Sri Lanka is the only country in South Asia which offers free healthcare to all its citizens, which is remarkable for this region. As such, the public sector here is very well developed and much larger than the private sector. Participants working in the public sector have access to a larger and wider network of medical professionals, range and volume of patients and exposures to a comprehensive set of wards and special units that cannot come close to being matched in the private sector. There is also a greater need for future doctors and nurses to assist in the public sector as the sheer volume of patients they get is overwhelming and from lower socio-economic classes, where the need for support is greater. 

This project caters to participants who do not have any formal medical background through prior education in a formal setting. The project is ideal for participants who have an interest in discovering the medical field to see if they would like to pursue it as a potential career in the future. Participants can expect to gain a broad-based understanding of how these sectors work through a range of observation-based practical learning experiences across various wards and units in a hospital and/or clinic setting, as well as through a range of community projects. They also get to understand how the medical system of a developing country like Sri Lanka works and learn about various tropical diseases that
are prevalent in this part of the world. Additionally, participants get to interact with local doctors and nurses.

Medical Students as well as recently qualified medical students looking to gain valuable experience and skills must select the Medical Internship Program in Sri Lanka. Nursing students looking to do a nursing elective must choose our Nursing Internship Program in Sri Lanka.

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Program Requirements

Volunteers must be 17 years or older at the time of joining the project and must be flexible and open-minded towards working in a new and challenging environment. The following documents are needed to apply for the Pre-Medical placement:

  • Current CV or Resume
  • Motivation Letter (or Intent Letter) describing personal background and rationale for pursuing this placement
  • Police background check
  • Copy of passport

Additionally, participants must understand and appreciate the different cultures when working in a country like Sri Lanka where the medical standards differ greatly from what they might have experienced in their home country. Our experience has shown that the participants who get the most out of this experience tend to be open-minded, flexible, respectful to local staff and eager to learn.


Volunteer Roles & Responsibilities

Pre-meds can get broad-based rotational exposure across various wards, units and institutions as described below. They do not get to choose their ward or unit selection prior to arrival (unlike our Medical or Nursing Internship participants) but their rotation is discussed and finalized through consultation with our medical team after they arrive in Sri Lanka. The exact availability of each ward or unit can change from time to time based on ground realities, however, in general, pre-med participants will have access to rotate across the following wards, units and institutions:

  • Emergency Treatment Centre (ETC) – typical tasks include bedside teaching regarding patients’ management, ward class with ward rounds, checking vital signs of patients (if the staff permits), observing live surgeries in casualty operation theatre and post casualty theatre under the direct guidance of the surgeon. Students will be given explanations by the surgeon based on the type of surgery and the ground emergency situation.
  • General Surgical Units – tasks include joining the ward rounds with the consultant and medical staff, assisting the medical staff for wound dressing, checking vital signs of patients and observing live surgeries such as Cholecystectomy, Appendectomy, Hernia repair, Thyroidectomy, etc.
  • Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Unit – tasks include supporting patients to carry out their daily physiotherapy and occupational therapy exercises, carrying out group activities to support the patient's mental well-being and other similar activities. Participants will get to work closely with a physiotherapist and occupational therapist on a regular basis.
  • General Pediatric Wards – tasks include studying the history of the patients with the support of medical/nursing staff, joining the ward rounds, helping support mothers feed their children and performing activities to socialize with children (with parental consent).
  • Pediatric Cardiology Unit – typical activities include attending pediatric cardiac catheter lab on diagnosing heart defects, its severity, observing live pediatric cardiac surgeries and attending clinical sessions with the consultants.
  • Observation of Special Surgeries – depending on availability, participants can get access to observe surgeries on a rotational basis. Surgeries includes vascular surgeries, plastic surgeries, urology-related surgeries, neuro surgeries, casualty, oncology surgeries, etc.
  • Community Projects – this involves working at local schools, villages and community groups to create awareness and education on areas like first aid training (presentations with practical sessions), basic hygiene practices, attend medical campaigns under the guidance of medical officers, attend active teaching/practical sessions with special needs/differently abled children (with guidance) and socializing with senior citizens in elderly care centers.
  • Ayurvedic Medicine – A special introductory session on the traditional eastern medicinal practice of Ayurveda, which is based on a natural and holistic approach to physical and mental health. Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world’s oldest medical systems and remains one of Sri Lanka’s most popular and respected traditional health care systems.

Students generally need to be assigned for a minimum of one week in the units/wards in the main hospital (#1-6 mentioned above). For Community Projects and Ayurvedic Medicine (#7-8 above), the placement is generally for 1-3 days each (not the full week).
All students are supported by our medical project coordinator who provides regular guidance and support to further enhance their learning and knowledge development.

