Travel to the beautiful, lush green landscape of Palampur, a market town in the north of India and live the life of a local doctor or nurse. Shadow fully qualified medical professionals and intern in a variety of different departments to get a real insight into how the healthcare system works in India.
If you want to add some sightseeing to your trip, add our highly-recommended, week-long cultural and language orientation in Delhi and visit Agra, home of the Taj Mahal.
Duration: 2 – 12 weeks
Dates: All year round. Orientation begins in Palampur on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month
Arrival day: Sunday
Return day: Saturday
Eligibility: Interns should have an interest in, or already be studying, a medical related course
- Gaining experience in a professional medical setting in India
- Enhancing your CV with fascinating international work experience
- Enjoying life in India away from the busy cities – think Himalayan views & lush tea plantations on your doorstep!
- Relaxing with rooftop yoga classes and enjoying delicious authentic Indian cuisine
- Living with like-minded interns who share your enthusiasm for medicine
If you are considering a career in medicine, test the water by getting involved in medical internships abroad. Our medical internship in northern India is designed for people who are not yet studying medicine, but have an interest in the subject.
Surrounded by rice fields and tea plantations in Palampur, our medical interns get to experience what the medical system is like in a more rural part of India.
When you first arrive in Palampur, it almost feels like you are in a different country, compared to the hustle and bustle of Delhi. As an intern, you will learn how to carry out different procedures and you will get a first-hand understanding of what it is like to be a doctor or nurse.
We work with a number of health institutions in Palampur, including hospitals, dental clinics, nursing homes, physio centres and centres that provide alternative and traditional forms of medicine.
Whether you are enrolling on to a medical, nursing or physiotherapy course at university, or a current student, this programme is the perfect way to gain medical work experience. Joining this internship will make your CV stand out and you will create memories that you will remember for a lifetime.
On this medical internship you will shadow medical professionals, all of whom are keen to work with you and share their experience. You can expect to work alongside staff from various departments each day, meaning you will get to see variety of medical procedures. Interns can work in numerous departments, including:
- In-patients wards
- Occupational therapy
- General wards
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Internal medicine
- General surgery
If you have a particular field of interest, let us know.
Expect to work 5 days a week, between 9.30am and 2pm. At 2pm, interns head back to the accommodation for lunch and then relax for the rest of the afternoon and evening. There are also yoga classes and a number of tours you can enjoy in your free time.
The contrast here is huge compared to home, but in a good way! My first medical session today went well – the doctor in the clinic was very nice. – Ed, pre-med intern
This internship is perfect for people who have studied or are looking to study medicine, nursing or physiotherapy.
The perfect intern will be flexible, enthusiastic and will need a good work ethic. In return, you will gain a valuable experience that will help in your future medical career.
- You will live in a purpose built volunteer house on the outskirts of Palampur
- Up to 20 participants can be accommodated at a time and you should expect to share a room with three other people
- Each room is en-suite with western style toilet, hot water and shower
- There is WiFi access but it is not reliable – we recommend getting a local SIM card with a data allowance in India
- A real bonus is the yoga class held on the roof of the accommodation, giving you a chance to unwind relax while gazing at the stunning views of the Himalayas
- There is also a badminton court in front of the accommodation, and lots of games to enjoy with your fellow participants
- The house is a 15 minute walk from the main road (where you can catch the bus into town)
- You will be cooked 3 delicious meals a day, seven days a week, allowing you to experience real Indian cuisine
To prepare for your intern programme, we recommend that you take part in our optional language and cultural week in Delhi for an additional £415.
The week provides an opportunity to relax, get over your jet lag and learn lots about your new home. We provide Hindi lessons, including key words and phrases that you will find useful when you arrive in Palampur.
The Language and Cultural week starts on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month and would take place the week before you head to Palampur to begin your medical internship.
We have been working closely with our partners in India and keeping an eye on the current travel restrictions to ensure we have the most up to date information and give you peace of mind. Please see the links below for more information.
- See our Covid-19 updates
We expect there to be small changes to the program in order to accommodate restrictions in place at the time of travel. These may include:
- social distancing
- accommodation amendments
- private transfers instead of groups
- proof of a negative Covid-19 test upon arrival (taken within 72 hours before travel)
- wearing masks and other protective clothing
- extra health and safety measures
Depending on when you are due to travel, some of these may become obsolete. We advise to be prepared for a quick turnaround of travel arrangements and having back up options should changes need to be made.
Airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) – for the optional Language and Cultural week and then Gaggal Airport in Dharamshala (DHM) to begin your medical internship
Arrival day: Sunday. The internship begins in Palampur on the 2nd and 4th Monday of every month.
Transfers: You will be met at the airport and transferred to your accommodation ready to start your orientation on the Monday morning.
Departure day: Saturday – you will be taken back to Dharamshala Airport.
Rajiv and his team of coordinators in India will be looking after you throughout your stay on the internship. The coordinators will have daily contact with you, often at the house at the end of each day to discuss how your day has gone.
On your first day, you will be given a half day orientation in Palampur so that you feel familiar with public transport and the local area. You will also be taken out for a meal to welcome you to the area.
- Access to your own personal ‘My Oyster’ account – our online portal where you can find out much more about the program and manage your booking
- Dedicated contact time with an experienced destination manager to discuss the project, answer any of your questions and for us to find out more about you
- Help and advice from our UK office before arrival and whilst you are away
- In-country support
- Pre-departure information covering medical, safety and project advice
- Financial protection: ATOL (if we book your flights); IPP (if we don’t book your flights)
- Thorough orientation on arrival
- Accommodation (see the ‘accommodation’ section above for details)
- Advice on visa requirements
- Oyster plants a tree in Africa with TreeAid to help reduce the impact of global carbon emissions
- Airport pick up and drop off at Dharamshala Airport
- Welcome meal at a restaurant
- 3 meals a day
- Optional language and cultural week that can be added – highly recommended
- Oyster Worldwide volunteer t-shirt
- Oyster luggage tag
On your return:
- Welcome home pack
- Certificate of Recognition (on request)
- References (on request)
- Flights – as an ATOL bonded company, Oyster can book flights for you
- You need a valid passport that meets the requirements of the country you will be travelling to
- Insurance (covering your time with Oyster and any planned independent travel)
- Any costs associated with changing your return flight date if you need to
- Independent travel costs
- Home country travel costs
- Spending money for additional trips, food and entertainment
- India e-visa (approx £45)
- Spending money for drinks/snacks and cost of travel between projects (£60 per week should be more than sufficient)
Having visited Palampur I was very impressed with the setup for interns. We are partnered with an organisation in India that has been working with interns, and the projects, since 2004. It is clear that medical interns will be kept busy and will be well supported throughout their time in India.
The perfect intern for this programme would be someone who has a passion for medicine, is willing to put themselves forward and wants to learn about a new medical system.
Volunteers will start work around 9:30am and finish at 2pm. You are placed on a rotation so that you will get to see a variety of different departments.
At 2pm, volunteers tend to head back to the accommodation for lunch and to relax for the rest of the afternoon and evening.
If you want to, you can return to the project after lunch.
This programme runs all year round, beginning on the 2nd and 4th Monday of every month. Generally, volunteers arrive in Palampur on the Sunday, and leave again on the Saturday at the end of their programme.
If you want to join our language and cultural week in Delhi before joining the internship in Palampur, you will need to be in Delhi ready to start on the 1st or 3rd Monday of the month.
Arguably, working in medicine is one of the toughest careers out there, but it is certainly one of the most valuable. For those who are passionate about the world of medicine, this medical internship certainly offers a real experience of life as a medical professional in India.
This is the perfect opportunity for individuals who are diligent and committed. It is hard work, but the benefits are worth it. You will get to live with other like-minded interns and you will feel truly immersed in Indian life! It is the perfect opportunity to share your medical expertise or to start you career in medicine.
Gaining medical work experience for your CV is vital if you want to stand out from the crowd when it comes to starting your career. Showing experience from your time in India will demonstrate that you are committed, outgoing and have an in-depth understanding of a different type of medical system.
If you don’t want to fly from Delhi to Dharamshala, there is a 10 hour bus journey you can take from Delhi.
This can be booked on arrival and is operated by the Himachal Road Transport Corporation. Interns will be picked up from the bus station and taken to the accommodation.
The temperature in Palampur ranges between 2 and 15 degrees centigrade (Jan) up to 30 degrees centigrade (May). Summer is usually much hotter, but cool in the evenings. During the winter months, it is usually warm during the day and cold at night. Palampur is located in a valley which means that it feels much cooler and fresher than other parts of India – making it a great place to stay!
