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Teach Buddhist Monks in Sri Lanka

Help Buddhist monks learn English!

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Group Size: Max 10

Trip code: SLTM

Duration: 2-6 weeks

Teach English abroad
Learn about Buddhist culture
Explore Sri Lanka in free time!

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!

Trip highlights

  • 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!
What's included
  • Airport transfers (within pick up and drop off times)
  • Simple accommodation
  • All meals
  • Project training
  • Transport to and from the project
  • Monk teaching project
  • Donation to project
  • Weekly yoga class on rooftop terrace
  • Weekly movie night
  • 24-hour emergency support
What's not included
  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional activities
  • DBS Police Record Check
  • Extra teaching resources (purchased locally)
Further trip information

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.


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.

Booking options

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Teaching volunteering is not available during Sri Lankan school holidays or exam periods. Dates are subject to change. Please also note that there are various religious and public holidays during the year and on these days no activities take place. Please contact us for further information.

Online booking is unavailable for this trip

If you'd like to discuss availability or would like us to help you find a similar trip please contact us...
Call us on: 01892 527392
Email us at: [email protected]
Arrival information

You should arrange your flight to arrive into Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport on day 1 of your trip (always a Saturday). You will be met at the airport and transferred to your accommodation in southern Sri Lanka near Galle.To receive your airport transfer you must arrive between 7am and 5pm. If you arrive outside of these times, an extra charge will apply. Please contact us for details.

Your trip will end on a Saturday. A return airport transfer is only included if your flight leaves on your end date between 10am and 8pm. For all other times the airport transfer is not included but is easy to arrange.

Accommodation & meals

Simple accommodation at a shared volunteer house which is 10 minutes tuktuk ride from Galle Fort is included for the duration of your stay. The accommodation is in southern Sri Lanka between Galle City and the beach town of Unawatuna. The volunteer house is located about 20 minutes away from the project location.

Galle is a busy port town with amazing colonial Dutch buildings in vibrant colours which lends itself to the beachy vibes. The rooms are single sex bunk bed rooms with 4-6 people per room. Homestays will be basic, but nearby volunteer centres will provide internet access and mobile phone signal. There are CCTV cameras at the front of the property for security.

Home-cooked Sri Lankan meals will be provided for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Typical food includes:

- Red rice and sambol
- Bread and fruits
- Rice and curry
- Rotis

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.

Minimum age & eligibility

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.


British nationals can get a free visa on arrival for stays of up to 30 days.

If you intend to stay for more than 30 days in Sri Lanka you will need to apply for a 90 day visa through the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Sri Lanka and make an appointment with the Sri Lankan embassy in the UK (fees apply). Once you are in Sri Lanka you can extend your visa while you are out there if necessary.


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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 £5 and is payable directly to the Post Office.
  3. 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.

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