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Sri Lanka Teaching

Internship in Schools


Itinerary Options

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Looking for more flexible dates?See our current dates

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Discover Sri Lanka

For a small country it packs a punch...

With its diverse landscapes ranging from rainforest, to arid plains, to highlands and sandy beaches, Sri Lanka is truly magical.

Historically, this beautiful country has been run by the British, Portuguese and Dutch, gaining independence in 1948, all of whom have left their mark. It is now a democracy that continues to make economic progress, moving on rapidly from the 2004 tsunami and the tensions of the last decade. Sri Lanka is now a peaceful, safe destination for travelers and many international travel magazines have selected Sri Lanka as a go to destination.

Look out for the ancient Buddhist ruins, the city of Anuradhapura, Galle Forte, rolling tea estates, national parks, jackfruit curry and, of course, cricket. Seriously, you need to know your cricket rules.

You will become fully immersed in day-to-day school life, helping, developing and inspiring both inside and outside the classroom.

Program Itinerary

This is a fully immersive and dedicated experience where you will teach in the same place everyday building strong relationships with those in your class.



Welcome to this super cool island

You'll arrive in the hip city of Colombo which is, we have to admit, one of the most beautiful cites in Asia. Think colonial architecture mixed with cosmopolitan style, breezy boulevards, markets and a hip cafe culture. Heaven, and one to explore at the weekends.

You will be based in one of the pretty coastal towns of Negombo, Moratuwa, Panadura, Wadduwa or Kalutara, found on the outskirts of Colombo.


English speaking host family. Rooms are clean and comfy, but don’t expect any hot water!

Expect 1 - 2 volunteers per family, we will check before you go to ensure you have at least one other volunteer to live with.


3 meals a day provided.
Expect to eat a lot of spicy curries, dahls, salads and exotic fruit.


Teaching Both inside and outside the classroom

Education is Everything

As we all know a good education is fundamental to escaping poverty and broadening horizons and a teaching placement can be nothing but rewarding. We have a great selection of teaching opportunities for you to choose from found in the primary schools, community centres and temples in the towns of Negombo, Moratuwa, Panadura, Wadduwa and Kalutara, outside Colombo.

Schools and Community Centres
Primary schools and community centres will provide you with the opportunity to teach younger children who have very little knowledge of the English language. Here it's all about coming up with fun, inventive activities that will give them a good grasp of basic conversation.

A typical school day runs from 8am to 2pm, and is broken down into eight separate 40-minute periods. You will teach for about four periods per day, and spend the rest of the time preparing for the next day and helping with any extracurricular activities, such as music lessons and football coaching.

The temple setting offers a beautiful, tranquil environment where you will have the unique opportunity to teach English to monks of all ages, while gaining a fantastic insight into Buddhism, meditation and a totally different way of life.

The monks speak Sinhalese as their first language, and have a good grounding of conversational english which you will develop, increasing their confidence and fluency.

Skills and Experience

Minimum age is 18, no experience required.
CRB check essential, which costs about £20

Our partners on the ground organise regular workshops for all the teaching volunteers. The workshops provide you with a greater insight into the educational system in Sri Lanka and the background of your placement , including advice and suggestions for classroom activities.

Where will you work?
If you have a preference, please let us know and we will try to accommodate.

Program Details & Costs

Very flexible - you can depart on the first Monday of any month and stay from 4 weeks up to 10. We highly recommend you consider going for longer than 4 weeks as it takes time to bed in and the longer you are there the more impact you can make.

Departs 1st Monday of the month

2020: 6 Jan, 3 Feb, 2 Mar, 6 Apr, 4 May, 1 Jun, 3 Aug, 7 Sep, 5 Oct, 2 Nov, 7 Dec

2021: 4 Jan, 1 Feb, 1 Mar, 5 Apr, 3 May, 7 Jun, 2 Aug, 6 Sep, 4 Oct, 1 Nov, 6 Dec


4 weeks
1 week induction + 3 weeks teaching
2020: £16302021: £1630

6 weeks
1 week induction + 5 weeks teaching
2020: £19702021: £1970

8 weeks
1 week induction + 7 weeks teaching
2020: £23102021: £2310

10 weeks
1 week induction + 9 weeks teaching
2020: £26502021: £2650

Departs any Monday during July

2020: 6 Jul, 20 Jul

2021: 5 Jul


4 weeks
1 week induction + 3 weeks teaching
2020: £16302021: £1630

6 weeks
1 week induction + 5 weeks teaching
2020: £19702021: £1970

8 weeks
1 week induction + 7 weeks teaching
2020: £23102021: £2310

10 weeks
1 week induction + 9 weeks teaching
2020: £26502021: £2650

Dates Don't Suit?

Don't worry - we can work around this, just get in touch and we'll chat through options more suited to you.


