Placements in Anuradhapura

Medical Placement, Sri Lanka (Anuradhapura)

Medical Electives

In Anuradhapura, you’ll see diabetes, cancer, and cerebrovascular diseases in greater numbers than in Australia. Tobacco and alcohol use has increased in Sri Lanka, so you’re also likely to see a high number of acute respiratory infections, as well as advanced cardiovascular conditions. You can rotate through areas including (but not limited to) ICU, OBG, general medicine, ENT general surgery and oncology. These areas may be familiar, but late presentations means you’ll see cases far further advanced than you’re used to. You can also get experience in specialist areas including the vascular transplant unit, paediatric surgery, neurosurgery, and the busy nephrology and renal transplant unit.

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Nursing Placement, Sri Lanka (Anuradhapura)

Nursing Placements

Nursing in Anuradhapura allows you to get to grips with challenges typically faced by local healthcare professionals. Spend time in our partner hospital to get experience across as many areas of interest as you have time for. You can rotate through multiple departments to experience a more diverse placement. This is true clinically, and in terms of gaining a broader understanding of how the departments interact. You’ll also observe cases that are rare back home — dengue fever, tuberculosis, and child malnutrition to name a few.

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Midwifery Placement, Sri Lanka (Anuradhapura)

Midwifery Placements

There are real differences between practicing midwifery at home and how it’s done in Sri Lanka. For example, you’ll see women giving birth with little to no pain relief (medication costs are incredibly high). C-sections are also surprisingly common accounting for around 40% of all births. Despite a lack of resources, our partner hospital’s OBG department is an example of how to run a department with limited resources. You’ll spend time with some of the country’s top specialists who are keen to share their knowledge and expertise with you.

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Physiotherapy Placement, Sri Lanka (Anuradhapura)

Physiotherapy Placements

Practicing in Anuradhapura will open your eyes to how challenging it is to offer physiotherapy in a low-resource healthcare system. As a result of a huge number of injuries following the Sri Lankan Civil War, our partner hospital brought in some of the country’s best and brightest to help facilitate rehabilitation. That said, the practices and equipment used by local specialists may surprise you — some rehabilitative tools are entirely homemade. You may even be inspired to take some of the more resourceful techniques back home with you. Typical cases include cerebral palsy, fractures, stroke, MSK, burns, and Guillain-Barre syndrome.

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Radiography Placement, Sri Lanka (Anuradhapura)

Radiography Placements

While basic compared to Australian radiography departments, the equivalent in our partner hospital is (within its context) well equipped. The machines are far from state-of-the-art, but staff don’t let that get in the way of providing an excellent service. The services themselves are relatively affordable, so even patients from the most economically disadvantaged backgrounds can benefit from them. One of the most interesting aspects of this placement will be that you’ll help diagnose rare conditions that will be completely unfamiliar to you.

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Pharmacy Placements

In Anuradhapura, you can spend time in a number of dispensaries serving a range of wards. These include the surgical, oncology, renal, outpatient and inpatient wards. You can help prepare and dispense medication across these wards, helping you understand the challenges brought by resource limitations. You can also get involved in preparing topical treatments like ointments and lotions. The pharmacy here also provides surgical items to all units, and you can see how this functions. You can also spend time in the drug stores, learning how stocks are purchased and managed.

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Occupational Therapy Placement, Philippines (Dumaguete)

Occupational Therapy Placements

Our partner teaching hospital in Anuradhapura houses a relatively new occupational therapy unit. A significant patient load comes through the department each day due to the lack of provision for occupational therapy in the surrounding areas. You can also spend time in the paediatric psychiatric clinic on saturdays should you choose to do so. There is even some crossover with the physiotherapy department, so you can learn from local physiotherapists and speech pathologists.

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The Work the World House

Our house in Anuradhapura will be the focal point of your experiences, and your home from home while you’re in Anuradhapura. You'll share the house with other healthcare students from all over the world, which gives the house a buzzing atmosphere.

The Work the World house in Anuradhapura is on a quiet, tree-lined street. Whether you want to hire a bike and cycle around the ruins of the ancient city, or go for a few drinks in the evening, Anuradhapura’s most interesting sights are easily accessible.

The house itself is an oasis — after placement you can head to the rooftop, climb into a hammock and soak up some sun.

Or if you prefer, you can swim in the pool of a hotel just a short walk along the road, enjoying a few drinks in the bar when the sun goes down.

Read more about our accommodation

In-Country Team

Management team: Based in the house, they oversee your entire Work the World experience — 24/7 — from the moment you land to the moment you leaveCatering team: Cook a variety of both local cuisine and familiar home comforts, accommodating all dietary requirementsHousekeeper: Keeps the house clean and tidy from top to bottom, making sure you're comfortableLanguage teacher: Visits the house twice per-week. During their lessons, you’ll learn everyday phrases and clinical terminology to help you get more from your placementSecurity team: Monitor the house 24/7 for your peace of mind

Support in the Hospital

The Anuradhapura team will take you to visit the hospital before your placement starts. You’ll meet department staff and your supervisors, they’ll take you on a tour so you can find your way around when you start. Our in-country team will continue to visit you throughout your placement. They are a presence in the hospital and will ensure the experience continually meets your expectations.

Before your placement starts, we’ll assign your hospital supervision. Once you build rapport with your supervisors, they’ll help you understand the system in a way that only a local practitioner can.

The bottom line? We’ve got you covered. We support you right the way through your placement as and when you need us.

Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka


What's Included

  • Supervised hospital placement
  • Private catered accommodation 
  • Dedicated placement coordinator
  • 24/7 in-country team
  • Language lessons
  • Airport pickup

*Prices below are in addition to a $500 registration fee.

Destinations 2 Weeks 3 Weeks 4 Weeks 5 Weeks 6 Weeks Extra Week

Sri Lanka Anuradhapura

$3040 $3340 $3640 $3940 $4240 $700


In addition to your placement in Anuradhapura, you can spend an optional week at our Ayurveda village. Each morning, you’ll head to the forest clinic where you’ll learn the ancient art of Ayurveda. The local Ayurveda specialist is considered a skilled healer, internationally. People come from all over the world to seek treatment here. The doctor’s expertise lies in creating topical and ingestible medicines from plants and barks found in the forest. Each afternoon, you’ll take part in cultural activities such as canoe trips through the jungle, ox and cart rides, wild elephant safaris and full body massages at Ayurvedic spas.


"Due to a lack of resources and trained professionals, the patient to occupational therapist ratio poorly balanced."

Carmen Lai, Swinburne University of Technology 2019

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"It was a real culture shock... I found it pretty shocking to see 2 patients being treated in theatre at the same time".

Claire Webb, University of Brighton 2018

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"In some wards there were two patients to a bed. Sometimes there were patients on the floor."

Olivia Ritchie, Glasgow Caledonian University 2018

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"The lack of privacy and confidentiality offered to patients was a shock..."

Faizah Jamil, University of Birmingham 2018

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"I even attended a clinic at a local prison with the hospital’s Psychiatric Consultant."

Bethan Mcelroy, Anglia Ruskin University 2018

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