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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!! Just looking for anyone that’s doing the Sri Lanka Intro July 6th 2023? 🗺 ✈️ Counting down the days already!!

Hey all 🙂 I'm heading to Sri Lanka in August for the turtle conservation project for 3 weeks, any one else in here going around that time? Give me a shout if so!

Is there anyone here travelling by themselves ? X

Booking options

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Call us on: 01892 527392
Email us at: [email protected]
Return Flights from £761

Cheapest flights between London and Colombo for the next 6 months

Cheapest: £761 June, 2023
Most expensive: £1,525 April, 2023
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 is in a shared volunteer house for the duration of the programme, The house is in southern Sri Lanka in the Galle area. You’ll be just 100m from Unawatuna Beach, looking out over the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, with historic Galle just 15 minutes down the road.

There are 11 en-suite bedrooms, each of which sleeps a maximum of 6 people (but most rooms only accommodate 4) and are single sex. If you’d like a private room however, upgrades may be available at an extra cost. Speak to your travel adviser for more information.

The house is split across 4 floors and is airy and spacious. It features 3 kitchens, 3 common areas and a dining area. Outside there’s a leafy private garden and swimming pool. Hot water and Wi-Fi are included but there’s an additional fee for air conditioning and laundry facilities. You’re based in a safe, residential area but the house also has CCTV and a night security guard for extra peace of mind.

Please note that during busy seasons you may be housed in a secondary volunteer house located a 10 minute tuk tuk drive from the main house. The house holds up to 14 people and free transport to and from both houses is provided for volunteers. All volunteers will be able to use facilities at both houses. 


While you’re staying on the project you’ll be provided with 3 freshly cooked meals every day. Food is a mix of Sri Lankan and Western. Typical dishes include red rice and sambol, bread and fruits, rice and curry, rotis, pasta, fresh salads, wraps and soups.

Let us know in advance if you have any dietary requirements and we will be happy to adapt your meals to suit. 

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.

All visitors who are permitted to travel to Sri Lanka will need to apply online for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) to enter the country.  Visas are available on arrival but applying for an ETA before travel is advised for ease of travel and to prevent delays. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from your date of entry to Sri Lanka. All visa rules are subject to change. You must check the most up to date requirements with the embassy before travel.

Covid safety

This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:

Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.

Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.

Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.

Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.

Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.

Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.

Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.

24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.

It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.