Manchester Metropolitan University 2024

Biomedical Science, Sri Lanka Kandy

Lauren is a third-year Clinical Science student at Manchester Metropolitan University. She recently completed a three-week elective rotation at our programme in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

I was always inspired to do my elective placement overseas. I saw it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to discover a completely different culture and draw comparisons between how things are done in my own country and somewhere completely different. I was keen to see unfamiliar pathologies and a different healthcare system on the whole. I thought this would give me new knowledge and expand my way of thinking and my approach to my job.

Work the World took care of everything! I wouldn’t have known where to start if I’d had to arrange this myself. I didn’t have to worry about security, accommodation and food.

I was picked up at Colombo Airport by a member of the Work the World team and had a really enjoyable journey to Kandy where I was told a lot about Sri Lanka and its history on the way. 

Before I started placement, I was introduced to the hospital and staff, which really helped me overcome my anxieties about beginning my placement. I always had a point of contact if I needed help. 

I witnessed many late presentations in Kandy, as all funding goes to tertiary care. Unlike in the UK, where there is minimal patient interaction, all hospital staff seem very task-focused rather than patient-centred care. Another massive difference is that younger patients are prioritised over older patients. 

I loved the house in Kandy. It was so comfortable and the facilities were great. There were lots of different areas to relax and big bedrooms with lovely bathrooms. Dinner every night was the best part of my day — the food was incredible, and all the staff were lovely and welcoming. 

Outside of placement, there is so much to do in Kandy. Temple of the Tooth, White Budda, lots of bars and cafes. 

My favourite weekend was when I visited Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, and Dambulla with my housemates. I didn’t utilise my weekends as much as I could have to discover this incredible country as I had so much uni work to do, but now that I’ve finished placement, I’ve got two weeks of holiday to discover this amazing country!

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