Sri Lanka is an island nation of over 20 million citizens located off the southeastern coast of the Indian subcontinent. It is a very diverse country that has long been an important regional player, and today is one of the most highly developed nations in all of South Asia. If you are looking for an exciting internship in an oft-overlooked destination, then intern abroad in Sri Lanka to gain valuable professional experience while learning all about this country’s fascinating culture and history.
While Sri Lanka may seem small in comparison to its giant neighbor of India to the west, it is actually quite a large island nation which is home to the world’s 57th largest population. It is also a very multicultural country, housing a wide array of religious and ethnic groups as well as variety of different spoken languages. Tropical rainforests, picturesque beaches, and ancient ruins further make Sri Lanka a very enticing destination to intern abroad in.
Colombo is the country’s largest city by a considerable margin, and therefore an exceedingly popular destination where to intern abroad in Sri Lanka. Over 5 million people live across the metropolitan area of Colombo, and the city is not surprisingly the nation’s primary commercial and financial capital. Sri Lanka’s political capital, Sri Jayawadrenepura Kotte, is also located within Colombo’s urban area as a satellite city.
Some other popular cities where you can intern abroad in Sri Lanka include Negombo, Kandy, and Kalmunai. All much smaller than Colombo, interns who want a more laid back and localized experience of the country should consider these cities among their top options. Internships in Sri Lanka are also offered in the rural areas, where you can benefit from living a much different lifestyle and working alongside villagers on a variety of projects.
Internships in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is one of the most rapidly developing countries in all of Asia, which is good news for international interns who want to work within a thriving economy. While the country has developed historically as plantation economy exporting tea, coffee, rubber, cinnamon, and more natural products, it has transitioned over recent decades to boast stronger communications and business sectors, both very productive fields in which you can intern abroad in Sri Lanka.
Other fields which are popular to intern abroad in Sri Lanka include medicine, education, and sustainable development. In the past decade alone Sri Lanka has made incredible leaps and bounds in reducing inequality and providing suitable infrastructure and social services for many previously overlooked citizens. It is a great model for the rest of the world in these areas, and an even better place to intern abroad due to the fact.
Internships in Sri Lanka tend to last between two months and six months, depending on where you are in your studies (some internships will allow you the to work for academic credit as well). The most popularly spoken languages in the country are Sinhalese and Tamil, which can limit your internship opportunities in certain sectors as a non-speaker, but English is also commonly recognized throughout the country.
Salary & Costs
While some internships in Sri Lanka are paid, national labor laws often do not extend to undocumented international workers, so expect a salary to be exception to the rule. Mostly you will be compensated by other means such as the employer covering some costs of housing meals, and transportation. The good news is that Sri Lanka is overall an affordable place to live. The national currency, the Sri Lankan Rupee, exchanges at about LKR 143 to $1.
Accommodation & Visas
Interns in Sri Lanka generally choose to live either in a homestay or in an apartment with other international interns. Incorrectly stigmatized as a developing nation, close to all Sri Lankan residents have access to running water and electricity, meaning that you will enjoy a comfortable standard of living while interning abroad.
You will generally need to apply for a visa in order to intern abroad in Sri Lanka. The exact type will of documentation you may need will vary on your home nation, the duration of your internship, and whether or not you will be paid for your services. For more information you can check out our Sri Lankan Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Growing Economy. Sri Lanka boasts one of the most successful economic models in all of South Asia, a great place to intern abroad and begin your global career.
Cultural Integrity. Sri Lanka is a religious and charitable nation that ranks highly on human development and happiness indexes. Interning abroad here, you will enjoy tremendous hospitality and learn a lot from your host culture about what it means to live.
Travel Opportunity. The island of Sri Lanka is incredibly beautiful and offers a bevy of famous historical attractions to explore. India is also extremely close by, making further travel of the subcontinent very plausible during your internship abroad in Sri Lanka.