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Sri Lanka Pre-Medical Internship

Hospital & clinic experience in beautiful Sri Lanka

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Group Size: Max 15

Trip code: AAMED

Duration: 2-12 weeks

Open to those without current medical experience
Volunteer in a range of medical settings
Accommodation & meals included

Don’t have any formal medical training, but want to experience the world of medicine first-hand, to see whether you’d like to pursue a career in it? Then this is the trip for you! Spend between 1 and 12 weeks (you decide) gaining invaluable experience in local medical institutions and staying in our awesome volunteer house in Southern Sri Lanka. You’ll get a really broad understanding of the sector through a range of observation-based learning experiences across various units, and community-based projects. Throughout your stay, you’ll be working closely with an experienced medical project coordinator, as well as doctors and nurses on the ground. It’s a fantastic insight into how the medical system works in a developing country. 

Trip Highlights

  • Stay in our gorgeous volunteer house, near the golden sands of Unawatuna Beach
  • Gain real insight into a career in the medical profession
  • Build your CV with experience in a range of medical settings / departments
  • Explore the beaches and historic towns of the Galle region in your spare time
  • Meet other like-minded people in the volunteer house
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What's included
  • Accommodation in our volunteer house
  • 3 freshly cooked meals a day
  • Airport transfer on arrival
  • Medical project coordinator
  • Experienced local team
  • Detailed orientation and training programme
  • Health and safety training
  • Culture training
  • Project specific training
  • Orientation tour around Galle
  • Local transportation to and from the project
  • Experience working in various wards and units in a hospital / clinic setting
  • 24 hour emergency support
What's not included
  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Transport to units when participants have chosen to undertake additional volunteering
  • Optional activities
  • Extra snacks and drinks
  • Flights
  • Return airport transfer
Further trip information

Spend between 2 and 12 weeks volunteering in a range of medical settings. Gain invaluable work experience in a variety of wards / units, make a real difference to local communities and explore your stunning local area in your free time.

What kind of work will I get involved with on the project?

Your work in the hospital will be mostly observation based as you don’t have any formal medical experience (although certain units allow for more hands-on work) and you’ll have daily contact with doctors and nurses.

You’ll have the opportunity to work in a range of settings including Teaching Hospital Karapitiya (the 3rd largest in Sri Lanka), the Government Ayurveda Institute and various community projects including local schools and community organisations.

You’ll have access to a broad range of wards, units and institutions (availability and length of stay dependent), including:

1. Emergency Treatment Centre (ETC) – bedside teaching, patient management, ward class with ward rounds, checking vital signs of patients (if staff permit), observing live surgeries in casualty operation theatre and post casualty theatre under the direct guidance of the surgeon.

2. General Surgical Units – joining the ward rounds with the consultant and medical staff, assisting medical staff with wound dressing, checking vital signs of patients, observing live surgeries (e.g. cholecystectomy, appendectomy, hernia repair, thyroidectomy)

3. Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Unit – working closely with a physiotherapist and occupational therapist to support patients with daily physiotherapy and occupational therapy exercises, carrying out group activities to support the patient's mental well-being

4. General Paediatric Wards – studying the history of the patients with the support of medical/nursing staff, joining the ward rounds, helping mothers feed their children, performing activities to socialise with children (with parental consent)

5. Paediatric Cardiology Unit – attending paediatric cardiac catheter lab, observing live paediatric cardiac surgeries, attending clinical sessions with the consultants.

6. Observation of special surgeries – observing surgeries on a rotational basis including vascular surgeries, plastic surgeries, urology-related surgeries, neuro surgeries, casualty, oncology surgeries (availability dependant)

7. Community Projects – working with local schools, villages, and community groups to create awareness around first aid and basic hygiene practices, attending medical campaigns, attending active teaching sessions with special needs/differently abled children and socialising with senior citizens in elderly care centres.

8. Ayurvedic Medicine – learning about the traditional eastern practice of Ayurveda.

The average week on the project

The project runs all year round from Saturday to Saturday. Volunteer work is from Monday to Friday (4 – 5 hours a day). The weekends are yours to explore the local area.

Training and monitoring

When you arrive, you’ll take part in a detailed training and orientation programme including health and safety, culture training, an area orientation tour, and an overview of the Sri Lankan medical industry. You’ll be given ongoing guidance and support by our experienced medical project coordinator and the wider team.

