At a glance
- Join our Midwifery internship in Sri Lanka and learn more about midwifery practices in a developing country.
- This is a great way to add valuable experience to your CV and learn new skills with our medical workshops to prepare your future career as a midwife.
- You’ll live and work in the towns of Panadura or Kalutara and stay with a local host family. This is a great opportunity to explore tourist sights and take parts in social events.
18 or over
Is a Midwifery internship in Sri Lanka right for me?
Are you planning on a career in midwifery? Maybe you’re a midwifery student or recent graduate looking for work experience? If so, this internship may be the perfect choice for you.
You’ll get to learn from skilled midwives and other healthcare professionals at hospitals.You’ll get insight into how mothers and newborns are cared for in a developing country. You’ll also be able to add midwifery work experience in Sri Lanka to your CV, and have interesting points to talk about in applications or interviews.
This internship is largely observational, but you will be able to learn a great deal. You’ll get to rotate through different maternity units, from theatre to labour. Practical work is available in the form of our regular medical outreaches. Here, you’ll do basic health checks for people in disadvantaged communities.
Please note that you need to be 18 years or older to join this project.
The internship is available year-round, from a minimum of four weeks. However, our start and end dates are flexible, so you can choose a time which suits you.
What will I do on this project?
On this internship, you’ll get to learn a great amount about midwifery practices in Sri Lanka. Things you can do include:
- Observe midwives as they go about their daily work in different maternity units
- Take part in medical outreaches which benefit the local community
- Learn from local doctors and gain new skills at medical workshops
- Learn about traditional Ayurvedic medicine, an alternative healthcare practice
Your work will focus on the following areas:
Observe midwives as they go about their daily work in different maternity units
Your main role on this internship is to shadow midwives and other medical staff as they go about their day. You’ll have the chance to rotate through different maternity units, such as theatre, labour, and postnatal. This allows you to learn about all the different aspects of care for new mothers and babies.
Take part in medical outreaches which benefit the local community
We organise monthly medical outreaches in disadvantaged communities. These provide basic healthcare checks and treatment for those who would otherwise not have access to medical care. While not directly related to midwifery, you’ll still gain insight into medical practices in Sri Lanka. It’s also an opportunity to take part in practical work, such as taking blood pressure and dispensing medication.
All of your outreach work is supervised by a medical professional.
Learn from local doctors and gain new skills at medical workshops
To ensure you get the most out of this internship, we also organise regular workshops for all our medical interns. These are run by local doctors, and give you the chance to learn new skills. For example, they will teach you techniques that you can put into practice at the medical outreaches. You’ll also find out more about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of common diseases in Sri Lanka.
Learn about traditional Ayurvedic medicine, an alternative healthcare practice
You also have the option to learn about traditional Ayurvedic medicine. This is not offered as part of the standard Midwifery Project, so please let us know if you are interested in pursuing this option.
Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest holistic treatment systems, and includes treatments such as herbal medicine, special diets, and acupuncture. In Sri Lanka, this traditional practice is officially recognised, and there are hospitals specifically dedicated to Ayurvedic medicine where you can intern.
What types of midwifery placements are available in Sri Lanka?
On this Midwifery Internship, you can rotate through some of these Obstetrics and Gynaecology units:
There may also be the opportunity to observe procedures in theatre, or shadow staff in the Paediatrics department.
Where in Sri Lanka will I work?
As a Midwifery intern, you’ll either be based in Colombo, Panadura, or Balapitiya. Sri Lanka has an extensive and affordable public transport network, so it should be quite easy for you to travel around and explore the country in your leisure time. Sri Lanka is famous for its incredible natural landscapes and historical monuments.
Colombo is the largest city in Sri Lanka, and a bustling commercial and tourism hub. You will either be working at a specialised women’s hospital, or at a teaching hospital where local medical interns complete their rotations.
Panadura is a large town situated on the coast, around 30 km south of Colombo. You’ll be working in a government-run women’s hospital.
Balapitiya is a small town on the south-west coast of the country. Here you’ll be working at a local base hospital, in the gynaecology, obstetrics, and paediatrics departments.
A typical day on the Midwifery Project
Once you’ve enjoyed a hearty breakfast at the home of your host family, it’s time to head to work. You’ll travel to your placement via bus or rickshaw. Sometimes you may even be within walking distance. Whichever option you take, a staff member will accompany you on your first day to show you the way.
A typical day on this project runs from 8.30am - 12.30pm, and then from 2pm - 4pm, Monday to Friday. However, these hours may vary. The exact schedule will be discussed during your induction.
Activities will vary according to your midwifery placement you’ve chosen in Sri Lanka. In general, you will spend your day observing midwives, doctors, and nurses at work. You’ll shadow staff in different maternity units, ranging from prenatal to theatre and labour. This is an exciting opportunity to gain insight into all aspects of maternity and child care.
On medical outreach days, you’ll get to take part in more practical work. Here you’ll help to take vital signs such as blood pressure or blood sugar, dispense medication and food, and assist wherever needed. This is important work that provides basic medical care in disadvantaged communities.
When you’re done for the day, it’s time to sit back and relax. We organise regular social events for our interns, so that you can get to know each other while having fun and learning about the local culture. Or explore your new surroundings, watch the sunset from the beach, and try out some Sri Lankan-style cuisine from a neighbourhood restaurant.
What are the aims and impact of this Midwifery Project?
The main aim of this project is to provide you with an educational experience. Many of the interns who join us are looking for international work experience in a country different from their own. This is a great way to prepare yourself for your future career as a midwife, while enhancing your CV.
We give the opportunity to learn from qualified local professionals, and gain insight into midwifery practice in Sri Lanka. You will also take part in valuable cross-cultural exchange, sharing knowledge and experiences with medical staff.
Projects Abroad also organises monthly medical outreaches in disadvantaged communities. Here you’ll provide basic medical treatment to locals under supervision. This is important work, as the communities we work in don’t have regular access to basic medical services.
We have identified the following goals as the focus of our medical work in Sri Lanka:
- Promote the exchange of medical knowledge
- Promote awareness of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure
- Improve access to basic healthcare for disadvantaged groups
- Improve hygiene standards
- Reduce the number of cases of Dengue fever
Join us on a Midwifery Internship in Sri Lanka and learn from skilled midwives as they care for new mothers and babies.
Medical electives for students
This project is also perfect for university medical and healthcare elective students. The real-world insight and knowledge you gain will help shape you as a future medical professional. You will also learn to work with different people and get a broader perspective of global healthcare systems and issues. This benefits your career for years to come. We can organise a placement that meets all of your university's requirements.
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.
Food and accommodation
You'll stay with a host family in Sri Lanka. 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.
Your programme fee includes three meals a day.
Find out more about our accommodation.
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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