by Work the World

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Ayurveda, roughly translated as “the science of life”, is an ancient medicinal practice that can be traced back over 7000 years. Native to India, the Vedic traditions have naturally left fingerprints on the surrounding areas — Sri Lanka being one of them.

Here at Work the World we do everything we can to open the door to opportunity. Upon discovering a village not far from our base in Sri Lanka that practices Ayurvedic medicine, we knew we had to make it accessible to our students. We’ve been running week-long Ayurvedic medicine experiences in the village that our students rave about ever since.

What can you expect

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In the morning’s you’ll work with the local doctor who’ll introduce you to and guide you through the fundamentals of Ayurvedic practice in Sri Lanka.

The practice takes advantage of the healing properties of hundreds of natural ingredients like barks, roots, leaves, fruits and seeds such as cardamom. Ayurveda also employs the use of minerals like lead, copper sulfate, sulphur and even arsenic!Remember that this is truly an an experience that will challenge the ideas of your training in western medicine. You’ll face conditions and provide remedies that you’ll never prescribe in a modern western setting. 

If you’re keen-minded enough to ask questions, you can glean the doctor’s own views on western medicine to make this a truly binary cultural exchange. You’ll get a lot from this experience if you dive in head first.You’ll spend the morning with the resident Ayurveda practicing doctor who will encourage you to get stuck in. You’ll help in the creation of Ayurvedic herbal medicines, help diagnose patients and administer treatments both common and unusual.

Forest monasteries, ancient citadels and sunsets on the lake.

The village experience isn’t just about medicine. With your friendly local guide you’ll get a glimpse into rural Sri Lankan food and culture as well as taking afternoon trips to explore some of the area’s hidden sites.

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The secret of Ritigala mountain is a student favourite. The ruins of a 2000 year old Buddhist monastery can be found at the foot of a great gorge on the mountain’s eastern side. Walk around the complex to see ancient raised platforms, courtyards and crumbling stone bridges set in a mysterious forest of legend.

You’ll also have the chance to go on river boat rides, watch sunsets on a nearby lake and much more.The UNESCO World Heritage Site at Sigiriya is also a once in a lifetime visit. The ancient palace and fortress found here has a mysterious past with no definitive origins story, only legends. At the site you’ll see beautiful frescoes painted on a 140 metre long rock face, the remains of an immense stone-sculpted lion whose head collapsed decades ago, a plastered wall that was said to be polished such that it was possible to see oneself in it, and magnificent gardens with great pools carved into the ground.

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What do students think?

The overwhelming number of positive responses we get for students who have been on the Ayurveda experience are a testament to how good it really is.

Here’s what some of them have had to say about it:

“I highly recommend this experience to sample the attitudes and practicalities of ayurvedic medicine.” — Leanne Preston

“It was brilliant — everyone should go on this placement.” — Jessica Kennedy

“The afternoons were fantastic — we were very lucky to have local people take us out or I doubt we would have found these beautiful places.” — Alexandra Brammer

So, if you’re interested in studying ancient medicinal practice in Sri Lanka get in touch with us today by filling out the short enquiry form, or choose your discipline to read more about our elective placements abroad.

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