Flights: £700 (depending on time of year and availability)

Spending Money: Approx £60 per week


With flexible departure dates and no minimum numbers you can pretty much go whenever suits you.

Fixed Base

You will stay with a local family for the whole time, so you will have that 'home from home' feeling.


By spending your time in one role, you will build great relationships and make a focused contribution.


An adventurers dream, with tea plantations, Galle and squeaky white beaches right on your door step.

Monday to Friday

Our projects are based along the coast, south of the busy city of Colombo. During the week you will be project focused pretty much all day.


Weekends will generally be free time. You’re welcome to stay and chill at your house or head off for a change of scene.The transport infrastructure across Sri Lanka is pretty good so getting around will be fairly easy.

Backpacker favourites:

  • Exploring the fort of Galle.
  • Surf and kite surf lessons on the East coast.
  • Train trip inland to visit the tea plantations.
  • Tour the historic city of Colombo.

Improving Future Prospects

Sri Lanka is a lower-middle income island nation located in South Asia with a population of 20.8 million. Despite setbacks such as a civil conflict ending in May 2009 and the 2004 tsunami which destroyed a number of schools, Sri Lanka has taken significant steps in poverty reduction and improving education, today boasting one of the highest literacy rates in Asia, however, many of the most marginalised children remain excluded and this is where we can assist.

Our partners teaching programme aims to provide sustainable educational support within disadvantaged schools and communities to reduce inequality in education. We aim to empower underprivileged students by improving their future prospects and equipping them with the skills needed to actively engage in a multi-national community.

We have partnered with schools and centres in disadvantaged communities where most parents struggle to find regular work; or if they do, they work extremely long hours and earn a very low wage.

Together we aim to:

1. Improve English
Since the civil war ended in 2009, tourism in Sri Lanka has been increasing and has now become one of the main sources of employment. Volunteers, in particular native speakers, can offer invaluable help in improving the students’ and also the teachers’ phonetics, pronunciation and grammar.

2. Improve classroom support
The high number of students in each class make it very difficult for the slower learners to keep up, a fact that leads in later years to school drop-outs. We aim to support those in difficulty by organising remedial classes for slower learners, and encouraging students in their work.

3. Improve support for those with learning disabilities
People with disabilities are often marginalised in Sri Lanka. We partner with two organisations who provide education, care and support for these children and by engaging the children and introducing creative games, our volunteers can work with the full-time staff to improve the children’s education and, consequently, their quality of life.

4. Improve the cleanliness of the learning environment
We work with schools and centres to improve the cleanliness of their environment and lead health and hygiene workshops, to promote healthy lifestyles and combat the spread of disease.

Leaper's Highlights

Have a read of what our current volunteers are doing from around the world to give you a flavour of Leap life...

Namibia week 1: camera traps, hiking and tree babies Millie Edwards

Waking up to such an incredible view on day 2 and being briefed about the month ahead by our pretty cool hosts – Andrea and Red, definitely made the journey worthwhile and made us excited for the days to come. After a relaxing morning getting used to camp life, we headed off to set up some camera traps, to hopefully catch some leopard action with the help of none other than Chanel No.5. Finishing the day with sunset beers on ‘the saddle’ was the perfect ending to our introduction of the trip.

Day 3. What felt like a very early start we began our first game drive. The afternoon was a mystery with Red telling us we were receiving our ‘babies’, these were our very own trees which we will care for and attempt to grow during the next month. Imi G and Emily have called theirs Patrick and have treated him like one of the family.

On day 4 the manual labour kicked in. We made a new track by clearing rocks so the car can reach a new destination, which was oddly satisfying. George and Magnus got straight on it, heading up the demolition team.

Day 5 & 6. The two day canyon hike was upon us. After a few shade breaks, food stops and the birth of ‘Lucifer’ (George’s staff), we eventually came across our camp site for the night by the Orange River and without wasting any time we jumped straight into the river to cool down and cover ourselves in mud.

Today we began Permaculture across the camp and visited the local community in the afternoon. Football, Rugby, Netball and a lot of singing and dancing was involved and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. The kids could run laps around all of us and most definitely dance better than our whole group put together.

With love,

Millie & the team

Alpacas and Exploring Arequipa Aela Morris

It’s hard to believe that we’ve already been in Peru for a week. It feels like only yesterday that we were jet-laggedly meeting at the hostel in Arequipa for the first time. We’ve done a lot of exploring of the area around the square, and eaten lots of yummy food. We visited Santa Catalina monastery, which was built during the Spanish colonization of Peru, and where nuns still live in cloisters (and, according to pictures, play volleyball in habits). Our guide Arlich took us to an alpaca farm, where they process wool and make products using the same traditional methods that Peruvians have been using for generations. We also went white water rafting, which was insanely fun, even though the water was freezing and we all got soaked. While staying at the hostel, we’ve had four days of Spanish lessons in Arequipa, which we all completed with varying degrees of success. I think that the experience of being in the communities will be the best teacher.

