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Medicine in Sri Lanka with Projects Abroad

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Medicine in Sri Lanka

As a rising high school senior in America, I was surrounded by college: college applications, college meetings, college visits. The want to separate myself from all other applicants led me to seek out Projects Abroad, which allowed me to pursue a medical internship in Sri Lanka. This was definitely some thing so drastically different and I was extremely excited to experience it. Diving headfirst into a new culture is always intimidating at first, but thankfully everyone from the staff to the host family to the other volunteers made the whole situation wonderful. From the first day I signed up for Projects Abroad, I was constantly in easy contact with someone. My advisor granted me access to a webpage filled with every nitty gritty detail that assuaged my parents' worries and pointed me towards what I needed to know. Safety and security was something heavily emphasized and this remained true as I was always with someone when I needed to go out into the streets or into the hospitals. However, Projects Abroad also stressed the idea of proactivity, as I was pushed out of my comfort zone to constantly converse with the doctors and try to get the most out of my experience. There was definitely a good blend of experience and enjoyment as well, for as a group we went on a cultural excursion to a popular tourist place in Kandy, but also took part in orphanage outreaches and medical camps. The host family was absolutely sweet and fantastic, providing enriching meals and tastes of Sri Lanka. Overall, the experience was something so marvellously unique that it was perfect for college and perfect for inspiring me on my journey to success!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Volunteering abroad in Sri Lanka

When I started my sophomore year of college, I decided I wanted to do something over the winter break that would be a step out of my comfort zone. I decided to volunteer abroad for two weeks in Sri Lanka through Projects Abroad’s medicine program. I had a wonderful experience and learned so much about healthcare and Sri Lankan culture. The Projects Abroad staff, my host family, and the doctors at the hospital were all extremely kind and welcoming. I lived with eight other volunteers my age, and we would travel to our medicine placements at the hospital together everyday. It was nice to have another volunteer with me when shadowing doctors. I got to try a lot of new and delicious foods, and learn about a completely new culture.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was helping at the health clinic in a suburb of Panadura. We were able to offer free blood pressure testing, blood sugar testing, consultations with a physician, and medications. I learned how to test blood pressure and blood sugar a few days earlier, and I was able to use my skills to help those in need. Although I was very nervous to poke someone’s finger in order to test their blood sugar, I knew I was offering a service that these people may not have access to very often. I would highly recommend this trip, and I would love to volunteer with Projects Abroad in the future.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

High School Medical special in Sri Lanka

I just completed the 4-week high school medicine special in Panadura, Sri Lanka. I got the chance to work at three different hospitals, attend multiple medical seminars, and get immersed in Sri Lankan culture. It was an amazing adventure that I would love to share about.
Before I left, the support that I got from Projects Abroad was very impressive. My parents and I had countless questions and they were always answered very quickly and very thoroughly. Part of my story volunteering with Projects Abroad was that I was actually supposed to go to Nepal until the 2015 earthquake happened there. The support I recieved in trying to make a decision between staying in Nepal or switching to Sri Lanka was very helpful and allowed me and my parents to make the decision to switch projects.
I went to my host family right after arriving in Colombo. My host family provided three meals a day, and were accomodating to whatever times we had to wake up or when we had to be out late for something. The language barrier was sometimes challenging but one of our supervisors was an amazing translation help! They were extremely generous and gave me a very good glimpse into what Sri Lankan life truly is.
Working at the three different hospitals allowed me to see a very wide range of the Sri Lankan medical scenario and allowed me to compare/contrast it to my own country. It made me even more interested in medicine than I already was. I also loved being able to work with people from all around the world and get to learn about their cultures. We became lifelong friends and we got a very deep experience together.
I would very highly recommend any project with Projects Abroad. My parents were very interested in how high school students would be handled in a foreign country, and I can honestly say that I felt safe at all times. We were supervised at all times when we weren't at home, and we were never allowed to go anywhere by ourselves. I was nervous to be so far away from home for so long, but the support that I received from the Projects Abroad staff was so helpful that it made it very easy for me to get used to life there and thrive throughout the project. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything!!

Institution Affiliates:

The International Volunteer Programs Association