Volunteer Abroad in Sri Lanka

A Guide To

Volunteering Abroad in Sri Lanka


93 Volunteer Abroad Programs in Sri Lanka


This listing has been saved 506 times

International Volunteer HQ offers safe, affordable and responsible volunteering projects in Sri Lanka. Participants can work in Turtle Conservation in the coastal town of Ambalangoda, Wild Elephant Conservation in the Wasgamuwa National Park, or Medical, Elderly Care, Childcare, Temple Renovation, or Teaching English in Kandy.

Volunteer in Sri Lanka

Go on a multi-week medical volunteer project with Plan My Gap Year in Sri Lanka and help health centers provide quality care to underprivileged families. Volunteers may find placements in the fields of Intensive Care, Accident and Emergency, and Palliative Care. The program encourages students in pre-medical and medical courses to apply.

volunteer in Sri Lanka - plan my gap year

This listing has been saved 145 times

Thousands of volunteers from all over the world have trusted Love Volunteers to provide meaningful volunteering abroad placements in communities where their help is really needed. Join us on one of our safe, responsible and affordable programs for a truly memorable experience in Sri Lanka! Check out our programs and become a Love Volunteer!


This listing has been saved 8 times

Explore Sri Lanka through Projects Abroad international volunteer placements. Participants from all over the world can get involved in many wonderful projects and internships, including Physical Therapy, Youth Development, and Social Work. The program includes Adventure Travel combined with Cultural Exploration.


This listing has been saved 23 times

Volunteer in Asia and combine your travels with our exciting program which takes you through Kerala in South India, Sri Lanka and Thailand. We believe that travel should be responsible and we also believe that you should see as many new places as possible so that you can expand your mind, broaden your horizons and learn more about the different cultures in our world. This unique volunteering pr...


This listing has been saved 3 times

Volunteer with us on a turtle conservation project in Sri Lanka and help protect five endangered species of turtle. Sri Lanka is home to the Hawksbill, Green, Loggerhead, Olive Ridley and Leatherback varieties of turtle which are highly sought after. The project aims to protect the breeding grounds and monitor turtle activities in the Indian ocean. The demand for turtle meat, eggs and turtl...


This listing has been saved 22 times

GoEco offers volunteering programs in Sri Lanka that give volunteers the chance to visit alluring sites, hike the splendid rolling hills, and stroll along the beautiful beaches while helping. They can make remarkable contributions to the turtle conservation projects and touch the lives of people in the local communities.


This listing has been saved 172 times

Explore the history and culture of Sri Lanka through Frontier volunteer programs. Participants can take part in community-development projects, gain hands-on medical experience in a local hospital, or work closely with elephants. Placements are offered in Colombo City and some rural areas.


This listing has been saved 5 times

Work alongside a multi award-winning charity to help protect the beautiful elephants of Sri Lanka. Witness elephants in their natural, wild habitats and help to contribute to important research that will help to preserve the future of these gentle giants. Each day, volunteers will monitor and photograph elephants, trek through the stunning jungle, conduct research from a tree house, teach en...


This listing has been saved 10 times

Have an exciting Asian adventure with the volunteering programs Travellers Worldwide offers. Participants can choose between various volunteering options in the exotic island of Sri Lanka off the southern coast of India. They accomplish rewarding service projects in a paradise like island.


Idex has been providing travel and volunteer experiences to international participants for more than a decade in Thailand, Nepal, and India. They have built on their diverse experience in providing placements and learning and travel opportunities for volunteers, and have taken a successful approach and extended their offerings to Sri Lanka, another thrilling and appealing destination. The mo...


This listing has been saved 58 times

Take part in volunteer programs offered in Sri Lanka and get to know more about the local people, language, and culture. Tailored by Volunteering Solutions, these programs are located in the cities of Colombo Central, Galle, and Pinnawela. Participants work with locals while contributing to community service projects, such as teaching basic English concepts to monks, working at an elephant orph...


This listing has been saved 16 times

We are a small project that are trying to improve the life of Sri Lankan elephants, we give an alternative to those places which use elephants for riding and they are just worried about tourism, we are against that, so we create an environment where you can share your time with the elephant without negative consequences for them. Also you are going to be at a beautiful place in Sri Lanka where...


Explore the awe-inspiring landscapes of Sri Lanka, from the beautiful beaches to the majestic mountains. Volunteers with World Endeavors are based in the bustling city of Colombo, Sri Lanka's capital. Through any one of several volunteer projects, participants have the opportunity to make a positive and lasting impact on the community. Projects include Childcare & Orphanage Assistance, Eldercar...

