A beautiful tropical island off the southern coast of India, Sri Lanka boasts lovely beaches, vibrant rainforests, and fascinating ancient 3000 year old cities. The country has historically been a key trading route stop for travelers on the Silk Road, and its culture greatly reflects the diversity of ideas and people who have passed through the island. Known as the "teardrop of India", Sri Lanka is has the oldest democratic government in Southeast Asia. Interning in Sri Lanka is a great way to learn more about the country's fascinating history, explore the tropical scenery, and gain professional experience as well!
- Main Industries:Tourism, tea, textiles, agriculture
- Popular Destinations:Colombo, Kandy, Negombo, Galle
- Cost of Living: 50,000-60,000 Rupees (NUMBEO)
- Visa:A visa and passport are required for U.S. citizens traveling to Sri Lanka
- Healthcare/Medicine:There are tons of great healthcare internship opportunities in Sri Lanka! Whether you are interested in pursuing a career in nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy, or general medicine, Sri Lanka is a great place to get some initial experience. Interns are often placed in governmental hospitals where they can learn and work with healthcare professionals and explore the various aspects of medical care. Interning in Sri Lanka will not only allow you to see the real-world applications of medicine, but also give you the chance to impact the community through patient-care.
- Law/Political Science:Believe it or not, you can get some professional experience in law as an intern in Sri Lanka. Law interns often have the opportunity to observe legal court procedures and assist attorneys with various legal cases. This is a great way to learn more expand your legal knowledge and gain practical skills as you analyze international law. Don't hesitate to jump on the opportunity to learn and work in law in a fascinating country!
When and Where to Look for an Internship:
Internships in Sri Lanka are available year-round, and can last from a few weeks to several months. The simplest way to secure an internship in Sri Lanka is to apply through a program provider. These providers usually have established connections with organizations in Sri Lanka and can assist interns with adjusting to life in a foreign country. Be sure to begin your internship research well before you plan to go and pay attention to the application deadlines!
Cost of Living in Sri Lanka
The cost of living in Sri Lanka is relatively low. The majority of living costs come from housing and transportation, however these can be cut significantly if you utilize some basic cost-cutting strategies. You can always share an apartment with other interns, or rent an individual guestroom in a family house. To help you get a better idea of the cost of living, below are some examples of prices in Sri Lanka. Keep in mind that 1 USD is approximately equivalent to 126.74 Sri Lanka Rupees.
- 1 bedroom apartment in City Center: 30,000 Rupees
- 1 inexpensive meal: 315 Rupees
- 1 way transportation ticket: 50 Rupees
Work Culture in Sri Lanka:
- Etiquette:Sri Lanka's culture is heavily influenced by the country's predominant religions, Buddhism and Hinduism. Sri Lankans tend to be very conscious of social status, and social relationships are often based off of the hierarchy observed in the workplace. People dress conservatively and are careful to avoid confrontation, as the business etiquette is rather formal.
- Language: The official languages in Sri Lanka are Sinhala and Tamil. While it will be useful to learn some basic Sinhala for daily life, most internships will not require you to know either Sinhala or Tamil, as English is now increasingly popular in the country.
- Networking: Networking is extremely important in Sri Lanka, as many business opportunities arise from good relationship building. Sri Lankans like to dedicate some time before meetings to get to know each other and develop good relationships before discussing business. The best way to network is to talk with people face to face, so try to attend any intern networking events or simply be open to conversation while at work. If you are interested in joining a larger professional network, check out Sri Lankan Professionals or Sri Lanka Business Network.
Work and Labor Laws in Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan labor laws establish basic guidelines for employment. While these laws extend to interns, international workers without work permits are usually unpaid.
Why Intern in Sri Lanka?
With such a rich history, vibrant culture, and friendly population, Sri Lanka is an amazing place to visit. The country's famed tea, exotic elephants, and gorgeous Buddhist temples draw thousands of tourists to the island every year. If you'd like to explore life in unique country and gain some great professional work experience at the same time, go intern in Sri Lanka!
Do you think there is something missing in our guide to interning in Sri Lanka? Contact us and let us know! We want to make sure our information is relevant and up to date.