Sri Lanka – Teaching English to Buddhist Monks

Please note: This program is temporarily unavailable. Check out our alternative programs in Sri Lanka or schedule a one-on-one call with one of our expert volunteer advisors.


Travel to the diverse city of Galle in southern Sri Lanka to teach English to monk students!

Program Highlights:

  • Engage in positive cultural exchange with Buddhist monk students
  • Weekday mornings are filled with rewarding volunteer work
  • Afternoons and weekends are free for exploration and adventure
  • Live in close proximity to world-class beaches
  • Enjoy weekly rooftop yoga sessions, night fishing trips, weekly movie nights, monthly bike tours and monthly barbecues


Your schedule at a glance (Minimum one-week commitment):

Arrival Day, Saturday: Arrive into Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB). A team member will be waiting to pick you up for transfer to the volunteer villa. Meet and greet with fellow volunteers.

Day 1, Sunday: Volunteers will receive a tour of the area, and orientation if it was not given on Saturday. Enjoy the rest of the day by exploring local beaches with fellow volunteers or joining an adventure! ( See “Travel Highlights” below for recommendations!)

Days 2-6, Monday-Friday: Rewarding volunteer work and cultural exchange with monk students at the Pirivena (monastic college) in the morning. Join an additional teaching program in the afternoon or relax back at the villa.

Day 7, Saturday: Departure day for volunteers staying just one week. Free time for volunteers who are extending.

Remaining Weeks: The following weeks will follow the schedule of volunteering Monday-Friday and having weekends free. Departures are on Saturdays.


Location icon Location of the Project: Galle, Sri Lanka

Project length Project length: Minimum 1 week – Maximum 12 weeks

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work:  English teaching

Age Age:  Minimum age of 18

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: Up to 4 international volunteers


What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Shared rooms in a volunteer villa

Food Food: Three meals per day are provided

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers:  Airport transfers are provided on both arrival and departure days

Orientation Orientation: Upon arrival, volunteers will receive a walking tour and welcome/ introductory training presentations.

Support Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.


What’s not Included

Flights, online ETA visa (around $35), travel health insurance, teaching materials (approx. $10/day), personal expenses.

Galle is a beautiful area in southern Sri Lanka that is surrounded by lush greenery and is in close proximity to world-class beaches! Many of the nearby beaches are prime surfing spots, and others are more relaxing. There is even a turtle lagoon nearby. Galle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, complete with Dutch-colonial buildings, ancient religious buildings, museums and more. Galle is also quite trendy, and is home to cafes, specialty shops and boutique hotels.


Volunteers will help at a nearby Pirivena (monastic college) by teaching English to the monks of the school. Due to the intense focus of Buddhism studies, there is not much time (or funding) for English language lessons. The monks are between the ages of 11-19, and will be studying a basic level of English. There may be between 2-15 monks per class. Each English lesson will be about two hours along, although one to two hours of lesson planning are required beforehand. Volunteers are encouraged to bring relevant resources for teaching and also laptops/iPads for lesson planning and lessons. Volunteers should budget for $10 USD per day to print out and purchase teaching materials.


Some of your tasks may include:

  • Preparing and planning lessons with local coordinators
  • Teaching basic grammar lessons
  • Practicing speaking, reading and writing skills with the students


Schedule: Volunteers will teach for two hours in the morning, Monday-Friday, and have the option to join afternoon programs to teach women or to teach at primary schools or teaching centers. An hour or two per day will be spent with the coordinator to plan the next day’s lesson. Volunteers have the weekends free to spend as they wish.

Internet icon Internet: Each volunteer may use up to 5 GB of WiFi in the volunteer house during their stay.

Laundry icon Laundry: Laundry services are available for an additional fee.

Accommodations icon Accommodations: Volunteers will stay in shared rooms in a volunteer house that is close to the beach. There are more than 10 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms. Rooms are shared with up to six people and are single-gender. There is a private pool for use. The house has eco-friendly features including solar heating panels. There may be up to 52 volunteers in the house at a time.

Food icon Food: Three meals per day will be prepared by the in-house chefs, using local, fresh ingredients. Tropical fruit is available during every meal and there is a salad bar set up during most lunches and dinners. Vegan, nut-free, gluten-free and lactose-free diets can be accommodated with advance notice. Tea, coffee and filtered water are available 24/7.

  • Only fully vaccinated participants can enter Sri Lanka (2 weeks after the recommended dose).
  • Online ETA entry visa. We will send you full instructions following application.
  • Minimum age of 18
  • Police clearance form
  • Proficiency in English

Volunteers can enjoy weekly evening yoga session on the rooftop, night fishing trips, weekly movie nights, monthly bike tours and monthly barbecues! Additional travel adventures are available for an additional fee, and a few recommendations are listed below:

Adventure Tour (Highly Recommended):
Extend your stay in Sri Lanka by participating in a seven-day Adventure Tour! This adventure tour includes a game drive, visits to waterfalls, a long train ride, an overnight stay at a riverside eco lodge, visit to temples, a village walk, visit to a spice grove, a visit to Lion Rock, time in the local market as well as a trip to Negombo Beach!


Additional Recommendations:

  • Elephant safari
  • Rainforest hike
  • Surfing lessons on nearby beaches
  • Whale watching (during the season)
  • Cooking class
  • Fort Galle visit

Volunteer Experiences

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