support in your location for emergencies
  9. Working and living like a true local in SriLanka and get real medical experience in a developing country
  10. Donation to medical centres or hospitals

Whats Not Included in your program fee :

  1. Airport drop
  2. Flights to the program destination
  3. Medical and travel insurance
  4. Visa costs
  5. Vaccinations
  6. Personal shopping and gratuities
  7. Local excursions
  8. Project Travel Cost (budget £1 a day for this)

Local Team On Ground

Charley Perera: Sri Lanka Medical Programs

If you are placed in any hospitals in Sri Lanka you are sure to meet Charley. With over 20 years’ combined experience of running volunteer placements across Sri Lanka, Charley and his team are natives of SriLanka and expertly placed to co-ordinate every aspect of your visit. Over many years they have built up first-class relationships with our community partners and are able to offer an impressive range of placements in unique locations, ensuring our international volunteers’ needs and talents are carefully matched.

Harsha Buddhadasa: Sri Lanka Program Manager

Harsha actively participates in social work and his desire to help communities guided him to establish volunteer projects for needy people in his lovely country.He has successfully coordinated more than 1500 international volunteer placements for social good and site seeing in Sri Lanka in the last couple of years.With Harsha’s in-depth knowledge about local issues in Sri Lanka and his love for meeting people, he is always more than happy to make you feel at home while making a difference and experiencing Sri Lanka as a whole.

  1. The nearest airport for this program is Colombo Airport ( CMB )
  2. If you wish to book flights to this destination you can contact our dedicated account manager at Flight Center UK by clicking here or call +44 0808 260 9972
  3. We recommend you apply for Visas before you arrive. Our Kerala Volunteer Guide will give you guidance on how to get your visas.
  4. Travel Insurance is compulsory on this program. You can get in touch with our team if you need travel insurance organised.
  5. Vaccinations are important. We recommend you visit your local travel clinic to find out what vaccines you should take.
  6. We work with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for travel to India. 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. We understand it can be difficult to pay for your flights, program fees and other travel costs. Many fundraise for their journey. If you need ideas and a platform for fundraising ideas Click Here
  8. For support on any of the above email us

What your First Week looks like:

Your medical placement will be from Monday to Friday. You will typically work a total of 20-25 hours per week. A  working day will generally last between 4 and 6 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:

7.00am Rise and have breakfast which will be provided at the volunteer centre, or with your host family.

8.00am Prepare to start at your placement. One of our local team members will be taking you to the project on the first day until you get settled in.

A tea break and lunch break will be fitted in during the day, but often the timing of breaks will change based on the needs of the local staff and number of volunteers on hand.

3.00pm A volunteers day will often finish around this time, but flexibility is required. There are cases where you might finish a couple of hours earlier, and likewise a couple of hours later. It is important to fit in with the needs of your project and as with many things in developing countries you should be prepared for changes.

Weekends :

Located along the Southern coastline of Sri Lanka, you will have access to nearby beaches and you can take part in the local activities such as diving or surfing. Just a few hours away are major cities and tourist destinations such as the capital of Colombo or the major city of Galle.

What Happens When I Arrive?

Sri Lanka Accommodation

Living Arrangements for Medical Volunteers:

Here at Volunteering Journeys, we encourage community living so we arrange safe and comfortable accommodation with shared rooms. Accommodation is provided in either home stays or a volunteer centre at each of the project locations. While home stays may be basic, and often don’t have internet connections each of the volunteer centres has the following amenities: Internet/wifi, mobile phone signal, hot water, rooms with fans (air conditioning may be available on request).

Meals are also provided and will be local Sri Lankan cuisine.A typical days meals could include: Breakfast, milk rice with sambol, rice and curry, bread, fruits, milk tea, fruit juice etc; Lunch is usually rice with three curries to choose from; and dinner is rice with curries, as well as rotis and hoppers (a kind of pancake made from fermented rice flour). Project transport will be arranged by our local teams for you.

If you need accommodation upgrades such as private rooms we can provide this if you let us know in advance. There may be an extra charge for this.

Sri Lanka -Travel

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 share this information with you in our pre departure documents. Our local staff are well trained and we provide 24/7 emergency numbers to all participants.

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 around the world through supporting local charities, local organisations and community projects in the places that we work in. 100% of each donation goes directly to support our projects. Go to our Donation page if you want to support or fundraise for our Sri Lanka Program.


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.’

    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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Take your medical elective in Sri Lanka and help to provide essential healthcare to poor rural communities whilst travelling and training at the same time.

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