It is important to emphasize that the experience in the hospital is observation-based as the participants lack the experience and skill to perform any invasive procedures on patients. Certain areas like physiotherapy and community projects tend to be more hands-on work than others so those wishing for more exposure in these areas can let our team know during their introductory consultation.

Volunteer Work Schedule

Saturday: Arrival in Colombo airport - transfer to Galle included

Sunday: Orientation + neighbourhood familiarization tour. Orientation session will be conducted by the local coordinator, covering topic areas; such as safety, culture, language, places to visit, behaviour, food, and other suggestion over things to do in and around Galle.

Mon to Fri: Volunteer work placement at appropriate medical institution (schedules can be somewhat flexible by an hour or two either way, based on ground realities at the time) 

• Breakfast - 06:30 to 8:30 am

• Working hours at the placement - 09:00 am to 1pm (Hours can vary) 

• Lunch - 12:00-2:30 pm (Provided at the accommodation) 

• Dinner - 6:30-7:30 pm onwards (Provided at the accommodation)

The same volunteer work schedule continues from the second week onwards 

Weekends: Free to explore the city, all the nearby beaches and also travel around Sri Lanka. Bing a small island with a very good public transportation system (buses, trains), it is easy to take weekend trip to the mountains, tea plantations, rainforests, cultural sites, various beach towns, etc.

Note: Please note, the schedule may vary depending on the particular project the volunteer is participating in.


At Volunteering Solutions we ensure that all our international volunteers are provided the utmost comfort so that they can have a home away from home experience while working with us. We ensure that your stay, meals and other personal requirements are looked after well. 

Airport Transfers 
Volunteers are picked up from the Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport Airport by a representative of the local coordinating team on the program start date during scheduled airport pickup hrs. Participants are also dropped off to the airport upon completion of the program during the scheduled airport drop hrs. 

Note : Airport Transfers are provided at extra charges of USD $35 each way for a shared transfer during scheduled pickup hours on Saturday.There will be 2 shared airport transfers every Saturday (Morning and afternoon/evening) from airport to Galle and vice versa for return departures.​  A private transfer will cost USD 100.


Volunteers joining the programs in Galle, Sri Lanka, will get to stay in the quaint Unawatuna neighborhood, overlooking the famous Unawatuna Beach and the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. The volunteer house has 11 bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms.Most of these rooms have ocean views! There's a private 40-foot outdoor swimming pool surrounded by tropical greenery. The house also has 3 kitchens as well as 3 living/common rooms (one each per floor), a prominent dining area, and a private outdoor garden with seating/lounging areas.

The office is located on the ground floor of the house near the main entrance – this is where the local team operate from every day. The house is located in a peaceful, nature-filled neighborhood adjacent to a small Buddhist temple (nestled away from the main tourist areas). To ensure the safety and security of the participants, there are CCTV cameras installed, and an in-house security guard for night-time surveillance. Hot water and high-speed Wi-Fi are there and you can opt for air-conditioning and laundry facilities at an additional charge.

Other than that, we'll also be glad to provide single/double/family private room upgrades. The beach is just about 5 minutes walk from the stay and you can reach the Galle Fort in about 15 minutes.


A detailed program Orientation will be provided before you start your volunteering program.All volunteers on arrival get a welcome presentation including health and safety training, culture presentation, project specific presentation and area orientation tour. Our staff will also assist you with the lessons and planning the curriculum, as and when required. You will also have access to our in-house teaching library consisting of manuals, books, and various teaching materials to help with lesson planning and providing general guidance.


We provide 3 freshly cooked meals per day all week long (Monday to Sunday): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Fresh ingredients are purchased from local markets to prepare these meals. We have two lady chefs (a head chef and an assistant) from our community who come daily to cook fresh, homely and tasty local meals for the volunteers. We can cater to a range of special diets including vegan, gluten free, nut free and lactose-intolerant diets. If there are any other allergy or food requirements mentioned to us beforehand, we always do our best to accommodate those needs.

During Free Time

There is plenty to do during the freetime and weekends for the volunteers.The following activities are provided free of charge and included in your program fee:

  • Evening Rooftop Yoga Session (weekly)
  • Movie nights on large screen projector at the house (weekly)
  • Bike tour across paddy fields and local villages (monthly)
  • BBQ for volunteers and staff in the garden (monthly)
  • Night Fishing for anyone into fishing (on demand)

The following are popular weekend (or even daily) activities which our volunteers love to do around the area (at an additional charge):

  • Surfing lessons
  • Elephant safari
  • Whale watching (during season)
  • Rainforest hiking
  • Beach hopping
  • Local cooking class
  • Galle Walking Tour
  • Local spice market visit
  • Galle Fort visit

Program Cost

Please Note: -An application fee of $229 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment)

What are you Paying for?

