University of Wollongong 2018
I decided to go to Sri Lanka as it was one of the destinations that offered experiences in cardiothoracics — an area I was passionate about.
— Sri Lankan civilisation is ancient and there are remnants of it across the country —
Work the World arranged a placement for me in a teaching hospital in its cardiothoracic and cardiology departments. Being a teaching hospital, the department was great at explaining procedures and examinations.
In cardiothoracics, I saw both routine surgeries and those that were unique and challenging.
The consultant surgeons made sure I had the best experience
I did not notice any language barrier in either department. I easily understood everything as it was explained.
Taking a genuine interest in the department I was in really helped. The consultant surgeons made sure I had the best experience when I demonstrated enthusiasm.
— Elephants are of supreme importance in Sri Lanka —
Through my experience in the teaching hospital, I learned a lot about opportunities available to undergraduate students like myself.
I have become a lot more interested in clinical research — an area I wasn’t particularly interested in before travelling to Sri Lanka.
The Work the World House
The house was spacious, and Work the World’s in-country team were polite and helpful.
The in-house catering team cooked themed food every night. We had Sri Lankan food nights, street food nights and BBQ nights. The food was plentiful and tasty, and there was always a variety of dishes.
My housemates — other healthcare students — were all genuine and friendly.
— Sri Lanka has some of the most beautiful vistas in the world —
The house was full during my stay. It meant that there was always something going on and always people to talk to.
My housemates and I shared stories about our trips away at the weekends, providing advice on where to go, what to see and who to book the trips with.
We went to the Cultural Triangle one weekend. It was one of the most unique experiences I had in Sri Lanka.
We went on an elephant safari, which (coming from Australia) was a beautiful experience.
I finally learned to surf!
We saw lots of temples too, and learned about the Buddha and the religious conventions required to access to the temples themselves.
We usually left on Friday afternoons after placement to go away for the weekend. We wanted to see as much of Sri Lanka as possible.
— Travel to Sri Lanka if you like natural beauty and wildlife —
We went to a beach resort during our second weekend, and I finally learned to surf. The friendly atmosphere down on the beach (and the warm water) created the perfect setting.
In the evenings, we were sat beachside watching the World Cup matches, listening to the waves rolling along the shore.
The learnings I took from the experience are too broad to put into words. That said, I would strongly recommend Sri Lanka if you’re looking for an overseas placement.