SVS - School for English

SVS School for English


SVS School for English is a non-profit school for adults in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It was established in 2006 with the aim of enabling Sri Lankans and expatriates living in Sri Lanka to acquire vital and empowering English language skills.

Teachers volunteer for 6 months at a time - and there is no fee for doing so! In fact, SVS volunteers are provided with food, accommodation and a small monthly stipend in return for their time and effort, in addition to the unbeatable fulfilment they get from helping a wide range of students (from Burmese monks to Sri Lankan college students) develop their knowledge.

While previous teaching experience is a plus, it's not a requirement. We simply ask that teachers have a strong working knowledge of the English language (from a degree or professional experience) and the passion to make a difference. We provide all of the training you'll need once you arrive - you only have to pay for your flight!

Travel, teaching and the tropics - what's not to love?


273 Highlevel Road
Sri Lanka


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Yes, I recommend this program

If you're looking for a way to connect with some amazing people, to make a difference, to discover something new about yourself - look no further.
A teaching stint at SVS will give you all that. And much more!
I always knew that I would love teaching. But SVS is where I really got a chance to live that dream. I came back with new found appreciation for all the hard work and patience that goes into giving your best to your students. And was left touched with the kind of gratitude and regard that the students had for us.
Sri Lanka was a great place to explore and live in. And I'm already looking forward to going back there some time. The SVS family leaves no stone unturned to ensure that your stay is happy and comfortable. They are some of the warmest people I have ever met and it just wouldn't have been the same without them.
I learnt a lot about myself during those six months and I am grateful for that. I would totally totally recommend taking this up. You will not regret it!

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Yes, I recommend this program

When I was looking for a teaching opportunity abroad, I was interested in getting hands on experience with engaged teaching. SVS is a fun environment where students and teachers alike truly feel part of a family and that atmosphere permeates into the classroom and community. I had a rewarding experience teaching students who were truly grateful for the opportunity to learn and also made lifelong friends in my fellow teachers and SVS staff! I would highly recommend traveling to Sri Lanka - a beautiful country - and spending time with SVS!

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Yes, I recommend this program

What an experience it has been to volunteer for SVS!
From the students to the teachers and everyone at the Foundation, they have all contributed to making my stay in Sri Lanka memorable. Being part of such community was uplifting and fulfilling.
The school's organisation and support make it easy for teachers to work through the intense days of teaching. Nevertheless, lesson plans, weekly group and one-on-one meetings provided ensure that the teachers are giving the best possible lessons to their students.
It is easy to get motivated whilst teaching, as the students are so thankful towards you and the teaching you are providing. The trust and respect the students give to you only fuels you even more to give them the best of your abilities!
If you're looking to have an impact on people's lives, to develop yourself professionally and personally, this is the place to be! As an extra bonus, you get to live & see the beautiful paradise of Sri Lanka. It truly can't get better than this!

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Yes, I recommend this program

I spent 6 months teaching at SVS after finishing my degree in the UK, and it was an incredible experience. Seb and Mark were both incredibly supportive, and despite being a person who is quite shy and struggles to speak in front of people, I was able to overcome those nerves within days thanks to their help.
The students themselves are friendly, bright, and eager to learn which makes the process of teaching an absolute pleasure, and you'll come away feeling you've learned at least as much as you've taught!
Then there are the added perks of living in a vibrant city, within a beautiful tropical country. Road trips to the mountains and the beach are part of weekend life, and being able to take a dip in the sea anytime you feel like it is something I'll never stop missing!
I cannot recommend teaching here enough.

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Yes, I recommend this program

I have taught in numerous schools on both a volunteer and paid basis around the world - however, SVS has to have been my favourite! Seb and Mark, the school’s owners are brilliant - they support the teachers fully and are keen to help teachers develop. The students at this school are keen to learn, and I don’t remember a single lesson which didn’t involve huge amounts of smiling and laughter! As a teacher at SVS, you are able to teach along like-minded, adventurous people - I certainly met some friends that I know will be friends for life whilst teaching there. In addition to this, you are located in an amazing country which Seb and Mark actively encourage you to explore by leading ‘weekend adventures’ (many involving secret parts of Sri Lanka that tourists can only dream of finding!). If you have a passion for teaching, are an adventurous soul, and are looking for memories to last a lifetime, I would whole-heartedly recommend teaching at SVS.

What would you improve about this program?


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