Teach English in Sri Lanka

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How to Begin Teaching in Sri Lanka

Endless beaches, timeless ruins, welcoming people, oodles of elephants

Sri Lanka has beautiful unspoilt scenery, amazing wildlife and intriguing historical sites

Sri Lanka is perhaps most famous for its tea plantations (it was previously known as Ceylon) or its turbulent history, but it has so much more. This country has beautiful, unspoilt scenery, amazing wildlife and intriguing historical sites. Lose yourself trekking through spice gardens, tropical forests and mountains, or lazing on pristine white beaches. Take a trip back in time by wandering through ancient temples, castles and ruined cities. Walk on the wild side and visit game reserves to catch sight of elephants, leopards and sloth bears.
This natural beauty hides the fact that this country has one of the fastest-growing economies. It is a development hub, but based on the teachings of Buddhism and Hinduism and maintaining a religious and spiritual foundation. The capital of Colombo manages to maintain its colonial roots in its architecture alongside new hotel complexes and stylish seafront restaurants, galleries and museums. Cultural festivals are still common and usually include dancing and drumming, while those looking for a more peaceful experience should visit one of the many meditation and yoga retreats.

The Kandy Esala Perahera festival also known as the Festival of the Tooth is the oldest and largest Buddhist festival in Sri Lanka.  It's a historical procession held to honour the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha and seek blessings for fertile lands. The festival is held over ten days and features rituals, parades of performers, and a large number of elephants. 

The ancient fortress in Sigiriya (Lion’s Rock) is one of the most visited landmarks in Sri Lanka. The fortress is 200m in height and was built to resemble a huge lion. Visitors can walk up the 1200 steps to the top and explore the fortress.  Be sure to take the spiral staircase to “Mirror Wall” to find ancient and famous paintings. 

Trains are a great way for getting around Sri Lanka. Not only are they affordable, frequent and comfortable, but the scenery is some of the best in the world. There are many train routes, but the most famous route is the Kandy to Ella train journey, which takes about 6-7 hours in total. Be sure to grab a seat on the right side of the train and enjoy viewing the lush countryside and green tea fields.  

Teaching Opportunities

Sinhala and Tamil are the languages most widely spoken but Sri Lanka is realising the benefits of learning English and the growing tourism industry means that there are an increasing number of teaching opportunities. The government is using English as a means of promoting communication between the different ethnic groups, which has placed great importance on the learning of English. 
You are most likely to find a position in the capital city of Colombo, though even here there are not many language schools. It would be best to try find a job in a private international school – unless you would like to volunteer. While schools may help you with accommodation, teaching in Sri Lanka is not for financial gain, but more for the opportunity to gain teaching experience in such a vibrant, exotic destination.

Teaching Requirements

Degree Requirement Typical Contract Length Peak Hiring Seasons Visa Info Typical Students Average Monthly Cost of Living in £ GBP & Local Currency Average Monthly Salary in £ GBP & Local Currency
Not required12 Months Year-round Work permit Children,adults 50 000 LKR – 80 000 LKR (£250 – £400) 25 000LKR – 50 000LKR (£130 – £260)
Work permit
50 000 LKR – 80 000 LKR (£250 – £400)
25 000LKR – 50 000LKR (£130 – £260)

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