Local Sri Lanka Experience

Agency
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founded in 2011
Josh
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Coordinator | Josh
Coordinator | Josh
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.

High­lights

Explore the cultural triangle – a treasure trove of ancient ruins & wildlife
Count wild elephants on safari in Udawalawe national park
Chill by the beach in Mirissa & experience stick fishing in Weligama
Visit the grand colonial buildings & UNESCO world heritage site of Galle fort
Volunteer in Sri Lanka amongst the bustling coastal town of ambalangoda
Do something life-changing discovering the real Sri Lanka. Spend four amazing weeks exploring and volunteering in this hugely inspiring country. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Groups
The Real Sri Lanka Experience offers ambitious individuals the opportunity to join together and embark on a thrilling adventure across Sri Lanka. Our local team provides a structured, face-paced and thrilling group itinerary across a number of amazing sites around the country. Your group will also dedicate time to volunteering projects to give back to local communities, developing and showcasing your skills. On the gap year Sri Lanka experience, you will arrive into Sri Lanka on a set date, joining your group before travelling and volunteering across a 4 week period. 

Individuals on this experience trip have the unique chance to explore the whole of this diverse island, from the ancient Cultural Triangle to the relaxing waves of Mirissa and the lush green scenery of the central hill-country. Your adventure will pan across the best sites in the entire country, before dedicating your time to meaningful volunteer projects on the south coast. Across this 27 day itinerary, be prepared for breathtaking sites, friends for life and complete cultural immersion. The gap year Sri Lanka experience is perfect for anyone looking to travel within a safe, structured and social environment.

From one destination to the next, you won’t need to worry about a thing. All your in-country transport and accommodation will be arranged by our local teams on the gap year Sri Lanka experience. This helps to ensure that your experience abroad is as smooth as possible. Our team will arrange numerous activities for you to enjoy and engage in during your trip. For any spare time, our local experts will be able to help you discover the impressive range of activities you can get involved in during your trip to Sri Lanka. A portion of your time will also be dedicated to making a difference within a community in Sri Lanka. This will allow you to put your skills and enthusiasm into practice to make a meaningful difference to local communities overseas.

The trip’s group set-up makes the gap year Sri Lanka experience an exceptional social occasion. You have the chance to meet individuals from across the globe, forming friendships that will last a lifetime. You will stay together for your entire adventure, sharing moments and memories that will stay with you forever. You will also have the chance to immerse yourself with members of the local community, making your gap year programs in Sri Lanka even more special.

EXPLORING SRI LANKA

As exquisite as Sri Lanka might be, it’s certainly had its share of challenges, from years of war to overpowering tsunamis. However, the country has been moving forward quickly, which puts Sri Lanka now firmly on many travellers itineraries. In fact, it has been a favourite destination of PMGY volunteers and adventurous travel tours for many years, almost like a best-kept secret!

Sri Lanka may be small but it has more than 2,000 years of culture, 8 (yes 8!) Unesco World Heritage Sites, endless beaches, lush rainforests, welcoming people, rolling surf, cheap prices, fun trains, famous tea, oodles of elephants, wonderful food and so, so much more. With travelling distances so short and sights to see aplenty, it means your 2 weeks are spent enjoying the huge diversity of this island without having to spend lots of time in transit during your gap year Sri Lanka experience.

Firstly on your travels, you’ll get to learn about the rich history and kingdoms of the Cultural Triangle at the famous Temple of the Tooth, cultural dance show, Sigiriya Rock, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura ruins. Next, you'll explore the tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya and experience spectacular views, walks and waterfalls in Ella. After that, spot leopards, elephants and a sloth bear on Safari in Udawalawe National Park. Finally, a chance to relax and bodyboard on Mirissa beach plus explore the streets of Galle Fort!

During the last two weeks on the gap year Sri Lanka experience, you will be based in Ambalangoda with other volunteers on the Sri Lanka volunteer program. This town is traditionally a fishing community but is famous for being the major production centre for demonic wooden masks.

