Medical Work Experience

Medical Work Experience in India

Quick Overview

Our medical program in India is suitable for students studying medicine or medical sciences and can provide you with invaluable global exposure to medicine. India is a good choice for medical electives as you will learn a lot because  treatment and diagnosis, patient illness and disease, and hospital and medical infrastructure is different to the West. Working with local doctors and Indian patients will give you an experience that will not only enhance your career by opening new opportunities but it will also expand your mind and broaden your horizons to medical problems in other parts of the world.

Our medical volunteer program will allow you to fully immerse yourself in a whole new culture whilst getting essential work experience to grow and develop within your field, no matter what you discipline is. Taking your medical elective abroad will give you the chance to work in a supervised environment whilst getting the opportunity to travel, sightsee and meet new people along the way.

Your placement will be in multi speciality private hospitals where language is not a barrier as English is spoken by most medical staff. In the private sector you will also get a safe working environment during your medical elective. Medical students are requested to come with an open mind and take every opportunity to learn. Flexibility is essential as you are in a developing country and things do change rapidly. This program will be particularly useful for those who want to gain a global perspective and learn about medicine in a practical setting.

What’s Involved

Your medical electives will give you the option of selecting Kerala (South India) or Kolkata (East India) . Your placement will be in well renowned private hospitals under the supervision of experienced medical professionals. Medical students can choose several clinical areas to join where you can interact with professionals.In the past we have had several electives students in medical field such as Nursing, Paediatrics, Gynecology, Accident & Emergency, Dentistry, General Surgery, Pharmacy, and others. Please note that you must give us atleast 3 clinical area of your choice and not expect to work like you may do in your home country. Placements are strictly observational.

Working hours at the placement vary from 3 to 5 hours and work schedules are defined by the hospital based on doctors availability. On your first day you will be completing formalities and getting a general orientation of the medical facilities and introductions to the teams.Volunteers should expect placements to be limited to observation based work as unless you are qualified in India you are legally not allowed to touch patients. Depending upon your display of knowledge and comfort level of patients you will be allowed to partake in non risky procedures.

Community health camps can be arranged upon request if you are in a group. Students are welcome to join any of our running community projects as well once a week. Many medical students have conducted first aid workshops and health awareness campaigns in schools and women’s groups which have been a real hit!

All The Details

Cochin, India

Kolkata, India

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All our rates are in USD$ per person

1 Week 2 Weeks 3 Weeks 4 Weeks 5 Weeks 6 Weeks 7 Weeks 8 Weeks 9 Weeks 10 Weeks 11 Weeks 12 Weeks
Kerala N/A $999 $1,159 $1,319 $1,479 $1,639 $1,799 $1,959 $2,119 $2,279 $2,439 $2,599
Kolkata N/A $949 $1,149 $1,349 $1,499 $1,649 $1,799 $1,949 $2,099 $2,249 $2,399 $2,549

What’s Included?

Program Fee Includes:

    1. Placement in hospital
    2. Shared Accommodation*
    3. Meals at home (breakfast, dinner)
    4. Public Transport to the projects only
    5. Recommendation or certificates of completion (upon request)

*We may keep you in alternative housing during busy months. If you wan ta private room there is an extra cost for this.

Whats not Included :

  1. Flights to the program destination
  2. Medical and travel insurance
  3. Visa costs
  4. Meals during project hours
  5. Vaccinations
  6. Personal shopping and gratuities
  7. Local excursions

Local Team

Geetha Raj: Kerala Program Manager

Volunteering Journeys Kerala Team Geetha

Geetha is the backbone of our programs in Kerala. Her friendliness, generosity and warmth towards every volunteer will leave you feeling extra special. Having worked as local journalist for almost 10 years, Geetha grew a passion for community development work is very forward thinking. She is instrumental in Program development and is a born leader, giving you the direction you will need to succeed as a volunteer. Her team will look after all your needs from the time you enter Kerala to the time you leave.

Shalini Deo: Kolkata Program Manager


Shalini has spent a decade as a corporate trainer for language and behavioural skills for IT, banking to hospitality sectors. She is founder of New Agragati, a self help group which empowers 140 women by skill training and employment. Her passion to contribute to society introduced Shalini to us. She conducts cultural orientation and immersion programs, language courses and helps volunteers adjust better in India and particularly Kolkata. Shalini is basically super awesome to have around.

Getting There

  1. For South India you need to arrive at Cochin International Airport (COK)
  2. For East India you need to arrive at Kolkata Airport (CCU)
  3. We recommend you apply for Tourist Visas before you arrive. India issues E-Visas for 4 Weeks only.
  4. Travel Insurance is compulsory on this program. You can get in touch with our team if you need travel insurance organised.
  5. We recommend you visit your local travel clinic to find out what vaccines you should take.

What Happens When I Arrive?

Kerala Volunteers Reading by the balcony area

Living Arrangements for Medical Volunteers:

Community living is at the heart of what we do so you will get to live in shared volunteer accommodation in Kerala or Kolkata. You will be placed close to local life so you can fully immerse yourself into a new culture and make new friends for life.

Each room will be shared with other volunteers on the program and every room will have fans and en-suite Western style bathrooms. If you would like a private room during the program, contact us in advance to upgrade.

All our volunteers get delicious home cooked local Indian meals (breakfast and dinner) prepared by our house chef. All meals are prepared fresh with available seasonal vegetables. Lunch is not included in your program fee and most of our medical volunteers usually have their lunch at the hospital canteen. Daily transport to your placement will be using public transport such as buses and auto rickshaws.  

Please note that during busy times we may provide you with alternate accommodation near the volunteer house. If you are coming in a group we will house you together.


Daily Transport :

For our medical volunteers we arrange transport in local buses or in tuktuks. Your program will be 40-50 mins (depending on traffic) from the volunteer house.


Your weekends are free for your leisure and you can explore the region you are in. In Kerala you can visit the lush tea plantations of Munnar or stay overnight on the famous backwaters of Alleppey. In Kolkata you can visit the Sundarban Jungles and if you are lucky get to see the Bengal Tiger!

Taking Tuktuks in India


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
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  • ‘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
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  • ‘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
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  • ‘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 abroad; get invaluable hands on training and experience life in a different culture whilst learning new skills along the way.

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