Location: Kandy, Sri Lanka
Duration: Minimum 2 weeks
Start Dates: Project is on-going, and you can join at any time, depending upon availability. Placements start each Monday
Cost: from €550 Euros per week – see Costs section for more details
Includes: all food, accommodation, airport pickup, orientation and all project related activities
Does not Include: flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations
- Get to know the amazing island of Sri Lanka, its people, culture, food and environment
- Flexible placement, tailored according to your interests and abilities.
- Work in a local hospital alongside doctors and nurses, on their daily rounds
Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is a beautiful island nation in the Indian Ocean which boasts 3,000 years of documented history and traces of human settlements dating 125,000 years. Sri Lanka is a worthwhile destination to explore with its rich history and culture and eight UNESCO World Heritage sites. Many religions, ethnic groups and languages interweave to make it a diverse and multicultural country. Buddhism and the British, Dutch and Portuguese colonial periods have influenced greatly the local culture and traditions including the music, dance and visual arts. Sri Lanka is famous for its culture but also for its cuisine and traditional medicine, the delightful black tea, gemstones and cricket. A breathtaking country with gorgeous beaches and clear-water seas, luscious mountains and thousand years old temples, Sri Lanka is called the “nation of smiling people”.
Kandy, the last royal capital of Sri Lanka, is located 115 km away from Colombo and is a major tourist destination. The city was a stronghold of the Kandyan kings against foreign power and during colonial times it formed the last centre of independent Buddhist thought. Its many temples, including the famous Temple of the Tooth, earn it the title cultural capital of the island and its rich cultural diversity attracts many tourists. In addition to its ancient temples, this bustling market town offers adventurous activities as well as many opportunities to experience the local music and dance or handicrafts.
This project, located at one of the largest and oldest hospitals in Kandy, will introduce you to the medical system, techniques and procedures and will provide you with an opportunity to gain hands-on experience while working together with experienced hospital staff.
Your placement can start with an optional introductory week before you start your placement, to prepare you for your adventure!
On the Monday, you will attend a language lesson followed by lunch. In the afternoon, you will have a cultural lesson and embark on a tour of the city. The evening will offer a cultural show.
On Tuesday you will visit a spice and ayurvedic garden and a tea factory as well as a gem museum. The Kandy Lake will await you for a boat ride.
Wednesday will be dedicated to a Sri Lankan cooking lesson, a self-defense lesson and a Buddhism lesson.
Watching the sunrise on an early morning visit to the Temple of the Tooth will enchant you on Thursday. Later in the day, you will visit the British cemetery and the Batik factory as well as a wood factory.
Friday is dedicated to a visit to the White Buddha statue and Hindu Temple in the morning and an Ayurvedic massage in the afternoon with an Indian lunch in the city in between.
Prepare for a meaningful start to your volunteer project on the beautiful island nestled in the Indian Ocean, where pristine beaches and ancient Buddhist temples await your exploration.
Please note that this week is an optional add-on to your Volunteer trip, typically scheduled at the beginning of your journey.
During this introductory week, we’ll provide you with valuable insights and guidance to make your transition into this unique journey smoother. You’ll gain essential knowledge about safety, local transportation, and travel tips, particularly beneficial for solo female travelers.
We’ll begin by immersing you in the heart of Sri Lanka’s culture and traditions. You’ll explore the profound teachings of Buddhism, uncover the rich cultural heritage, and visit sacred temples, including the revered ‘Temple of the Tooth.’ We’ll also take you to a peaceful forest sanctuary and introduce you to the serenity of a sacred Hindu temple.
Language sessions will empower you to engage with the warm-hearted locals more effectively. You’ll experience the relaxation of a traditional Ayurvedic massage, witness the beauty of ancient Kandyan dance performances, and indulge in the flavors of Sri Lankan cuisine during hands-on cooking sessions.
To spark your creativity, you’ll have the opportunity to craft your own Batik design or appreciate the intricate details of a traditional one, allowing you to make a personal connection with the culture as you transition into your volunteer project.
We start off the day with a welcome and introduction program and the collection of the necessary documents. A basic Language Lesson will be held thereafter. After lunch, we shall attend a cultural lesson and head out on the Kandy City tour followed by a cultural show and dinner thereafter.