Back to Programs

Volunteering Abroad in Sri Lanka

Off the coast of southern India, the developing island nation of Sri Lanka is an excellent spot for volunteers looking to have an outdoorsy experience. With a civil war and the 2004 tsunami in its recent past, there are many ways to volunteer in Sri Lanka. Laiden with beaches and palm trees, this teardrop-shaped tropical gem offers a variety of volunteer placements, from teaching to conservation and medicine. While only 25,000 square miles, those who volunteer in Sri Lanka will be able to enjoy beach-related activities, the rainforest, and animal sanctuaries both during and outside of their placements.


The three most popular volunteer placement locations in Sri Lanka are Colombo, Galle, and Kandy. Sri Lanka’s capital and largest city, Colombo, is full of traditional Hindu temples contrasted by a modern urban scene and a large harbor. This port city serves as the hub for politics and everything financial in Sri Lanka. Those who volunteer In Colombo can witness the apparent contrast between lifestyles of the local people, from the rich colonial lifestyle of those housed in mansions and the slums that stand nearby. Volunteer placements in medicine and teaching are common in Colombo.

Kandy is a hot spot for volunteer programs. Set inland amidst a hilly terrain, this city is a key location for volunteer projects in Sri Lanka revolving around conservation efforts, whether it’s working with turtles or elephants. While volunteering in Kandy volunteers can visit several Buddhist temples, like the famous Temple of Tooth, and a variety of gardens and parks.

Galle, a city colonized by the Dutch and featuring a large fortress, is another spot to find volunteer placements in Sri Lanka, particularly those involving volunteering with orphans. Volunteers working in orphanages will take part in all aspects of daily operations, whether it’s taking care of the children or planning special activities.

Volunteer Programs in Sri Lanka

Some of the most popular placements for volunteering in Sri Lanka involve working with elephants. Known for it’s wildlife, Sri Lankan elephants are in danger as a result of poaching. Volunteers can help in elephant rescue efforts and take care of injuries. Child and elderly care, along with a range of other medical placements, are quite common as well. Teaching English is another great option for volunteers who want to work with children, or even the Buddhist monk community. Unique placements are also prevalent in Sri Lanka, from IT Teaching to helping with temple renovations.

Volunteer programs in Sri Lanka can last anywhere from one week to more than six months depending on the program you choose and your desired length of stay. Though several languages are spoken throughout Sri Lanka, with the primary being Sinhala, English is widely used in urban areas and you don’t need language experience to volunteer in Sri Lanka. 

Costs & Affordability

Volunteering in Sri Lanka is very affordable. Many volunteer programs include housing and meals, and longer duration programs can be a savings when compared to one week volunteer experiences. Prices are comparable to other destinations in southern Asia, though costs on this island nation can run a bit higher than nearby India. If you do choose a volunteer program in a larger city, like Colombo or Kandy, you will have access to ATMs, but don’t expect to find any in smaller cities.

Volunteers can plan on a soda costing less than $1 USD and a fast food meal to be less than $5 USD. The difference in local prices and what tourists are charged can be big (be aware), but in most cases your money will go a long way. Transportation in Sri Lanka is also particularly cheap, so traveling by either bus or train won’t set you back more than a few dollars. Tipping is common in Sri Lankan culture, and 10 percent is a good benchmark to use.

Accommodation & Visas

Most volunteer programs in Sri Lanka include accommodation, be it dormitories, shared living houses, or homestays. The great thing about homestays is that volunteers get first-hand insight into the culture and can enjoy homemade local food. There are some programs that will require you to find your own accommodations independently.

If your volunteer program in Sri Lanka lasts less than 30 days, you only need a tourist visa which will set you back around $80 USD. Volunteers staying longer than 30 days will need to send in a written application for a tourist visa to replace the short-term electronic visa provided upon entry. Expect to pay around $150 USD for this. As with most visa processes, you’ll be required to have a passport valid six months after your stay, and several other verification documents including an itinerary.

Benefits & Challenges

Variety. Individuals who volunteer in Sri Lanka have opportunities to work with varied populations--elephants, turtles, Buddhist monks, children, the elderly, local businesses, or medical teams.

Be Creative! For volunteers who want to work with children or the elderly, it can be challenging to constantly be “on” and come up with fun ideas. It’s helpful to have some experience or creative activities before you jump into this type of volunteer program in Sri Lanka.

Progress. As a result of the civil war, which only ended recently, there is still a lot of rebuilding to be done in Sri Lanka. Along with this, tensions around ethnic lines (Sinhalese & Tamil) can be felt.

Read More