Physiotherapy Work Experience
Our physiotherapy placement in India is designed to give you hands-on experience in your specialist field whilst giving you the unique opportunity to travel and meet some amazing people along the way. Physiotherapy is an essential cog in the healthcare wheel and it is necessary for helping to restore movement and function for those recovering from injury or illness or dealing with a disability; it’s essential in helping patients regain their independence as much as possible and can also help to reduce the risk of further illness or injury in the future. So not only will the work you will be doing help to add an edge to your CV and give you more exposure in the industry, but you will be changing the lives of those who live in the poor, disadvantaged communities of a developing country like India.
Taking your medical placement abroad will give you hands-on training in a completely different setting. But most importantly of all, you will learn about the world of healthcare and medicine in a place where resources are limited and not everyone has access to the care that they need. Many of our placement volunteers come with an open mind and open heart, and they come back with new found sense of compassion and understanding for those who are not as lucky as we. Not only will this volunteer experience change the way you think, but it will impact your life for the better and give your travel a much deeper meaning.
During your placement in the tropical paradise of Kerala, you will be living in Fort Kochi, you will get a chance to work in a local physiotherapy department of a local hospital or with a special needs centre helping physiotherapy for disabled children. At all times you will be working alongside local physiotherapists. Our team will also be at hand to support you, providing 24/7 support to anyone who need it.
You can also take part in important outreach work, helping individuals or families who do not have access to the physiotherapy and care that they need, and you will have the chance to learn about many other alternative or holistic therapies throughout the project. This program is truly unique and we work closely with you to ensure that your physiotherapy elective gives you the exposure that you need.
Living and working in Fort Kochi is quite a unique experience as this region of India has is a great stepping stone into India, being not only beautiful and tropical but being rich in culture. On the weekends you can visit the famous backwaters, serene tea plantations or relax on the gorgeous beaches such a Marari or Cherai that are an hours drive away.
All The Details
Kerala, South India
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- Pre-departure guide – to prepare you for your trip
- Pick-up and drop from the nearest airport or bus stop
- Accommodation in our volunteer house
- Experienced bilingual local staff team
- Breakfast and Lunch- home cooked Indian food
- Location orientation
- Project support from local project staff and specialist teachers
- 24 hour support in your location for emergencies
- An opportunity to gain skills working with top physiotherapists
- Outreach program in the local community
Whats Not Included in your program fee :
- Flights to the program destination
- Medical and travel insurance
- Visa costs
- Personal shopping and gratuities
- Local excursions
Geetha,Kerala Program Manager
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.
- The nearest airport for this program is Kochi International Airport COK
- We recommend you apply for Visas before you arrive. For less than 4 Weeks you can apply for e-Tourist Visas.
- Travel Insurance is compulsory on this program. You can get in touch with our team if you need travel insurance organised.
- To get help with flight bookings fill this form.
- Vaccinations are important. We recommend you visit your local travel clinic to find out what vaccines you should take.
- We work with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for travel to India. Goto www.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo 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.
- For support on any of the above email us firstname.lastname@example.org
Typical Arrival Week
Arrival Day Sunday: Once you get picked up from the airport you will be taken to your volunteer house where you will meet the program manager. Our volunteer coordinator will give you an area orientation and time to settle in. Before the days end you will also get an introduction to the projects and culture of India.
Monday- Friday: After a healthy breakfast, you will be taken to the project sites to start work at your placement. On your first day our team will take you to the projects. You will return home for lunch with the rest of the volunteers. A hearty home cooked Keralan Lunch After lunch you will sit with the local doctor and go over your placement work plans for the coming week. Evenings can be used for planning your placement activities or for local excursions. We can also arrange visits to local community centres or local schools for outreach work.
Your weekends are free for your leisure. You can stay and relax in Fort Kochi and indulge in yoga or ayurveda or travel around Kerala to take up top up your tan in Varkala beach, visiting the stunning Munnar Tea Plantations or the breathtaking backwaters.
What Happens When I Arrive?
Physiotherapy volunteers and placement students will be housed in shared accommodation either within the hospital grounds or in the guest house. Rooms will be shared with another volunteer and will also include a fan and an en-suite bathroom. Upgrades are available so if you would prefer a private room or a room with air conditioning, please contact our team in advance and we will arrange this for you. We do our best to provide WiFi wherever possible and all bathroom facilities are modern western style bathrooms.
Meals are included in the program package and will be local Indian or Tibetan food from the area. If you would prefer a western menu, there are many local restaurants and cafes around which you should feel free to explore at your own cost. Transfers and all project travel will be pre-arranged for your convenience.
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 and on arrival. 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 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 Programs.
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.’