Where you’ll stay

You’ll stay in our awesome volunteer house in the Galle area of southern Sri Lanka, just 100m from the golden sands of Unawatuna Beach and a short drive from the historic city of Galle. The house has a private garden, swimming pool and tons of communal space.

Real customer reviews
Sri Lanka Facebook Group Discussion

Hey, I just booked the Sri Lanka Intro starting on the 15th of October . Was wondering if anyone else is going to be on this trip and wanted to join the group chat thats been made? x

Hey all 🙂 I'm heading to Sri Lanka in June for the turtle conservation project for 3 weeks, any one else in here going around that time? 🐢

Hey!! Is anyone going on the Sri Lanka adventure starting 22nd of July? 🐢😁

Booking options

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Longer durations available. Please contact a travel advisor for prices. Please note that there are various religious and public holidays during the year and on these days no volunteering takes place (in particular April and December). Please contact us for further information.

Online booking is unavailable for this trip

Online booking isn't currently available but if you'd like to enquire please use the form below. Alternatively if you'd like to discuss alternate trips or if you have any other questions please don't hesitate to contact us.
Call us on: 01892 527392
Email us at: [email protected]
Flights from £374

Cheapest flights between London and Colombo for the next 6 months.

*Prices updated every 72 hours

Cheapest: £374 August, 2024
Most expensive: £777 July, 2024
Arrival information

Arrive at Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport on day 1 of your stay. 

There will be 2 shared airport transfers every Saturday (one in the morning plus one in the afternoon/evening) as follows:

A morning transfer will cover flights arriving between 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM. Our driver will arrive at the airport by 6:00am and will meet all participants who arrive between 6-10am and then collectively take the group to the volunteer house in Galle after the last person has arrived within this range. Those arriving earlier than 6am will have to wait in the arrivals area of the airport where they can sit in the air-conditioned lounge, get a local SIM card organized and even have some refreshments at the onsite food court/bakery if they choose. Our driver will also provide every participant with a complimentary bottle of drinking water.

Afternoon/Evening Transfer will cover flights arriving between 2:30 PM to 6:30 PM. The same conditions will apply as the morning transfer described above, except for the change of time.

If your flight arrives after 6:30pm or on any other day which is not a Saturday, a private transfer can be arranged for USD 100 or you can make your own arrangements.

Departure transfers are not included, but can be arranged as above for additional cost if required. Alternatively, you can book this locally once in country.

Accommodation & meals

Accommodation at one of three shared volunteer houses is included for the duration of your stay. All accommodations are within 100m of each other in the Unawatuna district of Galle in Southern Sri Lanka. The volunteer houses are all within 5 minute walk of Unawatuna beach and turquoise waters of the Indian The historic city of Galle is just a 15 minute drive.

There is maximum of 6 per room, although most rooms are are only 4. Rooms are single sex, but private room upgrades are available at extra cost. The main house is split over 4 floors and has 3 kitchens, 3 common areas, a dining area, private outdoor garden and swimming pool, which are available to all guests regardless of volunteer house. The accommodations are located in a safe and quiet residential neighbourhood. The houses have hot water and wifi included. 

While you’re staying on the project, you’ll be provided with 3 freshly cooked meals every day. Hospital hours may sometimes coincide with mealtimes (usually with lunch) and on those occasions, you’ll have to purchase your own meals at the hospital cafeteria. However, food here is very affordable. Typical dishes include:

- Red rice and sambol
- Bread and fruits
- Rice and curry
- Rotis
- Pasta
- Fresh salads
- Wraps
- Soups

Please let a travel advisor know if you have any dietary requirements, as most can be easily catered for with local ingredients.

Minimum age & eligibility

You’ll need to be a minimum of 18 years old to join this trip.

You don’t have to have any formal medical training to join this programme, but you’ll need to explain your motivation for participation, have an open-minded, flexible approach, and be keen to learn.

You’ll need to supply the following documents when you apply:

  • Your CV
  • A letter explaining your motivation to join the project
  • A copy of your passport
  • A police background check.

You can get and pay for a Sri Lanka e-visa online. Tourist visas are valid for 30 days or more. To enter Sri Lanka, your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 6 months after the day you arrive. 

Please note, enhanced DBS (criminal record) checks can take 6-8 weeks to come back, so please ensure your start date allows enough time for your DBS check to be completed.

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