On Wednesday, we took a 6 hour bus ride through the mountains to Cabanaconde, where we played soccer in the street with some local kids and then stayed overnight at a hostel before setting off the next morning for the long trek into Colca Canyon.

3 hours, all downhill, while breathtakingly scenic, stops being fun after a while. Eventually though, we made it to the oasis, albeit in a sweaty, dusty heap. We spent the rest of Thursday and all of Friday hanging out, swimming in the pool, and playing like 1,000 rounds of Go Fish in the bottom of the canyon. We also celebrated one of our group member Yasmin’s 18th birthday. Saturday morning, we rose at the extremely ungodly hour of 4:30 am to start hiking back up in order to beat the scorching afternoon heat. Well, some of us trekked, and some of us, like myself, were too sore from going down and had to get horses to take us up. I’m excited to explore more of Peru and begin our homestay!

Settling into Madagascar Life Ellie Harland

Tomorrow is Wednesday which means it will shortly have been a week since many of us met for the first time either in Heathrow or Paris Airport. It’s quite a bizarre phenomenon to put faces to the names of relative strangers whom you have only met previously through a phone or computer screen – of course this was a little daunting for us all.

Then ensued the multi-flight to Madagascar where we found ourselves plunged into humidity and heat of 30 degrees when we touched down in our final destination.

We clambered into 2 mini buses while our drivers did a fantastic job of hoisting our bags onto the roof, some of which were particularly heavy. The bus ride was a sweaty one although we were preoccupied with taking in the surroundings of what would be our home for the next 10 weeks or so.

Thick forests lined the narrow, sometimes bumpy road from the airport to the port, young Malagasy children walked barefoot on the verge carrying school bags and battered vehicles beeped to indicate they were overtaking. We reached the port after stopping at an ATM in what I later learned was the town of Hell-Ville on Nosy Be, pronounced ‘Nosy Bay’.

We climbed aboard two boats and began a 45 minute journey to our new home, Camp on Nosy Komba. Our little island is 25km squared, covered in thick forest and is home to the residents of Angpangorina (Angpang) which we would visit on Friday for pizza, drinks and music.

Camp is fronted by Main House, an open common area with a thatched roof and wood and stone structures, it is furnished with hammocks, tables, benches and bean bags (which are my favourite) and is graced with a fantastic view of the sea and the land across from us.

I’m currently on Marine with Alex, Sophie, Ben, Hettie, Harry and Cressie with Arthur and Brinley ahead of us in our training while the rest of us establish the basic principles of diving. It has been an exciting first week settling in and breaking misconceptions of one another and I am intrigued to see what we will experience next.

"Thank you so much for giving my son life long friends and experiences"

My son has just got back from an amazing trip to Madagascar. The Leap were great in keeping in contact with emails, blogs and can call and get a speedy reply if you need to contact them, thank you so much for giving my son life long friends and experiences.
Many thanks to Milly from The Leap who was amazing.

- Nikki Field

"Safe, organised gap year travel"

What an amazing organisation. From the minute we first rang to enquire about projects to today (my daughter arriving home from Tanzania this morning) I just can't fault anybody. Emily has had the most amazing time in Tanzania and all the staff have been wonderful at keeping me informed when there were problems (nothing serious thankfully).

I would have no hesitation in recommending the company for safe, organised Gap Year travel. Emily will have wonderful memories for life and I'm so proud of her and grateful for the support given by The Leap. Thank you so much

- Tracey Talbut

"​A great unique experience"

A great unique experience, where you get to be immersed in the wilderness without the stress and distractions of the modern world. Many amazing adventures from a 3-day hike to downhill mountain biking and whitewater rafting.

It's also a great taster of what it is like to be in conservation and rewilding. All in all, great fun with two awesome hosts Red and Dre and I would really recommend it to anyone looking for a unique and memorable experience on their gap year or summer.

- Jack

"Very professional service"

I am super impressed that The Leap have been in contact at the beginning of my daughters’ trip to tell me she had arrived arrived safely. Very professional service - thanks very much!

- Abi Crampton

"An unforgettable experience"

I received so much support and positive energy from the team at The Leap; nothing was too much trouble, and contact was maintained by e-mail while I was in Nepal. I started to teach within a couple of days of my arrival, supporting a member of staff. However, within a couple of days I was asked if I wanted to teach on my own. My core subjects were English and maths, but I taught basic hygiene too since there is a lack of understanding amongst the children about germs, hand washing and personal care.

If you want to give your time, skills and energy to a welcoming community, please contact The Leap and opt for a project in Nepal. Like me, you will have an unforgettable experience.

- Keith Donald

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