Psychology students complete placement in Sri Lanka

Over the summer, two Leicester students travelled to Sri Lanka to undertake a voluntary Mental Health Placement with SLV, a graduate-led volunteering organisation, which runs psychology-focused placements in Sri Lanka and also in Bali, Indonesia.

During their placement Isabel Woolrych and Alice Pisoni along with the rest of the volunteer team planned and ran therapeutic activity sessions in psychiatric facilities for individuals living with a wide range of mental health issues. In addition to their time at the hospital, volunteers also worked at numerous schools and social initiatives for children and adults with disabilities and taught English in the local community.

The students worked with the local community, as well as living with a Sri Lankan family. This completely immersive experience gave Isabel and Alice a unique insight into Sri Lankan culture and daily life.

Isabel Woolrych, a second year student studying Applied Psychology at Leicester, said: “I was incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to volunteer with SLV in Sri Lanka and can't express how rewarding and enriching it was to take part in the projects, not to mention the amazing, unique cultural perspective that we gained. I was able to get valuable experience working in psychiatric hospitals and on special needs projects, as well as teaching English to children and adults in school, colleges and temples. It was fascinating to live and work in such a different culture and even with challenges such as the language barrier, I felt incredibly welcome and at home. The volunteers that I went with were also all such enthusiastic, caring and lovely people who I'll definitely stay in touch with!! I wouldn't change my experiences in Sri Lanka for the world and I'm so grateful for the chance to make a difference and contribute to something so special.”

Alice Pisoni, who has now graduated from the University of Leicester, said: “I have learned a great deal about Mental Health and the relevant cultural differences through new experiences and challenging situations. To be able to gain practical experience in such a dramatically different country has helped me not only to enrich my CV, but also to learn more about myself, my strengths, and my career goals.”

    • The University of Leicester’s student, staff and alumni communities are now self-evidently global.  Its students are increasingly studying abroad as part of their educational experience, and the University is active in research enterprise, teaching and capacity-building collaborations globally.