Projects Abroad in Sri Lanka
On arrival in Sri Lanka, one of the first things you will notice as you step outside the airport is the heat - something you do become accustomed to! You will be met at the airport and be driven directly to your host family. A Projects Abroad member of staff will then come and meet you that evening or the next morning and take you out for a meal. You’ll be given your welcome pack and will have the chance to chat and discuss anything you wish to know more about!
The majority of our volunteers are based within a couple of hour’s drive of Colombo, in several small coastal towns, from Negombo to Kalutara. All our volunteers live with local host families who are always eager to teach the volunteers Sinhala and practise their English.
All your meals will be cooked by your Sri Lankan hosts - delicious, authentic cuisine! Sri Lankan cuisine is similar to south Indian food, with lots of rice and hot curries! Fresh fruit is widely available and as there is so much coastline, there is also a lot of fresh fish and seafood. Vegetarians can easily be catered for.
Volunteering in Sri Lanka – Induction and Orientation
Once introductions have been made at your host family, a member of staff will give you a general orientation of the area, helping you get your bearings. Later that day or the following day, you’ll then be taken to your placement where you’ll meet your placement supervisor. A Projects Abroad staff member will then stay with you until you’re settled at work and happy with your schedule.
Most volunteers walk to work, however if you do need to take a local bus then you’ll be shown how to use public transport, so you become familiar with the route and landmarks. Projects Abroad will cover the cost of transport to and from your work placement where required.
As Sri Lanka is a relatively small country, it is easy to get around. There are frequent buses in and out of Colombo, along the main costal road and also into the hill region. Here you will be able to find anything you need to buy and any type of food you wish to eat! Internet is also readily available and is the cheapest and easiest way of staying in touch with friends and family back home.
At the end of your placement we will arrange your journey back to the airport by taxi.
If you arrive in Sri Lanka on a Friday, you will have your orientation on the Monday, unless you arrive in the morning and are willing to have the orientation on the Friday afternoon. Additionally, if you arrive on a Friday or Saturday, local staff will be in contact with you over the weekend and will try to include you in weekend travels.