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Nursing Internships in Sri Lanka - Kandy

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I had a life changing experience

I chose Work the World for my Nursing elective as they had a fantastic reputation and I was confident that they would co-ordinate my placement efficiently (I was right). As well as this, they advised and helped plan my flights, insurance and visas.

They provide a comprehensive service which caters to all needs and will tailor your placement so you can achieve any academic targets you may need to achieve. Throughout this whole process, I was given a lot of extremely useful information and felt supported at all times.

I decided to travel to Sri Lanka by myself as I wanted some life experience and to also practice nursing in a country which was diverse and exciting. I spent the first weekend in Colombo by myself before I met Work the World’s Assistant Program Manager (APM) at the train station. It was amazing. I spent most of my time trying new food, meeting the locals and relaxing by the beach. So, don’t be scared to try new things by yourself!

After meeting the APM at the station on Sunday, we took the train to Kandy. The APM informed me of my placement, the hospital and lots of fun activities that I could participate in which comforted me greatly. The train journey is about three hours in total, but with spectacular views of the countryside, villages and tea plantations, you’ll wish it could last longer. After arriving in Kandy, the APM took me to the Work the World house to meet my new friends. The house is incredibly beautiful, so you’re in for a real treat! The balcony in the house has the most outstanding view of Kandy, with sun sets that take your breath away. After meeting the staff and housemates we went for lunch. The APM then booked a Tuk Tuk so I could have a private tour of Kandy. All of this helped me feel part of the team and unwind.

On my first day of placement, the Program Manager picked me up at the house and drove me to the hospital. He took me on a tour and we visited all the children’s units that I would be working in. He also gave me lots of valuable information on the hospital, its policies and working hours, as well as encouraging me to keep an open mind. I spent 5 weeks in total working in the general hospital, and during this time I visited the Children’s Surgical Unit, Paediatric Intensive Care, Theatre, the Children’s Medical Unit, the Sick Baby Unit and the Lactation Management Centre. I had an extremely varied and diverse 5 weeks at the hospital. The hospital is incredibly busy, hot, and at times a little overwhelming. But the staff are fantastic and will help you along the way. My advice is that with every bad day, comes a really great one! No day is ever the same, but it is so worth it in the end.

When my fellow housemates and I had afternoons free, we explored Kandy. Kandy is a brilliant and vibrant city with lots of fun and exciting activities to do. This includes: exploring the markets and sari shops, visiting the Temple of the Tooth, lazing in the sun after a long walk to the Buddha on the hill, trying our hand at Kandy Dancing and eating lots of delicious food! Making the most of weekends and organizing trips around the country was another important element of my elective. I visited Trinco, Bentota, Ella, Dambulla, Polonnurra, Unwattuna & Colombo. So, book up and enjoy exploring! Sri Lanka is such an amazing, beautiful, exotic and outstanding country. There is so much to do so don’t miss out!

Overall, I had a life changing experience in Sri Lanka. I made some amazing new friends and learned a lot about the country’s developing healthcare system. It has changed me as a person and I can’t thank Work the World enough for giving me this unforgettable experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Thanks for the experience Work the World!

From the start of my nursing course at Bournemouth University, I knew that I wanted to spend my elective in a developing country. I knew it would be the perfect way for me to gain confidence in not only my practical skills but my communication skills too.
Going on my own was initially a daunting prospect but on arrival, the World the World Assistant Program Manager was there waiting at the airport. She gave me a big smile, a really warm welcome and I immediately felt safe. We spent the first night in Negombo and then the next morning got the train up to Kandy – an experience in itself. The dawn train ride took us up through the hills and tea plantations. It was Beautiful.
Travelling alone was a slightly daunting prospect but I was lucky to have the support from the Work the World staff who became like my adopted family. With the help of the staff, I learnt where to go shopping, what foods I liked best, how to get around the island and how to use local facilities to communicate with family and friends.
In the hospital I spent time in the Nephrology Department, the Medical Department and the Emergency and Casualty Departments. I was lucky enough to make good friends with some of my colleagues; one workmate took me to the Temple of Tooth which was an amazing place, a local wonder and well worth a visit. Being in Kandy for five weeks meant that some local people would recognize me. In Sri Lanka people seem to really enjoy talking to you; I guess they were just as curious about me as I was about them. A lot of people can speak English in the local community, especially Doctors. Sri Lankan medicine is taught in English and consultants must have two years’ experience of working in the UK, so all the doctors are fluent. Some nurses speak English too, but many patients can’t, so learning a little Singhalese (and Tamil) can help. The Work the World house offers language lessons in Sinhala, which can be tailored to your vocabulary needs so you can practice with the locals, this was great fun!
I noticed in the Medical Department that a lot of people were in there for simply having a high temperature. In the UK this alone is generally nursed at home unless there are other serious symptoms. I learnt that in this country, a high temperature can indicate a life threatening tropical disease!

My supervisor was an inspirational character who took good care of me as well as being responsible for a large part of the hospital. The secret to learning a lot over there seemed to be getting involved; be interested in what is happening and the staff will create opportunities for you to go to different departments and meet others. Some doctors were happy to teach aspects of their role to me, others gave a lot of information on healthcare issues in Sri Lanka and possible reasons for these. I left with a fascinating insight into public health issues, what health services are available, nursing education and cultural attitudes in Sri Lanka.

Thanks for the experience Work the World!