Teaching English in India & Sri Lanka
Combine your travel and teaching volunteer experience with two locations in Kerala, South India and Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka. This combined volunteering program will give you the unique opportunity to immerse yourself into two different cultures and help poor communities in two different parts of the world. English teaching is an important project in developing countries such as India and Sri Lanka and it’s our mission to work with partners who aim to uplift English language skills in disadvantaged communities by providing lessons and classes to young children and teens who are willing to learn and are desperate to go to school.
Currently the education system in both India and Sri Lanka are in need of much improvement, with classes often being overcrowded, schools being overstaffed and many communities living below the poverty line not being able to access education for their children at all. Our English teaching volunteers and our education partners work to fight this ongoing problem and it’s our mission to break the cycle of poverty. We want to empower communities through education and arming them with life skills.
In Kerala, you will be volunteering in local government schools to help teach children aged 3 years to 16 years. Working in the run down urban slum areas of Mattancherry, you will get the opportunity to work under supervision of a local teacher as well as teach independently. Classroom conditions will be cramped and certainly not what you’re used to back at home but the children are so happy to learn, and you will be put to the test to teach without the luxuries of great resources or spacious classroom space.
Your time in Sri Lanka will be spent in local schools and Tsunami Community areas, assisting with English lessons teaching groups of all ages. The lessons you provide will not only give the local kids practical skills to take into later life, but your love and attention will help them grow and develop as individuals. Education is really important the children who were displaced during the Tsunami of 2004. There will be opportunity to teach youth as well.
We do not require you to have any prior teaching skills for this program. You can take a TEFL course before coming or simply ask our local teams to help you with lesson plan ideas.
All The Details
Galle, Sri Lanka
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All our rates are in USD $
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- Pre-departure guide – to prepare you for your trip
- Pick-up and drop from the nearest airport
- Experienced bilingual local staff team
- Breakfast and Lunch
- Location orientation
- Project training with the local Program Manager
- 24 hour support in your location for emergencies
- An opportunity to participate on a sustainable on going project that needs you
- Auto Rikshaw to the project site – these local three wheelers are the best ride in town!
Whats Not Included in your program fee :
- Flights to the program destination
- Medical and travel insurance
- Visa costs
- Personal shopping and gratuities
- Local excursions
- Project materials that you personally need *
*We provide basic resources such as school books. Please bring your own resources from home if needed. We recommend bringing iPads or your computers so you can find online lessons. Photocopying and printing or buying materials you need for projects is at your own expense.
Local Team On Ground
Geetha Raj: Kerala Program Manager
Geetha is the backbone of our programs in Kerala. Her friendliness, generosity and warmth towards every volunteer will leave you feeling extra special. Having worked as local journalist for almost 10 years, Geetha grew a passion for community development work, and is very forward thinking. She is instrumental in Kerala Program development and will give you the direction you will need to succeed as a volunteer. Her team will look after all your needs from the time you enter Kerala to the time you leave.
Melisa: Sri Lanka Program Manager
Melissa grew up in Argentina and started volunteering as a teenager for local organisations and events. Having started traveling the world at the age of 20 she didn’t stop volunteering and getting involved with the local communities and interesting projects. Melisa loves nature, wildlife, staying healthy, concious travel and immersing in new cultures. Sri Lanka is her latest passion and she will help you make the most of your time abroad (and take you to the best surf and beach spots!)
Flight details and other bits..
- In India you will be picked up from Cochin International Airport (COK)
- In Sri Lanka you will be picked up from Colombo International Airport (CMB)
- If you wish to book flights to your destination you can fill in this form.
- We recommend you apply for Visas before you arrive. Both India and Sri Lanka have E-Visa process. Our volunteer guide will give you more details on this.
- Travel Insurance is compulsory on this program. You can get in touch with our team if you need travel insurance organised.
- Vaccinations are important. We recommend you visit your local travel clinic to find out what vaccines you should take.
