Teaching English in Sri Lanka

Teaching English in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Overview

Main Cities/AreasSalary range (USD/month)
Colombo$500 – $2000

Sri Lanka is a fascinating place to live and work although, despite growing demand, there are still limited opportunities for English teachers. The vast majority of paid positions are in the lively capital city of Colombo.

Understandably, teaching resources may be somewhat lacking when compared to more common TEFL destinations in the region. Alongside the handful of opportunities at language centers, there are many opportunities to teach as a volunteer in more rural locations. Experienced teachers are encouraged to get involved in training local teachers.

File:Flag of Sri Lanka.svg - Wikimedia Commons

Typical Requirements and Tips

Degree?TEFL Certification?Experience?
YesYes1-2 Years

Experienced teachers are advised to see if there are any vacancies at the British Council.

Speak with as many local schools as possible because there will probably be opportunities to mentor local Sri Lankan teachers.

Unless you have been offered a position with the British Council or an International School, chances are you will have to enter the country on a tourist visa before starting the arduous process of obtaining all the necessary paperwork.

The cost of accommodation, transport, and food in Sri Lanka is very low. Western food imported from abroad is generally expensive.

Salary is paid on a monthly basis. Tax is usually paid by employers.

Pros and Cons of Teaching in Sri Lanka


  • The demand for English tuition in Sri Lanka is growing steadily
  • You can make a huge, positive difference to the lives of your students
  • Lots of worthwhile voluntary opportunities


  • Only a small number of paid teach positions available
  • The levels of poverty and pollution may be highly challenging and upsetting to the inexperienced
  • Obtaining the necessary work visas can prove rather difficult