Sri Lanka is the best place to live and enjoy life. The traditions, the cultural aspects and the diversity of its natural environment will make you feel like in heaven.
Being able to teach English as a Foreign Language in Sri Lanka is very close to a paid holiday.

Sri Lankan values knowledge and cultural aspects, and the use of English language plays an important role here.
You can perceive its presence in all the aspects of life in my country, including nature ind its social aspects.
Here everything has a flavour of English, and fluency in this language is a must.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language is playing an important role in Sri Lanka.
There are many reasons for that, but the main one is that speaking English fluently is highly regarded and a fundamental skill for everyone’s career path, to achieve higher and better paid positions.
In fact, all of the university courses and higher national exams are done in English.

To work in Sri Lanka as a TEFL teacher you don’t have to be native speaker (provided that your English is good enough to teach, and not just to be able to speak), but in order to access to the best work oportunities you need a recognized TEFL qualification.
Once you have that, you can start checking for available vacancies, for example on Gallery Teachers’ job board.

Here is a short guide for you to find the best TEFL jobs in Sri Lanka.

Things To Know Before Moving To Sri Lanka

As a western moving to an Asian Country to work as a TEFL teacher, you should consider a few things.

The first thing to note is that Sri Lanka uses English as a language for all the important occasions.
Here, you can’t rank up in your career without a thorough knowledge of English.
Therefore, people expect a lot from foreign Teachers. We welcome them with enthusiasm, but also with great expectations.

Another thing to consider is that, having Sri Lanka been a British colony (you might have heard about Ceylon, our island former name) we like to speak, and learn, British English, more than general English.

English in Sri Lanka is similar to the use of Latin in the Ancient World: it’s the language we use for Science, Technology and Academic purposes (including our school books).
We might lack speaking skills, but our writing and reading skills in English are usually high.

Every aspect of work in Sri Lanka (including education) is associated with the use of English.
As English has become a competitive factor in the quality of life of the population, the best job opportunities and schools are concentrated in the big towns, while in smaller towns you can find less demanding students.

This is an important factor to consider when you evaluate where you want to stay, because salaries are very different from big to small towns and so the freedom you get while teaching.

In my opinion, you shouldn’t discard small villages just because they can’t offer the same prestige.
Your TEFL qualification is a passport to see the World, and it’s in the small places that you are able to appreciate the real life.

Consider also that in these areas people have less opportunities to access to higher education, and you most likely will be highly regarded in those communities.

All of this being said, while travelling, you might find yourself in areas where you really need a translator, because no one will understand you.
So be quick in making friends who can show you our beautiful Country.

Photo: Pixabay

Documents you need To Work in Sri Lanka as a TEFL Teacher

There are a few documents you should carry with yourself while in Sri Lanka:

  • Your Visa. This is the most important. Create a Visa by referring to your government regulations and remember to associate it with your passport.
  • Your passport or identification documents.
  • Bring your educational qualifications and certificates with you, because they prove you are entitled and capable to teach. Without qualifications, you will find it very difficult to start working as a TEFL teacher.
  • Foreign Currency or Foreign currency cards.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Air Tickets.
  • Accommodation documents.

Can Foreigners Work in Sri Lanka?

There are no problems for foreigners to work in Sri Lanka as TEFL teachers.
Sri Lanka is the most welcoming country for foreigners.
Hospitality hold by Sri Lankans is incalculable.
We are the most hearties and kindest ones in the world and do not ever worry.
We will treat you as a one of our own family.

Cultural Differences with Western World

Sri Lanka doesn’t doesn’t value modernity in the same way as Western Countries do.
It is still rural area, so there are a variety of cultural differences from place to place.

Sri Lanka has got four different religions, the most popular of which is Buddhism.
The other ones are Hindus, Muslims and Burgers.
All of these four religions coexist peacefully.

There are three official languages used in Sri Lanka: Sinhala, English and Tamil.
This is the only country that uses Sinhala in our writing and reading.
The official language of the country is Sinhala, but the use of English has always been considered a priority.

Rice and Curry is the primary official meal.
Sri Lankans use this meal for their main three meals, and rice must be in our lunch.
Mixed curries are the best part of this country, and all of the meals we use for our main meals are delicious.

Sri Lankan food does not rely on bread or pasta like in the west.
Our primary food and sides always go with rice.

Photo: Pixabay

Best towns to find TEFL jobs, versus Best places to live in

The best towns for finding TEFL jobs in Sri Lanka is Colombo.

You may have a more significant opportunity to work in this city, as TEFL teachers are highly on demand.

Other places you could consider are:

There are so many beautiful places situated in Sri Lanka to live in.
There is none to say as bad in here.
My favourite places to live in Sri Lanka, however, are:

These cities are holding a variety of features related to nature, modern facilities and ancient values.
Pick up a destination to live as per your desires and enjoy your work life with excellent environmental conditions with peace.

How to Find Accommodation (Hotel or Shared Flat)

When you look for a place to stay in Sri Lanka, you have many options.

The most reliable and easiest way is to search online.
Many famous restaurants work also as hotels and will give you the opportunity to stay.
The facilities are modern and luxurious, and they are easy to book, just with a phone call.

Consider staying in a temporary place until you find your job, and then moving to a more permanent accommodation.

Once you find a job, use your colleagues as your most reliable source of information.
They will recommend you the best places to stay.

Photo: Pixabay

Contact your embassy

The quality of the service provided varies depending on the nationality. There are Countries that are better organized than others, but generally speaking, Embassies are a good source of information, both for finding accommodations and for finding jobs.

Consider checking your embassy website to find useful information and updates

Don’t feel afraid to ask.

Unlike the Western World, where people tend to be more self-reliant not inclined to approach people, our culture is warmer at a level that is very often surprising to foreigners.

In case you need help, just ask, and we will warmly welcome you to our home.


Working as a TEFL teacher in Sri Lanka is a life changing experience that will enrich you.

The work experience you will gain here is obviously very important for your future career, but this is just the tip of the iceberg, because Sri Lanka will touch your soul on a deep and human level that just a few places are still able to give you.

If you will decide to go back home (and I am not sure about that) you will have gain sweet memories that will hold for many years to come.
Come to Sri Lanka and enjoy the best period of your life as a TEFL teacher!

Choosing the right TEFL course provider can be a tough one.
Take a look at Gallery Teachers TEFL Courses and find the most suitable course for yourself. Never stop learning!
Do you already have your TEFL qualification? Check our available jobs here!