  • 24 hrs Assistance and support from Staff
  • Comprehensive Pre- Departure Information
  • Airport Transfers on Scheduled Days
  • ​Dedicated volunteer housing with WiFi (shared rooms)
  • Orientation and training on arrival
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner all days
  • Guaranteed project placement
  • Local transportation to projects in private AC van or tuk-tuk
  • Experienced bilingual operations team on the ground
  • Dedicated staff support from 6 am to 8 pm every day
  • 24/7 local emergency support
  • Weekly yoga class on a rooftop terrace
  • Weekly movie nights on large screen projector
  • Monthly bike tour around paddy fields and local villages
  • Monthly special BBQ dinner
  • Travel & Medical Insurance (Available at an extra cost)
  • Certificate Of Completion (Upon Request)

What's NOT included?

  • Visa Fee
  • International Airfare
  • Vaccinations
  • Any personal expenses
  • Additional Local Excursions and Trips

Program Dates

Months 2023 2024
January 07142128 06132027
February 04111825 03101724
March 04111825 0209162330
April 0108152229 06132027
May 06132027 04111825
June 03101724 0108152229
July 0108152229 06132027
August 05121926 0310172431
September 02091623 07142128
October 07142128 05121926
November 04111825 0209162330
December 01091623 07142128

Available Filling Fast Not Available Past Date




FAQ's Application and Program Details

As we have limited spots available in our programs and we serve on first come first basis, it is recommended that potential volunteers book their programs well in advance to get confirmed placements. You can book your slot by filling the application form online and pay the application fee. You can pay your program fee later and also, in installments. However,  the complete payment should be made 45 days prior to the starting of the program.  If you are volunteering in a group, you can also fill a group application form.

After you complete your application, your personalized ‘My Account’ will be activated.You will need to upload your CV/Resume along with your photo in the same. Our backend team and the placement site takes around 10-12 days to review your application. After we review your CV and documents, your booking is confirmed and booking confirmation is updated in your ‘My Account’. Some projects need a mandatory criminal background check and the same is mentioned in the project info of your program. Approval of your application depends on your qualification and eligibility criteria for each project.

Below are the necessary requirements to participate in the Sri Lankan volunteer projects:

The minimum age requirement for the programs in Sri Lanka is 17 years.
Volunteers participating in the Medical Program should be at least 18-year-old.
Volunteers need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. They should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference.
The participant must be in good health.

We encourage our participants to volunteer in a group. We take special care in providing you a placement and also customize your itinerary to make sure you get exactly what you are looking for. Also, we can design special group programs for groups of 5 or more. Our programs are designed to be safe, affordable and offer a great group volunteering experience to the volunteers.
In our experience of more than 12+ years, we have enabled and facilitated volunteer program placements for college groups, university groups, high school groups, group of families, group of couples as well as groups of colleagues.

All volunteers need to arrive at Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on the starting date of their project. Volunteers are picked from the airport by the local coordinator or representative and are transferred to their accommodations. Accommodation will be provided in the volunteer house located near your placements. 

A short orientation is given after arrival about the city and placements. The volunteers are also taken for a short tour of Colombo before they start with their program. However, the tour depends on the arrival time of your flight. 

If you are planning to come for multiple programs in your trip, you will have to pay the application fees just once. Your application fee is valid for a year's time ( from the date of application). You will not have to pay the application fees again if you come within the mentioned time frame.

For our returning volunteers, $50 discount is provided for the application fee for their next VolSol program. 

Yes, we will provide you with the Certificate after successful completion of your program. The certificate is provided on request.

Volunteers usually work for 5 to 6 hours a day depending on their program. However, volunteers need to be flexible, open minded and understand that work requirements can alter at times. 

Flights and Visa

Volunteers traveling to Sri Lanka need to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) prior to their arrival or on their arrival in Sri Lanka. You can then obtain a Visa on Arrival in Sri Lanka for 30 days. 
Volunteers can apply for ETA online and the approval of the same will be communicated via email.
Volunteers can be provided with the supporting documents if needed. More information will be provided once you enroll for the program. 

The Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) in Colombo is well connected with all major airports across the globe and flights are easily available. The recommended airlines are:
Srilankan Airlines 
Air India 
Mihin Lanka 

There are frequent in-country flights from Colombo to Galle and Kegalle as well.

Health and Safety

Sri Lanka is one of the popular tropical destination in Asia and attracts travelers from all around the world. The locals are friendly and helpful as well, however, it is recommended to consult your in-country coordinators before you step out alone or go to any other locations in Sri Lanka. Also, it is recommended to be with your group whenever you venture out or stay out late in the night. It is strongly recommended to follow the safety rules and regulations provided by the in-country coordinator. 

We recommend you to consult your physician or travel doctor before traveling to Sri Lanka. However, we recommend you take general vaccinations such as: 
Hepatitis A and B

Yes, for all volunteers it is mandatory to have a travel medical insurance. To provide the best option to our participants, we offer comprehensive insurance coverage in collaboration with a leading insurance provider. 

Considering the fact that Sri Lanka is a tropical country, the weather is mostly hot and humid. For people traveling from European and North American countries, it might seem to extremely hot during the days and sultry at night. We would advise you to consume a lot of water and protect yourself from the sun in whichever way possible. Carry an umbrella.
You can consult your doctor once, before traveling to Sri Lanka.

Accommodation and Living

Your coordinator will meet you at the airport and will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to our team and other volunteers. You will then be provided with the orientation covering areas like culture, customs, safety, locations, placement, greetings, local transportation etc.

On the first day of work, the coordinator will guide you to your project site. 

Volunteers joining the programs in Galle, Sri Lanka, get to stay in the quaint Unawatuna neighborhood, overlooking the famous Unawatuna Beach and the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. The volunteer house has 11 bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms.Most of these rooms have ocean views! There's a private 40-foot outdoor swimming pool surrounded by tropical greenery. The house also has 3 kitchens as well as 3 living/common rooms (one each per floor), a prominent dining area, and a private outdoor garden with seating/lounging areas.
The office is located on the ground floor of the house near the main entrance – this is where the local team operate from every day. The house is located in a peaceful, nature-filled neighborhood adjacent to a small Buddhist temple (nestled away from the main tourist areas). To ensure the safety and security of the participants, there are CCTV cameras installed, and an in-house security guard for night-time surveillance. Hot water and high-speed Wi-Fi are there and you can opt for air-conditioning and laundry facilities at an additional charge.
Other than that, we also provide single/double/family private room upgrades at extra charges. The beach is just about 5 minutes walk from the stay and you can reach the Galle Fort in about 15 minutes.

Volunteers working in Wasgamuwa National Park are given accommodation in a field house in close vicinity of the project location. Three meals are provided in a day including both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. The food is tasty, hygienic and nutritious, suitable for all volunteers. 
Breakfast usually comprises of Bread, Butter, Jam, Bun or Rolls, Eggs and  Fruits like Banana & Pineapple & Tea. The lunch includes Sri Lankan style rice and curry and the dinner includes noodles, spaghetti, pasta, chapati, hoppers or String Hoppers with curry.

If you have special dietary requirements, please mention the same in your application form. 

Depending on your project placement, you will get free evenings and weekends to explore in and around the city. You can utilize the evening time to visit local markets and other places around your project location. Make the most of your weekends by exploring Sri Lanka to the fullest.

We encourage our volunteers to travel. We have designed various weekend tours which can be booked under the ‘Add-on Tours’ section in your ‘My Account’. Your in-country coordinator will also help you book and organize the tours once you are in Sri Lanka.

Places like Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Rumassala Mountain, and Galle fort are major attractions in Galle, and Kegalle is a city of ancient architecture and natural beauty. Volunteers are free to plan quick getaways and explore Sri Lanka during the weekends.You can also relax at the beachside and enjoy the taste of the delicious seafood.

Your program fee covers your accommodation, airport pick-up, orientation, pre-departure booklet, and 24x7 in country staff support. You will need to cover your personal expenses, such as traveling, telephone, the internet, shopping, sightseeing, return airport drop, weekend tours etc. You should carry around $50 - $60 per week for your basic personal expenses, such as water, local transport, phone etc.

You can change money at any bank or at the airport by showing your passport. There are ATMs located all around the city (Galle, Kandy, Ambalangoda and Kegalle) as well.

Connect with Past Volunteers

We encourage volunteers to connect with former Volunteering Solutions participants and also other program participants joining our projects. You are recommended to join the Volunteering Solutions Facebook Page or Facebook Group to connect with other participants and our team.

To read alumni interviews from past participants, visit the Meet a Volunteer section on our website

Other Programs in Sri Lanka

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