Sri Lanka Kindergarten & Teaching Volunteers
2-6 weeks from $1,360
- Help young Sri Lankan kids learn English in class and after school
- Get an insight into local culture as you live and volunteer alongside local people
- Teach new skills that’ll broaden your students’ opportunities in life
- Enjoy support and resources provided by the local team
- Gain fantastic teaching experience that’ll set you apart from the crowd
- Relax on the beach or explore Sri Lanka during your time off
Head over to Sri Lanka and become a volunteer teacher at some wonderful local primary schools and kindergartens. Help children improve their English skills and lead fun activities and lessons that’ll engage the kids and make them fall in love with the language. You’ll focus on basic alphabet, numeracy and grammar, and come up with creative ways of introducing new ideas. You’ll enjoy the full support of the local team, plus access to resources that’ll give your lesson plans a boost. You’ll gain fantastic teaching experience, make a difference in local education, and get time off to relax and explore!
Want to find out more?
Download more trip information and detailed itinerary
What to Expect at the Volunteer Project
When you arrive into Colombo, you will be met at the airport and taken to your volunteer accommodation. You will be staying in shared volunteer dorms in a villa that is located just 10 minutes from the beach.
You will volunteer from Monday to Friday, working with a number of schools in the area. You will typically volunteer in the classroom from 8am-10am each morning and sometimes you may also have the opportunity to help out in the afternoon sessions for after school clubs and extra-curricular activities from 3pm-4pm. Please note that timings are subject to change and your schedule will be determined by the local team in Sri Lanka based on the needs of the project at the time of your stay. As well as your volunteering duties you may also have the opportunity to take part in a number of activites which may occur whilst you are at the project, such as:
- Weekly yoga class from an experienced yoga teacher
- Weekly movie night on large screen projector
- Monthly guided bike tour around the local paddyfields and countryside
- Monthly special Sri Lanka BBQ dinner
- Monthly cultural visit to Buddhist temple
Your weekends are free to relax and explore. You can chill out on the beach, wander around historic Galle, or join one of the optional excursions which are organised by the local team including yoga sessions, cooking classes, bicycle rides around the rice paddy fields surrounding Galle. Alternatively venture further field to explore the beautiful beach resorts nearby.
A Day in the Life
The school day begins at 8am, so you’ll have to be up early and full of energy to engage the children! Your duties will vary depending on whether you are volunteering in a kindergarten or a primary school:
Kindergarten. If you are volunteering in a kindergarten, you will be working with children aged 3-5 years old. You’ll teach the children the basic alphabet, help them learn songs and rhymes, assist the teachers in the classroom, lead art-based activities, and organise simple games during playtime. You’ll also help supervise meal times and prepare resources for the teachers.
Primary School. If you are volunteering in a primary school, you’ll be working with children aged 6-12 years old. You’ll help the kids work through their English curriculum, teach basic maths and science, read stories to the class, work one-to-one with students who are struggling, and organise clubs and after-school activities.
The morning session normally finishes at around 10am, you may have the opportunity to help out with afternoon sessions depending on the needs of the project at the time of your stay. Alternatively, you can spend the afternoon back at the volunteer villa, preparing lesson plans for the following day, chatting with other volunteers and relaxing by the beach!
Please note: that the projects do not run during school holidays. Please download the trip notes for school holiday dates. During this time you will have free time to explore Sri Lanka and the surrounding areas. Please also note that Sri Lanka has lots of national holidays dotted throughout the year whereby the projects will also not run. Please speak to a travel advisor for more information.
Purpose and Aim of the Project
This project has been set up to connect international volunteers with schools and kindergartens in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan education system faces a number of challenges at present, including lack of training for teachers, limited funding, a disorganized curriculum and frequent education policy changes. All of these factors have contributed to a poor quality of education in the country.
One major failing of the system is the lack of quality English teaching in schools. English can be a vital skill for young people looking for work, particularly since Sri Lanka has become a popular tourism destination. The project seeks to improve English teaching by bringing in international volunteers. This in turn will open up new employment opportunities for young people when they leave school.
This project is ideal for anyone who is looking to gain teaching experience in a unique setting. You will plan and deliver creative and engaging lessons, and learn a great deal about working with children in a primary school environment. This experience will not only serve you well for any future teaching, but also make your CV stand out when you come to apply for jobs.
You’ll also enjoy the satisfaction of having made a difference in the lives of these children. Your students will be warm, welcoming and eager to learn, and the lessons and games you lead will bring smiles to their faces. There’s no greater feeling than seeing the results of your work as the confidence and skills of your pupils increase during your time here. You’ll also create meaningful connections and make an impression on the children that will last a lifetime.
- Airport transfers between stated hours on start date
- All accommodation at a volunteer villa
- 3 meals a day while at the project
- Project orientation
- Volunteer teaching placement
- Transfers to and from the project
- Weekly yoga class on rooftop terrace
- Weekly movie night
- Monthly bike tour of local villages
- Monthly garden BBQ
- 24-hour emergency support
- Travel Insurance
- School resources such as photocopying, art resources etc
- Snacks and drinks
- Free Time Activities
The accommodation you will stay in a a volunteer house in southern Sri Lanka's Unawatuna district of Galle. The volunteer house overlooks the beach which is just a 5 minute walk away and the historic city of Galle is a 15 minute tuk tuk ride away.
