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Projects Abroad volunteer teacher and her students Projects Abroad volunteer teacher and her students

Teaching IT in Sri Lanka with Projects Abroad

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Volunteering in Sri Lanka

For the months of September through October, I had the opportunity to travel to the country of Sri Lanka with Projects Abroad. My job placement was at an IT Center in the city of Panadura, about an hour south of the capital city of Colombo. After landing late on a Saturday, I was greeted by a staff member who drove me to my destination – the town of Panadura. I was greeted warmly by my host parents, and given the chance to rest during that Sunday.

Life with the host family was fantastic! I lived with two other volunteers for most of the 1st month (a German girl and a British girl), and we always had breakfast, lunch, and dinner together. The host family made sure we were each comfortable, and told us stories about their beloved country. Some of my fondest memories are the conversations around that table! From silly things to cultural exchange, to life stories – the housemates and other volunteers that you will meet are one of the fundamental things that made the experience amazing. During the weekend, my household and other volunteers around the town (and island!) would gather together and go sightseeing in different places around the island (note: If visiting Sri Lanka, go to Sigiriya – “Lion’s Rock”). Many places we went to were very inexpensive, and this allowed us to stay at nice hostels and enjoy great dinners!

The Monday after my arrival, I was given the tour of the town by Malsha – a volunteer coordinator from the office of Projects Abroad in Colombo. During the tour, I was taken to my job placement and introduced to the supervisor of the IT Center! Along with the tour, I was given invaluable cultural advice and a local phone with a SIM card for communicating. The next day, my job placement began. The supervisor explained to me the logistics of the IT Center, and some of the projects that were being done. From then on, my mornings were spent working on projects and helping the children through their curriculum, and afternoons were focused solely on teaching computer skills. On most days the work IT Center was fairly steady, especially during the afternoon when every one of the computers were taken by grade school aged children eager to learn! In addition, on Thursdays I would travel to Colombo, where I would meet a staff member and go to the National Cancer Institute located in the town of Maharagama and teach English to the doctors and nurses there.

All of these experiences shaped me in ways that I won’t fully realize until years from now. It taught me about how to survive in a completely foreign country, with people who don’t think the same way I do, or act in the same manner as me. I would highly recommend using Projects Abroad to volunteer, and will do so again in the future!

Institution Affiliates:

The International Volunteer Programs Association