The monsoon arrives in July and August. Whilst you should expect heavy downpours, it doesn’t rain all day everyday!
A budget of £60 per week should be more than enough. Included in that you will need to cover the cost of local transport each day, this would cost approximately £2 per day.
Credit cards are advised for emergencies, as well as enough cash to see you through the first few days, there are ATM’s and currency exchanges at the airport and all over Delhi and Palampur. The major banks in India are State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC bank, Axis, Kotak Mahindra Band and Standard Chartered bank.
Visas must be applied for before departure. 30 day visas are available to nationals from many countries online. Simply visit the Indian Visa Online website for more information. If you are looking to stay longer than 30 days, you will have to visit the Indian Mission (Embassy or High Commission) in your home country.
You will need to keep copies of the following documents whilst in India:
- Flight Tickets
Most people who book with Oyster are solo travellers who meet other volunteers on arrival.
We will certainly try to arrange for you to live with a friend if you want to travel together. Just give us as much notice as possible.
You should visit your doctor or travel nurse to find out what vaccinations you will need.
Vaccinations are usually recommended for the following conditions: Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Tetanus. Recommendations do change and it is important to discuss your personal requirements with your doctor.
The volunteer accommodation has a perimeter fence with a guard hut at the gate. There is a member of staff responsible for security 24 hours a day. When you are away from the accommodation (on the project), there are always house staff around, cleaning and preparing food.
Palampur is considered a safe place for foreigners. You will get a full safety briefing on arrival. Common sense rules apply and there is a curfew for volunteers. There will be in-country support throughout your stay.
The volunteer house is in a neighbourhood which has access to local markets. The house is a 15 minute walk to the main road and then you can take a bus into town. The bus journey takes 15 minutes.
Participants will live in a volunteer house in Palampur. The accommodation has fans and WiFi, although WIFI can be temperamental. The houses have single sex, shared rooms.
Typically, for breakfast you will be served tea, bread, butter, jam and eggs. For dinner, you will be served delicious, freshly prepared, Indian food. Typical Indian cuisine consists of spices and herbs, using ingredients such as chillies, nutmeg, ginger, garlic and cardamom.
WiFi is available in internet cafes. There is WiFi at the accommodation, although this can be temperamental. We recommend you get a local SIM card on arrival and use the data from that. The signal is good at the accommodation and in the areas you will be working in.
You should take an ‘unlocked’ mobile phone with you to India and purchase a local ‘pay as you go’ SIM card. This is useful for contacting the representative and the rest of the group as local calls are very cheap. SIM cards cost approx £3 and come with a data allowance. The mobile reception is good.
Palampur is in UTC +05:30.
India 3 pin plug (type D)
Lots! You’ll have plenty of time to explore Palampur and the surrounding area at the weekend. Here are some highlights:
- Visit the famous Tea Gardens
- Tashi Jong Monastery
- Baijnath Temple (Shiv Temple)
- Explore Dharamshala and visit Mcleod ganj – the home of the Dalai Lama
- Trekking in the Himalayas
- Paragliding in Billing
An optional, and highly recommended, language and cultural week can be provided in Delhi before you begin your volunteering. This gives you language training (useful for your project!), cultural awareness training, cooking lessons and the opportunity to visit the tourist hot-spots in Delhi. Also included is a visit to Agra to see the Taj Mahal!
Evenings are free and 2 days a week will be rest days. Some flexibility will be required for shift work.
You will be back from the hospital each day by mid afternoon, leaving you with a few hours to relax and enjoy the accommodation before dinner each day.
Supervision will be fairly intensive during the first few days, when you will receive a thorough induction and project-related training. On day one at the project, you will be shown the way on public transport by a member of staff. Once you are comfortable with things, you will travel each day on your own/with other volunteers. On the project you will be supervised by the doctors and nurses you are shadowing. At the accommodation, there will be staff that visit to cook meals and check in with you each day.
Staff at Oyster’s head office and in-country will be responsible for your safety and welfare while you are at the project. This will start from the moment you are picked up from the airport until the time you are dropped back there. Before and after these times, you will be outside Oyster’s responsibility and should make sure that you act safely and avoid risk. This is also true if you choose to leave the project during your time off. We will give you plenty of guidance and advice about this.