Teach Buddhist Monks in Sri Lanka
Help Buddhist monks learn English!
Book now for £49
Group Size: Max 10
Trip code: SLTM
Duration: 2-6 weeks
Jet over to southern Sri Lanka and teach Buddhist monks English in the Pirivera (Buddhist Schools). You’ll help monks aged anywhere between 6 and 50 to improve their English reading, writing and speaking and discover Buddhist culture as you interact with monks in the classroom. In your free time, you can discover famous Buddhist sites in the area, and travel around the rest of Sri Lanka. It is an unforgettable cultural experience!
- Help monks of all ages improve their English skills
- Gain valuable teaching experience in the monastery classroom
- Discover Buddhist culture in Sri Lanka
- Stay in the historic Galle area of southern Sri Lanka
- Explore the rest of the country during your time off!
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Teach basic and intermediate level English to Buddhist monks in the Galle area, focussing on speaking, reading and writing.
Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka are very keen to learn English. However, Buddhist schools are currently struggling with a lack of funding and teaching expertise. As a volunteer, you can make a huge difference to the quality of teaching in Buddhist schools.
You will have limited resources (usually just a blackboard), and so you should be prepared to take the initiative and devise interesting and engaging lessons with limited means. Volunteers who put the most in always get the most out of their experience. Work hard, take the initiative and have an amazing time making a difference in Sri Lanka!
A Typical Volunteer Day
You will volunteer from Monday to Friday each week. A typical day of volunteering might look like this:
7:00am. Breakfast at your volunteer house.
8:30-11am. Lesson planning and preparation.
12:45-5:00pm. Teach one 2-3 hour class between the hours of 12:45 and 5pm.
Evening. Free to relax and explore.
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 chill out or explore. You will be staying in the southern area of Sri Lanka between the wonderful beach town of Unawatuna and Galle city. Why not spend your weekends chilling by the sea or exploring the Unesco World Heritage Site of Galle? You could also organise trips to Kandy, the cultural capital of Sri Lanka, discover elephants in Pinnawela, check out Yala National Park, wander the rock fortress of Sigiriya, and more! The local team can help you plan your weekend excursions.
Please note: The project does not run during school holidays. Please download the trip notes for further details or contact a travel advisor.
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Cheapest flights between London and Colombo for the next 6 months
Most expensive: £1,525 April, 2023
Arrive at Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport on day 1 of your stay.
There will be 2 shared airport transfers every Saturday (one in the morning plus one in the afternoon/evening) as follows:
A morning transfer will cover flights arriving between 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM. Our driver will arrive at the airport by 6:00am and will meet all participants who arrive between 6-10am and then collectively take the group to the volunteer house in Galle after the last person has arrived within this range. Those arriving earlier than 6am will have to wait in the arrivals area of the airport where they can sit in the air-conditioned lounge, get a local SIM card organized and even have some refreshments at the onsite food court/bakery if they choose. Our driver will also provide every participant with a complimentary bottle of drinking water.
Afternoon/Evening Transfer will cover flights arriving between 2:30 PM to 6:30 PM. The same conditions will apply as the morning transfer described above, except for the change of time.
If your flight arrives after 6:30pm or on any other day which is not a Saturday, a private transfer can be arranged for USD 100 or you can make your own arrangements.
Departure transfers are not included, but can be arranged as above for additional cost if required. Alternatively, you can book this locally once in country.
Accommodation at a shared volunteer house is included for the duration of your stay. The accommodation is in southern Sri Lanka in the Unawatuna district of Galle. The volunteer house overlooks Unawatuna beach and turquoise waters of the Indian ocean. The beach is a 5 minute walk away and the historic city of Galle is just a 15 minute drive.
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 is split over 4 floors and 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. The house has hot water and wifi included. Airconditioning and laundry facilities are available at an extra charge payable locally.
Home-cooked meals will be provided for breakfast, lunch and dinner and will be a mix of Sri Lanka food and western food Typical dishes include:
- Red rice and sambol
- Bread and fruits
- Rice and curry
- Fresh salads
Please let a travel advisor know if you have any dietary requirements, as most can be easily catered for with local ingredients.
There is also local shops within 15 minutes walking distance where volunteers can purchase drinks and western snacks as well as plenty of cafes and restaurants in Galle town.
Please note that during busy seasons you may be housed in a secondary volunteer house located a 10 minute tuk tuk drive from the main house. The house holds up to 14 people and free transport to and from both houses is provided for volunteers. All volunteers will be able to use facilities at both houses.
This is an open-aged trip (minimum age 18), suitable for travellers who wish to make a difference as a volunteer. Experience is beneficial but not essential. You will have a brief telephone interview after booking on to the programme to make sure the project is a suitable fit for your skills and abilities.
This programme is suited to passionate, creative, caring and confident people who wish to make a difference and have a rewarding travel experience. You should have a flexible, mature attitude and be open to cultural difference. This is a cultural not a party trip, so you should be willing and happy to entertain yourself in your free time.
This programme does not require you to have any prior experience or qualifications (although any you have is beneficial); you’ll receive advice in orientation upon arrival and are provided with guidelines and the daily support of a volunteer co-ordinator at each of the projects.
All tourists visiting Sri Lanka can apply for a 180-day visa through the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) website. The fee for this is 50 USD. You can also obtain an on-arrival visa in Colombo Airport at a cost of 60 USD, but this visa will only be for 30 days. If you are planning to stay in Sri Lanka for longer than 30 days, we recommend that you apply for your visa in advance, so you don't have to extend your visa with the Immigration Department during your stay.
On this particular programme, as you’ll be working with children, you’ll need to undergo an enhanced DBS previously known as CRB, or Criminal Record Bureau check and will need to have a clean criminal record.
DBS checks may list past convictions, cautions, reprimands, warnings, and if applicable will show whether or not you have been barred from working with certain vulnerable groups. Non-conviction information such as fixed penalties may also be included.
There is an addition cost for the DBS check, please speak to your travel advisor at the time of booking. The DBS process is in 3 stages:
- Once we receive your booking payment, you will then be sent an online application link for the DBS check, which you will need to complete.
- Once you have completed the application, the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) will need verification of your identity - to do this you will need to take 3 original documents to your nearest crown post office and use their DBS and ID verification service. This costs approximately £9 and is payable directly to the Post Office.
- Once the post office verification is done it usually takes up to 6 weeks for your DBS to be processed, and your DBS will be sent to you directly in the post.
This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:
Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.
Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.
Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.
Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.
Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.
Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.
Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.
24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.
It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.