Your group will travel together by private minibus visiting some of the best destinations Sri Lanka has to offer, as well as some of the hidden gems most visitors never see! A PMGY coordinator will accompany you throughout your gap year Sri Lanka experience, so you’ll get the chance to learn so much about the country’s culture and history.

VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT

PMGY’s volunteer work in Sri Lanka runs throughout the year, so you’ll be joining our development work in Ambalangoda alongside existing PMGY volunteers. Over the course of the final two weeks of your gap year Sri Lanka experience, you’ll have the opportunity to join our projects teaching English. You can also opt to join one of the Wildlife, Medical or Renovation & Community projects.

Volunteer in Sri Lanka to truly immerse yourself in the local culture, spending time in the community and learning about what life is like for the Sri Lankan people. Getting involved in our local community development projects ensures that you’ll make a positive impact during your time on the gap year Sri Lanka experience.

The one thing that every volunteer in Sri Lanka will never forget is the genuine friendliness and warmth shown by the locals. Just walking through the village you’ll be greeted with smiles and waves – it really does feel like a second home on your gap year Sri Lanka experience.

You can choose which project you’d like to do during the online application process. The following projects are available for you to take part in, but please note some do require an additional fee:

  • Dog Rescue
  • English Teaching
  • Medical 
  • Renovation and Community
  • Sea Turtle Conservation

Typical day

Almost every day you will be doing something different on this adventure, but here is an example of what a day on this trip will look like:

You will be met at Colombo airport by a member of our local team who will be holding a name sign for everyone on the gap year Sri Lanka experience.

We will transfer you to a guesthouse in Negombo, a town just 10 miles from the airport. After that, you can relax, catch up with jet lag and meet fellow travellers on the PMGY Sri Lanka Intro Experience and Real Sri Lanka Experience.

Over the next couple days, we will check out some of Kandy’s iconic sites, which will include a visit to the bustling Temple of the Tooth and Bahirawa Kanda Temple for a beautiful hill-top view of the city.

Next is an action-packed day! We will kick off the day by visiting a spice and herbal plantation on your gap year Sri Lanka experience. Here, you will learn about how a wide range of plants grow in Sri Lanka and how they are used for medicine across the world.

It’s time to see a different side of the country on your gap year Sri Lanka experience – the glorious southern hill country. The hill country is the highest, wildest and in many ways the most beautiful part of Sri Lanka.

Depending on which project you choose to do on your online application will influence the daily timings you join us at the project.

You’ll be in personal contact with our local coordinators every day across your two weeks volunteering with us so if you need anything we are there for you 24/7.

Free-time activities

  • Marvel at the famous Kandyan dancing & the iconic temple of the tooth relic
  • Explore the cultural triangle – a treasure trove of ancient ruins & wildlife
  • Pick tea leaves & step back in time in ‘little England
  • Enjoy breathtaking views from little adam’s peak to the nine arch bridge
  • Count wild elephants on safari in Udawalawe national park
  • Chill by the beach in Mirissa & experience stick fishing in Weligama
  • Visit the grand colonial buildings & UNESCO world heritage site of Galle fort
  • Volunteer in Sri Lanka amongst the bustling coastal town of ambalangoda
  • Practice your new Sinhalese phrases with the locals
Hiking
Museum/
Opera
Shopping/
Souvenirs
Sightseeing

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Criminal Background Check
required
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
- be physically fit
- medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas must be declared to us during your online application
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

What's Included

Services by Plan My Gap Year

Your programme fee includes

  • accommodation
  • meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • airport pickup (9:30 onwards)
  • in-country orientation
  • private transport across Sri Lanka
  • private transport to/from project
  • entrance fees
  • Cultural Dance Shows in Kandy
  • Temple of the Tooth
  • Sigirya Rock and its Ancient City
  • Tea Plantation Tour
  • Little Adam's Peak and 9 Arch Bridge
  • Udawalawe National Park Safari
  • Polonnaruwa Bicycle Tour
  • 24 hour in-country support.
Your registration fee includes; 
  • 24 hour UK based support, 
  • comprehensive volunteer handbook, 
  • live pre-departure webinars, 
  • regular programme inspection
  • international certificate of completion.