- We work with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for travel abroad. Goto www.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo to find out how best to avoid trouble when abroad. Packed with essential travel advice and tips, the website also offers up-to-date country information.
- We understand it can be difficult to pay for your flights, program fees and other travel costs. Many fundraise for their journey. If you need ideas and a platform for fundraising ideas Click Here
- For support on any of the above email us firstname.lastname@example.org
In India: Once you get picked up from the airport you will be taken to our volunteers house in Fort Kochi where you will meet one of our local team. An area orientation and project training will be given. You will volunteer in local schools in the area between 10:00 to 17:00PM Monday to Friday. Our local teams are always around for support and will provide you with resources to use. Lesson Plan meetings are held in the afternoon after lunch. In the evenings you are free and can enjoy yoga or cultural activities with other volunteers who you will be living with.
In Sri Lanka: Once you get picked up from Colombo airport you will be taken to your homestay. You will be met by our program leaders and given an area orientation and project brief. You will be volunteering at the local community centre Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 16:00 PM on your medical placement. Evenings are free for you to relax or visit the local sights.
Whilst in the Kerala region, be sure to explore the beautiful backwaters of Cochin or take a trek up to the Munnar Tea Plantation for the most amazing panoramic views. Whilst in Sri Lanka, you will be based along the South coast so you will be able to enjoy activities such as snorkelling or scuba diving. You will also be a few hours away from major cities such as Colombo and Galle so you can enjoy day trips during your free weekends.
What Happens When I Arrive?
Living Arrangements for Teaching Volunteers:
In both teaching locations, we will organise safe and comfortable accommodation with shared rooms, so you can fully immerse yourself in the local culture and spend time with people who have the same interests and passions. Rooms will be shared with one other volunteer and all houses will have communal areas for you to socialise after hours. In Sri Lanka you will stay in a homestay and in Kerala in our very own volunteer house.
If you would like room upgrades (such as private rooms or air conditioned rooms), please contact us in advance and we can organise this for you. All meals (this includes breakfast and lunch) will be provided during the program and project travel will always be pre-arranged for your convenience. Inclusive WiFi comes with your accommodation so you can stay connected at all times.
Health and Safety :
When you join our programs you can be assured we have carried out Risk Assessments to identify potential safety and health risks on projects and in the community. We share this information with you in our pre departure documents. Our local staff are well trained and we provide 24/7 emergency numbers to all participants.
Volunteering Journeys Foundation:
Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Volunteering Journey’s Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through supporting local charities, local organisations and community projects in the places that we work in. 100% of each donation goes directly to support our projects. Go to our Donation page if you want to support or fundraise for our India or Sri Lanka Program.
Volunteers Love Us!
‘My experience in India was absolutely fantastic. Having never done anything like this before, Volunteering Journeys made sure I settled in well and supported me throughout my time. Being placed with an amazing family gave me the chance to experience Indian culture first hand. I was part of the Disabled Childcare Programs for two weeks. Although short, I felt the time I spent was so valuable for the children. If this is something that you are interested in I would 100% recommend it. The memories, friendships and experiences you will develop will be ones that you will never forget.’
‘The teaching experience was second to none. I was overwhelmed by the respect and politeness all the children have, which made it some much easier to work with them, even with the language barrier. The amazing thing about the schools I visited was that all the children are like little sponges, they absorb everything you say, teach and do! It’s quite outstanding how much they gain from just a small conversation in the playground or in the class room.
So in general if you are questioning whether you want to volunteer and you don’t know what company to go with, it has the be Volunteering Journeys. You will be well looked after, gain an immense experience and make friends for life!!!’
