At a glance
- Work at local hospitals, where you’ll shadow physiotherapists and learn how they asses and treat their patients.
- Depending on your experience, you may also have the chance to help with the treatment of special-needs children.
- There is also the option to learn about traditional Ayurveda medicine, one of the world’s oldest healing systems.
Completely flexible datesSee Dates
Anyone aged 16 or over can join
What will I do at my Physiotherapy placement in Sri Lanka?
Depending on your experience and training, there are a number of different activities you can get involved in. At your physiotherapy placement in Sri Lanka, you can:
- Observe trained physiotherapists at work in hospitals
- Work with special-needs children to support their rehabilitation
- Train local staff to modernise and improve their techniques
- Learn about traditional Ayurveda medicine practices
Your work will focus on the following areas:
Observe trained physiotherapists at work in hospitals
You’ll encounter a wide range of different conditions while interning at a local hospital. These include elderly people, stroke victims, and those who’ve suffered some kind of injury.
On this internship, you’ll find out how physiotherapists assess and treat their patients. While hospital physiotherapists are often very busy, they will take the time to explain what they are doing wherever possible. You can show your willingness to learn by asking questions, and make the most of your time observing trained medical staff.
Work with special-needs children to support their rehabilitation
If you have qualifications or training, you can work at one of our partner organisations. You can choose to work with children who have cerebral palsy or speech impairments. You’ll assist in their rehabilitation and use physiotherapy sessions to improve their motor skills.
Train local staff to modernise and improve their techniques
If you’re a physiotherapy graduate, you can assist with training local staff. This is a way for you to share what you have learnt during your studies and training and help medical staff to improve their own techniques.
Qualified interns work at a home which cares for children and young adults with severe physical and mental abilities. Through training sessions, you’ll equip staff with updated information. Children will then receive treatment that better reflects the latest developments in the physiotherapy field.
Learn about traditional Ayurveda medicine practices
There is also the option to learn about traditional Ayurveda medicine practices. You need to specifically let us know if you’d like to choose this option, as it is not offered as part of our standard Physiotherapy Project.
Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world’s oldest healing systems. Treatments include herbal medicine, acupuncture, and special diets, to name but a few. Ayurvedic medicine is recognised by the Sri Lankan government, and there are special hospitals dedicated to the practice. You’ll be able to intern here, and gain insight into this unique method of healing.
Where in Sri Lanka will I work?
You’ll work in a number of different towns in Sri Lanka, depending on which placement you choose. The country has an extensive and affordable public transport network. This means it’s easy for you to get around and explore during your leisure time. There’s so much to discover in this beautiful island nation, whether you enjoy culture, history, or nature.
Colombo is the largest city in Sri Lanka, and the former capital. Several of our physiotherapy placements are based here. One of the options is the second-largest teaching hospital in the country, located in the south of the city. Our special-needs placements are also located in the surrounding Colombo suburbs.
Panadura is a large town situated around 27 km from Colombo. Here you will intern at a busy district hospital, situated in the centre of the town. Alternatively, you may be placed at a base hospital in a nearby town, 18km away.
Galle is a major city, found in the southwest of Sri Lanka. It is situated around 120 km from Colombo. You will intern at a major teaching hospital. It is located outside of the city centre, but well served by bus routes.
These programs are ideal for medical or healthcare science students looking for a practicum experience abroad. As a practicum student, learning comes to life as you observe doctors and participate in healthcare outreaches. You’ll get a first-hand insight into medical practices in developing countries and actively learn from professionals in the field.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Leisure activities and free time
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.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Sri Lanka
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