After a good Sri Lankan breakfast, learn about the famous Sri Lankan Spices and Ayurvedic herbs in a herbal garden. Do you know what the acronym TEA stands for? And what is the national gemstone in Sri Lanka? Let’s find out when we visit a tea factory and the Gem Museum in Kandy. A soothing boat ride awaits at the beautiful Kandy lake later on.
A traditional Sri Lankan cooking experience awaits followed by a visit to a temple and learn a few of the Buddhist religious rituals practised by Sri Lankans and to practice meditation to soothe and calm your spirit and soul.
We start off early today with an early morning visit to a family practising traditional Batik painting. Have a fun-filled, creative workshop/lesson, challenge your creative side into producing an original Batik design of your own, or to try to master the detail of a traditional one. Work with vibrant colours, techniques, tools and dyes. Followed by lunch with the family, thereafter we will visit the sacred ‘Temple of the tooth’.
Today we will visit a sacred temple in a small forest and a holy Hindu temple thereafter. An Indian lunch awaits you in the city followed by a relaxing Ayurvedic massage later on.
***This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.***
After you are finished with your introduction week, you will start working as an assistant to a doctor or a nurse at the hospital. Normal working hours are Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 1:30 pm. Depending on the needs and requirements of the medical department the working hours can be changed. Your main tasks will be to observe and monitor patients, treatments and techniques as performed by the local staff.
The hospital has strong links to the University of Peradeniya, and functions as a training hospital for undergraduates students of medicine at the University of Colombo. The university regularly appoints post-graduate trainees, registrars and senior registrars . The hospital provides for the entire range of medical and surgical specialities and is also a training centre for nursing students. It also provides teaching facilities for foreign students seeking to learn more about Tropical Diseases. This hospital has over 2200 beds so you will be kept busy!
Travel and Accommodation
Accommodation is provided at the volunteer centre located 2 km from the centre of Kandy town. Here you will share rooms with 4 to 5 other people on a single-gender basis. All rooms are equipped with a private toilet.
There are hot showers and shared bathrooms. Linens are provided; however, you need to bring your own towels. Safety lockers are at your disposal to store your belongings and there is a fridge if you would like to keep food and beverages. The dining and lounge areas await you to hang out with the other participants or you can head to the beautiful garden by the river to relax. If you need an ATM or something from the supermarket, you can reach them within a 15 minute walk. Please note the centre does not have WiFi.
You will be provided with three meals per day on weekdays and two at the weekend. The cuisine is a mix of Western and Sri Lankan dishes including lots of rice and vegetables. The local restaurants are also a convenient option for eating out.
Upon arrival at Bandaranayake International Airport in Colombo you will be met by a project representative and transferred to the volunteer centre in Kandy. The journey to the centre takes approximately three hours. Please note you will need to arrive on the weekend before the start of your program.
- Minimum age 20.
- All participants must be medical students and provide a letter from your university stating you are enrolled in a Medical Degree program. Unfortunately, nursing students or qualified Medical professionals can not take part in this program.
- A complete uniform set and a stethoscope should be brought with you.
- Passion and enthusiasm to get to know Sri Lanka, lots of energy and creativity!
- CRB Police check (or equivalent) showing that you have no previous criminal convictions.
- Minimum 2 weeks commitment
- Necessary vaccinations.
- Necessary flight & visas.
- Full travel & medical insurance. Full assistance will be provided in getting everything you will need ready if you choose our Premium Support.
€550 Euros per week
* Check the latest currency conversions with xe.com
** All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee
*** Placements are confirmed with a 1 week deposit, minimum 2 weeks booking
Project Fee includes food, accommodation, airport pickup, orientation, in-country support and project activities.
Private rooms are available for an additional €100 per week.
What’s not included:
Flights, insurance, visas (if applicable) and vaccinations. Full assistance will be provided in getting all these arranged if you choose our Premium Support.
Premium Support Upgrade
We understand there’s a great deal to plan and organise for your trip. When booking a Placement, many of our participants choose to purchase our Premium Support Upgrade to benefit from the expertise, knowledge and experience of our Project Coordinators.
We can provide the personal advice you need to ensure your trip is organised with excellence and planned with efficiency; ensuring the very best experience possible. Read more about how we can help you.
Note: Map coordinates are approximate