‘I took a short sabbatical from work in November 2013 and decided to come to India. I was helping at a small school in Fort Kochi, teaching English, Maths, Science and the odd nursery rhyme. The school where I volunteered had amazing teachers and the kids were great. Ridhi and the team organised everything brilliantly – from cycling tours to the backwaters, to hosting me with a family that made my stay feel like home. If you’re going to volunteer in India then I highly recommend Volunteering Journeys’
“J’ai passé deux mois formidables à Kochi en travaillant comme volontaire avec Volunteering Journeys. Deux mois de ma vie que je n’oublierais jamais. J’ai rencontré des gens incroyables et participé à des projets qui me tenaient vraiment à coeur. J’ai pu voir l’aboutissement de mes efforts et le sourire sur le visage des enfants. Une expérience magique que je recommande à tous. Merci Rainbow”
‘I spent 3 wonderful weeks with the Volunteering Journeys team in Kerala, it marked the beginning of almost 2 months adventuring through India, and I can say without a doubt it was one of my favourite experiences of my time spent in incredible India! From the moment my plane landed and I was greeted by a friendly face and whisked away to a wonderful home, the local staff were incredibly welcoming, helpful, supportive and great fun to be around!
I spent my time volunteering in 2 local schools, assisting with English studies. The enthusiasm and joy with which the children approach their days will ensure you never want to leave!I cannot recommend Volunteering Journeys highly enough, it was such a joyful introduction to India – it’s culture, people and crazy beautiful way of life. You will leave with some fond memories and firm friendships’
‘I volunteered by teaching English both at a school and at an all girls’ orphanage for two months. It has been the best experience of my life so far. I really got to know the children I was teaching and seeing the children’s English improve over my time was an incredible feeling. From being introduced to yoga to tasting delicious flavoursome Indian cuisine and living in “God’s own country”, has left me eager to return. I have made friends across the World who made my time spent in Kerala unforgettable. I highly recommend volunteering with Volunteering Journeys; Kerala is beautiful and you will gain fun memories.’
‘I spent two weeks running an art workshop which was absolutely fantastic. The children were so enthusiastic and bustled about with paste and paint, putting together the most amazing creations. They were not used to producing collaborative work and were thrilled when their individual efforts achieved a glorious whole. Their personalities really shone through and I became very fond of them in the short time I was with them. Thank you to Volunteering Journeys for enabling me to have such a wonderful experience!’
‘There is some kind of magic that happens when you’re in India. The climate, the people, the warm welcome, the happiness in every person, the culture, it’s simply inspiring. On top of that having a group of friendly, thoughtful organizers guiding me through the program made my time volunteering with Volunteering Journeys one of the most memorable moments in my life.
If anyone reading this is considering becoming a volunteer, don’t hesitate, become a volunteer. It will be the most rewarding experience and adventure of your life. I assure you that you will have a vital impact on the community, the place and the children. I would recommend Volunteering Journeys without hesitation. Well organized and hassle free adventure. You get help and guidance with everything you need. Kerala was my destination. Safe, beautiful and very friendly. Just do it and have an adventure of your life!’
“Volunteering at the schools was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Once again the friendships you create are irreplaceable. Admittedly, the first few days were scary, in the sense that my partner and I were only 18 & 20 yrs old and we were teaching women and children a language that was not their first. However the persistence and willingness of Indians is not to be tested. Each of our students put in 100% and naturally we became very personal with everyone and these women and children taught us much more. We came out of this experience with more than we had ever anticipated. It can’t be put into words just how much we learnt from volunteering. Ever aspect of our lives and mindset has changed.”
‘I think it was quite an eye opening experience to kind of see how people live and enjoy their lives very differently to what we do probably in UK. Even though comparatively they didn’t have as much, the children still came to school with a smile on their face and they were really keen to learn. They were ever so happy and always had a smile on their face regardless of the circumstances that they are living in, and I think that was an amazing experience for us to take back. We have comparatively much more wealth in the UK and we have much more available at our fingertips. Yet we were quite not so happy’
‘We decided to volunteer as part of our family vacation. It was the perfect balance: making a contribution but not being asked to do too much, with Volunteering Journeys staff with us every step of the way to help, support, clarify, etc. I was also impressed that they didn’t feed us a line about how we were changing the world in a week; I knew going in that *we* would be the ones most changed, and the staff’s perspective’s was the same: we were making an impact by showing we cared and sharing experiences, which hopefully meant something to a lot of people.’