Gain international work experience on a pharmacy internship in Sri Lanka with Projects Abroad and assist with handing out and organising medications.

Pharmacy Internship in Sri Lanka

Gain pharmacy work experience in Sri Lanka which will enhance your CV and teach you new skills

At a glance

Projects Abroad has been awarded the South Asian Sustainable Development Leadership High Award for Volunteerism

  • You’ll gain practical work experience while observing and assisting experienced local pharmacists. You also have the chance to take part in medical outreaches in disadvantaged communities.
  • Find out more about healthcare practice in a different country and learn about medical issues that are prevalent in the area, and how they are treated.
  • In Sri Lanka you’ll live with a local host family, an excellent way to immerse yourself in the local culture. You’ll make new friends, and explore some of the incredible sights in Sri Lanka.

Start Dates: 


See Dates

Minimum Duration: 

One Week


16 or over

Is a Pharmacy internship in Sri Lanka right for me?

Are you a current or prospective pharmacy student? Or maybe a recent pharmacy graduate? If yes, then this internship is ideal for you. It’s an excellent way to gain practical experience in a different cultural setting, and boost your CV.

This internship is available year-round, with a minimum commitment of four weeks. We have flexible start and end dates, so you can select a time which best suits you.

You will be supervised by qualified pharmacists and medical staff during your internship. Upon arrival, you’ll receive a comprehensive induction which will run you through everything you need to know about your Pharmacy placement in Sri Lanka.

Interns and doctors are seen handing out prescriptions to local residents as part of their pharmacy internship in Sri Lanka.

What will I do on the Pharmacy Project in Sri Lanka?

On this internship, you’ll take part in a range of observation-based and practical activities in a hospital pharmacy. Duties at your pharmacy placement in Sri Lanka include:

  • Observe local pharmacists as they go about their day-to-day work
  • Assist with a variety of tasks around the pharmacy
  • Take part in medical outreaches which benefit disadvantaged communities
  • Improve your own skills at educational monthly workshops

Your work will be divided into four main categories:

Observe local pharmacists as they go about their day-to-day work

An important part of this internship is learning from skilled professionals. You’ll observe local pharmacists as they go about their day, preparing and dispensing medication to patients. Ask questions, take notes, and make the most of this educational opportunity.

Assist with a variety of tasks around the pharmacy

You will also have the chance to help with the packaging of medication, as well as the dispensing, under supervision. If you are confident, there may also be an opportunity to do data capturing alongside the local pharmacist.

Take part in medical outreaches which benefit disadvantaged communities

We run regular medical outreaches in disadvantaged communities, which are open to all our Medicine & Healthcare interns. Here you will conduct basic health checks, such as blood pressure and sugar levels. You will also dispense medication where needed, under the supervision of a local doctor.

As part of our outreach work, you might also have the chance to help raise awareness about specific issues relevant to the local community. Topics could include Dengue Fever symptoms and treatment, or the importance of hygiene for reducing infections. These presentations take place at local schools and community centres.

Improve your own skills at educational monthly workshops

There is an opportunity to improve your skills and expand your knowledge at our regular monthly workshops. These are also open to all our Medicine & Healthcare interns, and are led by a local doctor.

You will learn about illnesses that are specific to the area, for instance, and how to diagnose and treat them. You may also learn basic medical skills, which you will then put into practice at our outreaches.

Where in Sri Lanka will I work?

Our Pharmacy Internships in Sri Lanka are based in two towns, Panadura and Horana. The two are only 18 km apart, and are located south of the former capital Colombo. Sri Lanka has plenty of incredible sights to explore and activities to experience during your time off. Why not visit some of the national parks, historic temples, bustling restaurants or beautiful beaches? And that’s just to start. You can also get involved in sporting activities such as scuba diving or hiking, discover the local markets and check out some of the ancient ruins.


Panadura is a large coastal town situated around 30 km south of Colombo. As an intern, you’ll spend your time in the pharmacy unit of a local hospital. Panadura is home to a number of beach resorts, temples and an extensive bus network for easy travel.


Horana is a small town located around 40 km south of Colombo. You’ll be working in the pharmacy department of a local hospital, which is easy to access via public transport. Horana has all the modern conveniences you might need, including banks, grocery stores and restaurants.

Airport pickup, flights and visas

When you arrive at your respective airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our Sri Lanka Arrival Procedures page.

A typical day on the Pharmacy Project in Sri Lanka

A typical day on this internship runs from 8.30am - 12.30pm, and then from 2pm - 4pm, Monday to Friday. You will work under the supervision of a qualified pharmacist.

Wake up in the home of your host family and enjoy a delicious breakfast. You’ll then travel to your placement via public transport - either bus or rickshaw. On your first day, our staff will accompany you to show you the way.

You will be placed in the pharmacy of a local hospital. You’ll spend your time observing the local staff at work dispensing medicine. Hands-on work is possible in the form of packaging medicine and data capturing.

On certain days, you’ll also take part in medical outreaches in a disadvantaged community. Here you’ll work under the supervision of a local doctor. You’ll help to conduct basic medical checks and dispense medication.

Once you’re done for the day, it’s time to discover the sights and sounds of your new surroundings. Join in on our regular socials, where you can get to know your fellow interns, or spend some time swapping stories with your host family. Don’t forget to visit the local monuments, markets and beaches.

Interns from Projects Abroad helping doctors with medicine prescriptions as part of their pharmacy internship in Sri Lanka.

What are the aims and impact of this project?

The main aim of this project is to provide students and graduates with an educational, practical internship in an international environment.

Many of the people who join us on an internship are looking to gain work experience in a different cultural setting. We organise projects where you can work alongside skilled local staff, gaining insight into their profession. It’s an opportunity to learn from others, and share knowledge and ideas as part of important cross-cultural exchange.

There is also an altruistic dimension to this internship. While Sri Lanka has free healthcare for its citizens, it is sometimes limited or inconsistent, especially in disadvantaged areas. You will take part in regular medical outreaches, which provide local communities with basic healthcare checks, treatment, and medication. If it wasn’t for these outreaches, many of these people would otherwise not receive medical care.

We have identified the following four goals as the focal points for our work in Sri Lanka:

  • Improve access to basic healthcare for disadvantaged groups
  • Improve standards of hygiene
  • Promote awareness of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Help to reduce the number of cases of Dengue fever

Join us on a Pharmacy internship in Sri Lanka and gain work experience while learning about pharmacy practice in a different country.

Projects Abroad interns and local doctors going over their notes at the hospital during their pharmacy internship in Sri Lanka.

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.

Read more about how we organise healthcare electives.  

Management plans

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.

This placement is fully researched, safety audited, and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.

When you apply you only pay a $295 deposit, which comes off the total program fees.

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