FAQs for our Sri lanka elective
What’s included in my elective fee?
- Comprehensive pre-departure guide
- Round the clock assistance from support staff and In-country program coordinator
- Airport pickup
- Program orientation
- Accommodation in Volunteer Resort/Guesthouse
- You hospital placement
- Breakfast and meals as specified in the itinerary
- Local transportation to and from program location
- Guides for local sightseeing in Sri Lanka
What’s not included?
- International/Domestic Airfare
- Visa fees
- Travel insurance
- Entry fees at monuments
- Departure transfer to airport (can be arranged at nominal cost)
Will I get an airport pickup facility?
A Medical Electives Abroad representative would be there to receive you at the airport, holding placards, displaying your name. You’ll be picked up from the airport and taken by a car to your accommodation. You need to send us their arrival information at least 10 days in advance so that we can facilitate your airport pickup.
Does Helping Hills Sri Lanka helps with Visa?
All enrolled participants are provided information about the appropriate Visa requirements for Sri Lanka in the pre-departure manual. You can also contact your pre-departure point of contact to know more about the Visa requirements.
How safe is Sri Lanka in particular?
Sri Lanka has been nominated by Lonely Planet as the best destination for traveling in 2019.
Sri Lanka is a country of diverse cultures and practices. Like in any new foreign country, we advise students to follow the guidelines specified by the elective coordinator to enjoy their Sri Lankan experience fully. The coordinators are always ready to help and give helpful safety tips. During the first day of the orientation, you will be given safety guidelines and will be informed about the do’s and dont’s.
What immunizations/vaccinations will I need ?
All participants are recommended to consult their physician or travel doctor before traveling to Sri Lanka.
Do I need to buy health insurance?
Yes, for all participants, it is mandatory to have a valid travel medical insurance for their trip. We can help you with this cover if you need assistance.
If you already have a valid Travel and Medical insurance please email this to our team before you travel. It is also advised to bring along the Insurance documents during your trip.
How do I get to the program location?
Your project coordinator will take you to your project placement and introduce you to everyone after giving you a basic orientation about the program/city/culture etc.
You will be told about the directions to the project from your accommodation as well as the best and the most affordable mode of transport you can use. Volunteers use a variety of modes of transport to commute to different locations in Galle.
I want to know more about accommodation and food arrangements?
Students are provided accommodation in a volunteer resort or in a homestay (on request) accommodation managed by the local coordinating team. Three meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) are provided to our elective students throughout their stay.
Can vegetarians be accommodated?
Yes, that is not a problem at all. In fact, volunteers are served vegetarian meals at the accommodations in Sri Lanka.
Would I have free time during my program ? Can I do sightseeing during my program?
Volunteers work from Monday – Friday and have their weekends free for sightseeing. You can utilize this time to visit Galle fort , Unwatuna beach & Hikkaduwa Beach . During the weekend, you have the option to take a short trip to any touristic city in Sri Lanka . Additionally, you have the option to take trips mentioned in ADD-ON TOURS. There is a lot to do and explore, and the local team would happily assist you in making travel plans and arrangements for short trips.
Are there more expenses once I arrive in Sri Lanka?
Your program fee does not cover your personal expenses. You will need to provide for yourself your personal expenses, such as bottled water, local transport whilst on traveling, telephone, shopping, sightseeing etc. However, you should carry around $50-60 per week for your basic personal expenses. This amount can vary and you would need a higher amount if you go on different weekend trips out of town.
For how many hours will I volunteer every day?
Depending on the project, elected volunteers will work during the week from Monday- Friday. You will have afternoons & weekends off so you can travel. However, volunteers need to be flexible, open minded and understand that work requirements can change as well on certain occasions.
What if I do not speak the local language? Would that interfere with my volunteering experience?
Do not worry, all the coordinators can speak and converse in English.
Where can I change my money in Sri Lanka? Are there ATMs?
On arrival at the airport, you can change your foreign currency to Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR) at the money exchange counters. Sri Lanka has a modern banking system and all the major credit and debit cards are accepted without any problems. ATMs are available in plenty and you will be shown the nearest ATM from the accommodation as well.