Airport Pickup at Bandaranaike International Airport
For your trip to Sri Lanka, you should book your flights to Colombo Bandaranaike Airport in Colombo on the selected Monday start date after 9:30am. The airport code is CMB. You will be met at the airport by a member of the local team or an appointed driver, who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.
Accommodation

All your accommodation is organised by PMGY on the Real Sri Lanka Experience. During the travelling part of your trip, you will stay at guesthouses or hotels sharing a room with fellow travellers. All rooms will be single-sex, fanned and have western bathrooms. 

When travelling, our team will do their best to arrange twin rooms or single beds (guaranteed to be in place for the first night of your gap year Sri Lanka experience). However, from time to time some volunteers may be required to share double beds depending on availability. The guesthouses will be basic but clean, comfortable and have the amenities you need.

 

Volunteer House

During the last two weeks of your gap year Sri Lanka experience, you will stay in one of our Volunteer Houses in Ambalangoda. The Volunteer House is located just outside of central Ambalangoda on the south coast, in a peaceful part of town. It is just a 10 minute tuk-tuk journey into the main town, where you can find ATMs, supermarkets and local restaurants. You’ll be living with other PMGY volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way!

The accommodation is basic but comfortable and clean, fitting up to 10 people per room in single-sex bedrooms with bunk beds. Volunteers are provided with air conditioning in the room and bed linen. You will have cupboard space to store clothes and accessories as well as a personal locker to store your valuables. However, volunteers are still encouraged to only bring essential items during their gap year Sri Lanka experience.

The bathrooms are shared, each with a shower and western style toilet. The water is cold but this shouldn’t be a problem if you volunteer in Sri Lanka, as the climate is hot and humid all year round!

The house has a voucher-based Wi-Fi system and a communal area for international volunteers to relax, hang out with new friends or prepare lesson plans if you are teaching English. There is also a refrigerator to store any items you need to keep chilled. A member of our local team will also live at the house. This ensures you have round the clock support and security during your Sri Lanka volunteer program.

We will transport you via tuk-tuk or private car to and from your volunteer work in Sri Lanka, which is usually between 5-30 minutes away from the house. This service is included in your Program Fee. 

During our busiest months you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our alternative Volunteer Houses

Dorm Room Guesthouse Hotel
Food & Beverages

You will be served three meals per day across the whole four weeks of the gap year Sri Lanka experience. Most meals are traditional Sri Lankan dishes that can be typically quite spicy. Sri Lankan cuisine consists of a lot of rice and the meat is mainly fish or chicken – vegetarian options are always available.

During the first two weeks of travelling, meals are mostly buffet format so volunteers can pick and choose what they want. When travelling, bottled water will be provided for each mealtime. Water outside of mealtimes and any soft drinks are at your own expense throughout the gap year Sri Lanka experience.

At the Volunteer House, a weekly menu has been introduced that blends Sri Lanka cuisine with Western cuisine so you will know in advance what is on the menu for that day!

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) in Colombo. We assist you to find cheap flights to Sri Lanka.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Sri Lanka provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Sri Lanka you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Sri Lanka.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

For your trip to Sri Lanka, you should book your flights to Colombo Bandaranaike Airport in Colombo on the selected Monday start date after 9:30am. The airport code is CMB. You will be met at the airport by a member of the local team or an appointed driver, who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
4 - 4 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
4 weeks (min. stay)
$1,404
4 weeks (max. stay)
$1,404
Average fees
$351 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Plan My Gap Year will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Plan My Gap Year during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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High ethical standards & transparent social impact
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Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Plan My Gap Year cancels your trip
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We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Plan My Gap Year.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Local Sri Lanka Experience

Do something life-changing discovering the real Sri Lanka. Spend four amazing weeks exploring and volunteering in this hugely inspiring country.

$351/week

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