Medical Work Internship

Projects Abroad
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Coordinator | Bethany
Coordinator | Bethany
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Learn directly from doctors in busy hospitals. You can choose a specialty or rotate through different hospital departments
Work to raise awareness about important medical issues through educational workshops
We organise seminars where doctors teach you to diagnose, treat, or prevent different diseases
Explore Sri Lanka with its diverse landscapes, beaches and tropical jungles
Sri Lanka's national parks include safari parks where you can spot wildlife like leopards and elephants
Gain medical work experience learning directly from doctors in hospitals and doing health checks This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

With a range of observational and hands-on activities, this internship gives you a well-rounded medical experience abroad. You will be able to get involved in:

  • Observe local doctors and medical staff during their rounds
  • Participate in medical outreaches which serve disadvantaged communities
  • Learn about traditional Ayurvedic medicine practices
  • Raise awareness about important healthcare issues

Your work will focus on the following areas:

Observe local doctors and medical staff

Your main role on this internship will be to learn from doctors and other medical staff. You’ll have the chance to witness consultations and procedures, and ask questions about what you’ve seen. Wherever possible, doctors will take the time to explain what they are doing, and how they came to the diagnosis.

Participate in medical outreaches which serve rural communities

Get involved in practical work on our regular medical outreaches. These provide basic yet important medical care to members of disadvantaged communities, as well as free food and medication. They serve over 100 people at a time.

You’ll assist the doctors in checking vital signs such as blood pressure and sugar levels, and dispense medication under supervision.

Learn about traditional Ayurvedic medicine

We offer interns an exciting opportunity to learn more about traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Sri Lanka has special hospitals that are dedicated to this practice. Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world’s oldest medical traditions. You’ll get involved with preparing herbal medicine, caring for patients, working in the clinic, and much more.

Raise awareness about important healthcare issues

We also run educational outreaches and workshops in local schools and community centres. You’ll give presentations on specific healthcare issues, with the goal of raising awareness around prevention and treatment.

With several departments available, you can truly enhance your medical knowledge. Or pick an area in which to specialise:

  • General Medicine
  • Obstetrics
  • Gynaecology
  • Paediatrics
  • ENT
  • Emergency

If you’re interested in finding out more about traditional medicine, then you can also spend time in an Ayurvedic hospital. Let us know if you’re interested in this option when you apply.

Please note that you will only be able to spend time in one or two departments if you’re staying for two to three weeks. The longer you stay, the more departments you will be able to rotate through.

Typical day

After waking up in the morning and enjoying a delicious breakfast with your host family, you’ll travel to your placement by bus or rickshaw. In some cases, you’ll live close enough that you can walk to work. On your first day, our staff will accompany you to show you the way.

A typical day will run from Monday to Friday, from 8.30am - 12.30pm, and then from 2pm - 4pm. However, these hours may vary. The exact schedule will be discussed during your induction.

The specifics of your day will vary according to which placement you choose, and which department you’re in. In general, you’ll follow the doctors in the department as they complete their rounds, update charts, review case files, and assess patients for admission. There may also be the possibility to observe surgeries.

We run regular workshops for all our medical interns. Here you’ll have the chance to ask local doctors questions about procedures you’ve seen, or simply find out more about medical practice in Sri Lanka. They will also provide you with basic training.

Other days you may find yourself visiting a school or community to raise awareness about a particular health issue. This may involve giving presentations or organising activities, such as demonstrating how to correctly wash hands for improved hygiene.

On community outreach days, you’ll travel with other medical volunteers to a disadvantaged area. You’ll assist medical staff in setting up the outreach session, as well as checking vital signs, dispensing medication and generally lending a helping hand wherever needed.

At the end of your working day, it’s time to relax. Swap stories about your day over dinner with your host family, or fellow interns and other volunteers, or spend time getting to know them at one of our regular socials.

Free-time activities

Sri Lanka is well-known for its diverse landscapes. From beaches to tropical jungles, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant country.

The buzzing Pettah Market is a must-see. You can chat to friendly vendors, buy handmade products, and enjoy the electric atmosphere around you. For cultural enrichment, you can spend an afternoon in the National Museum of Colombo. The Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple is also a highlight, with its vast collection of artefacts.

The town of Galle is a sea port with a strong Dutch heritage and plenty of old colonial buildings to explore. You can also venture inland to hike in the hills, swim in the cool waterfalls, and visit traditional hill towns.

Sri Lanka's national parks include safari parks where you can spot wildlife like leopards and elephants. Or spend an early morning bird-watching in one of the wetland sanctuaries. There are also rainforest reserves crammed full of tropical biodiversity.

You’ll be sharing this unique experience with many other volunteers. This means you can travel solo or spend your free time with the friends you make during your trip. 



In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:30 - 16:00

What's Included

Services by Projects Abroad
  • Accommodation

  • Food (three meals a day)

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off

  • Full induction and orientation by an experienced staff member on arrival

  • Transport to and from your work placement

  • In-country support and 24-hour back-up from our team of full-time local staff

  • Emergency assistance from our international emergency response team

  • Project equipment and materials, including access to our database with thousands of resources

  • A supervisor/mentor at your work placement

  • Training and workshops from our experienced local staff

  • Regular social events and community activities with other volunteers and interns

  • Access to our local office with internet connection

  • Certification of project completion

  • A cultural awareness course

  • Membership to our volunteer social media groups, to share information and to get in touch

Airport Pickup at Bandaranaike International Airport

When you arrive at Colombo Airport (CMB), you will be met by a friendly Projects Abroad driver. They’ll be holding a Projects Abroad sign.

It takes about an hour to travel from the airport to the city, where our offices are based. Some of you will be based further away from Colombo, so the drive will be longer. Either way, you’ll be taken straight to your accommodation, where you can relax and settle in.

The costs for transport are included in your fee.


You'll stay with a host family in or around Colombo. They will welcome you into their home, eager to share their customs and have you teach them about your own culture. We believe that this is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture of Sri Lanka and have a truly unique experience.

We will always try to let you live alongside at least one other Projects Abroad volunteer or intern at the same host family. Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe.

Guest Family
Food & Beverages
Your programme fee includes three meals a day.
Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) in Colombo. We assist you to find cheap flights to Sri Lanka.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Sri Lanka provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Sri Lanka you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Sri Lanka.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

You can join this internship from one week onwards. It is available year-round, so you can choose a time that suits your schedule. Please note that you need to be 18 years old or older to join.

This program is paused due to COVID-19

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1 - 50 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
2 weeks
3 weeks
4 weeks
8 weeks
16 weeks
50 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$1,085 /week

The organization charges its fees in GBP. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. Projects Abroad will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Projects Abroad during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Projects Abroad cancels your trip
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We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Projects Abroad.

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Medical Work Internship

Gain medical work experience learning directly from doctors in hospitals and doing health checks


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