There are 11 ensuite bedrooms with a maximum of 6 per room, although most rooms are are only 4. Rooms are single sex, but private room upgrades are available at extra cost. The house has 3 kitchens, 3 common areas, a dining area, private outdoor garden and swimming pool. The house is covered by CCTV and is located in a safe and quiet residential neighbourhood. Hot water and wifi included. Airconditioning and laundry facilities are available at an extra charge which is payable locally.
3 meals a day are provided at the volunteer house. These will be prepared by the in-house chef using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Breakfasts usually consist of pancakes, eggs or fruit. Lunch and dinner is often Sri Lankan curry with vegetables, pasta, soups, wraps or fresh salads. You will need to purchase any additional snacks yourself, and there is storage for your food in the kitchen.
You should arrange your flight into Colombo International Airport between the hours of 8am and 5pm on your programme start date. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your accommodation near Galle. If you arrive outside of these times (and if your flight is delayed so you arrive after 5pm), you will need to pay for a private transfer, please contact us for details.
Your project finishes on your programme end date, please arrange your flights to depart from Colombo International Airport between 10am and 7pm. A departure airport transfer is included between these times however if you flight departs at other times no transfer will be included but can be arranged locally; please ensure that you allow plenty of time for your journey back to Colombo and check-in at the airport.
The minimum age to participate in this volunteer experience is 18 years; this is an open-aged volunteer programme so you are likely to meet other volunteers of varying ages on this project.
You will need to get a visa before arrival for Sri Lanka with a UK passport. You can apply for a Electronic Travel Authorization visa online (ETA) through the offical Sri Lankan ETA website.
We recommend you check the latest visa regulations with the Sri Lanka Embassy.
If you intend to stay for longer than 30 days, you will need to make an appointment with the Sri Lankan Embassy in the UK to apply for a 90 day visa. You should also ensure that your passport will still be in date for six months after your return. All visa information is subject to change and you should consult the nearest High Commission or Embassy for the most up to date information.
DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service)
An enhanced DBS check is required for this programme. If you do not hold a certificate dated within 12 months of your programme start date, please contact us as we can help you arrange the DBS check for an extra fee.
How Long Can I Volunteer For?
On this project you can volunteer from 2 to 4 weeks.
Where Will I Be Staying?
You will be staying in Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. This town is a wonderful UNESCO World Heritage Site, with plenty of historic areas to explore and beaches to relax on. It is also near to other beautiful areas such as Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna which you can explore during your time off.
What Can I Do During My Time Off?
During your time off, you can relax in Galle or explore some nearby beaches. You could also join one of the optional activities or excursions that are organised by the local team. Previous excursions have included whale watching and rainforest hikes. Alternatively you may like to use your weekends to venture further afield and discover more of what Sri Lanka has to offer - from the beautiful hill country town of Ella which is surrounded by tea plantations, to Kandy - one of the most spiritually important towns of the buddhist world which is home to the temple of the tooth relic, to stunning beaches and much much more.
Why Type Of Food Should I Expect?
3 meals per day are provided at the volunteer house and are included in your programme. This will generally be local Sri Lankan dishes such as rice and curry, sambol, bread, fruit and vegetables.
What Type Of Clothing Should I Wear?
Sri Lanka is a very conservative country and you are asked to dress appropriately. Whilst volunteering please ensure that your shoulders, chest and mid-riff are covered and shorts/skirts should be knee-length or longer. Long skirts are recommended for girls.
Due to Covid-19, many of our partners and suppliers across the globe are putting in place new procedures and policies regarding health and safety in response to the outbreak. These new measures will adapt and change as the state of travel evolves, and the policies and procedures will vary depending on each trip. Some changes that you may experience on our trips are:
Updated safety & hygiene procedures
Health and safety measures will be adapted by our partners and suppliers, dependent on local laws and restrictions.
Different transport & accommodation
You may find yourself on transport or in accommodation that would not typically be used, such as hostels that are more secluded, or on more private transport. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Most trips include a meeting on arrival with the guide or local team to discuss the trip, and this is an opportunity for you to ask any questions. You should arrive in time to attend these briefings.
Emergency support 24/7
We have a UK based 24/7 emergency phone line if you have a genuine urgent matter that you need attending.
Knowledgeable & Trained Staff
We can help answer any questions or concerns you may have before you depart. Whilst travelling the guide or local team on our trips are there to help, and to ensure the smooth running of our trips.
Should you require medical assistance whilst travelling, the local team or guide will be able to help you get to a point of care. Medical facilities and standards can vary across the glove, so you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place.
Varying group sizes
To begin with, many trips will run with amended group sizes, so you may find smaller groups than would be typical. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Whilst there may be changes on our trips, it is vital that you make travelling safer for yourself, your travel companions, the local staff and guides, and the people of the country you are visiting. You should follow all local laws and restrictions, and follow the guidance of the local team. In addition, you can help make travel safer by bringing and using your own face coverings/masks and hand sanitiser, social distance where appropriate, wash your hands frequently, and cover your face when coughing or sneezing.