Unique Opportunity for Gap Year Students in Sri Lanka.Use your gap year to build skills and intercultural experience in Asian Culture !

Unique Opportunity in Sri Lanka for Gap Year Students. Use your gap year to build skills and intercultural experience in Asian Culture !

More and more people are choosing to take a Gap Year, a break in between the normal school to university life. A gap year can be a space in which to experience new opportunities, explore the world of different people, different believes, different cultures ,and it can also be a great opportunity to mould your approach to your future.

Sri Lanka is an amazing location for a gap year – an inexpensive Island, extremely friendly people, rich in culture and adventure. Whether you are interested in interning, volunteering, teaching English or getting experience to teach English as a secondary language, or learning the culture or religion we likely have a unique gap year program for you to work with the people in remote village schools. Taking a gap year in Sri Lanka can be one of the most rewarding and enjoyable life experiences for people from all ages.

In addition to gap year opportunities, Sri Lanka offers you many more small miracles. White sandy beaches, Serendipity at its best, lush greenery, exciting adventures, amazing wildlife and a rich heritage.
The warm and friendly smiles of the people await you in the Isle of Sri Lanka. Come experience and enjoy.

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Looking at a map of Sri Lanka one feels a touch of amazement that so much can happen in this pear shape island, tucked between the Indian subcontinent and the endless Indian Ocean! It is a beautiful Island, of astounding valleys and mountains with its breathtaking scenery, is home to our current volunteering projects.
Our volunteers are working in large primary schools based in Southern District of Galle as well as in a secondary school and several small rural primary schools in the Island. Teaching English is the main focus of these projects although volunteers have also been active in teaching drama, sports and science.
All of our projects are Sri Lankan Government sponsored community based programmes giving volunteers the opportunity to immersed in village life and learn from, as well as help the local people.

What you need to provide is only :
Living costs and spending money.
Energy and enthusiasm!
In return, you will get teaching skills and intercultural experience in Asian Culture.

Deciding on what to pack and on whether to travel light.
You need only light cloths. Jeans and T shirts will be sufficient. The local people wear ties and suits only for weddings. Take minimum and designer cloths are very cheap in Sri Lanka
Health issues such as vaccinations, malaria, first aid, safe water/food and emergencies.
Officially you do not need any vaccination. Better take some malaria tablets. Even though Sri Lanka has a free to all health service and all top hospitals are run by the government, the healthcare is free of charge, However travel insurance is recommended in an unlikely event if you prefer to have a private hospital care.

Starting point for planning your gap year…..

Making the decision to take a gap year. Reassuring parents about taking a gap year.

Sri Lanka is not a strange place. It is a major holiday destination in the world, situated just 20 miles off India, the island formerly known as Ceylon is home to 21 million people. The Resplendent Isle is one of gorgeous beaches, famous for old British tea plantations and ancient cities, Scuba dive, elephant orphanage, a lagoon of singing fish, dense jungle, many of modern Buddhist shrines and temples.

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Deciding on what to pack and on whether to travel light.
You need only light cloths. Jeans and T shirts will be sufficient. The local people wear ties and suits only for weddings. Take minimum and designer cloths are very cheap in Sri Lanka
Health issues such as vaccinations, malaria, first aid, safe water/food and emergencies.
Officially you do not need any vaccination. Better take some malaria tablets. Even though Sri Lanka has a free to all health service and all top hospitals are run by the government, the healthcare is free of charge, However travel insurance is recommended in an unlikely event if you prefer to have a private hospital care.

Accommodation
Either chose hotel accommodation or shared village house. Room accommodation can be around £25 a month 3 bed house with a kitchen, Hotel accommodation per room £190/month ( Conversion rate 1£=160Rs) Average meal (vegetarian or with fish Sri Lankan style will cost £1 – 2. If you get somebody to cook, it may cost you £2/day.
Climate
There are no distinctive seasons in Sri Lanka and it is year round summer. Trees and Bushes are ever green. Rain –mainly monsoon type with heavy thunder.
Work
Schools are open from 7.30 Am to 1.30 pm daily (6 hours) and most students will be working in the computer labs after school. First term start in January to first week of April and the second term starts in last week of April to end of July, Third term start from beginning of September to December.

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How to stay safe in another country.
Sri Lanka is always full of tourists and there are large number of tourist beach hotels scattered all over the Island. These can be expensive for students. In order to enjoy the rich and varied holiday assets of the country on a modest budget, the Ceylon Tourist Board has set up a network of Resorts called Rest Houses in prime locations in Nuwara Eliya, Bandarawela, Anuradhapura, Kataragama and Bentota. Set in exceptionally scenic and salubrious locations in premier hill-stations, hallowed and historic shrines and beaches, these resorts also offer superb sightseeing with the bonus of moderately priced, comfortable “home away from home” accommodation with an authentic Sri Lankan flavor and comprehensive facilities. (http://www.srilankatourism.org/holiday.php)
Deciding on travelling with friends or going solo.
Always better if you have two or three people in one group.
Credit cards and debit cards.
Credit cards are acceptable in tourist hotels and restaurants. But not in local and village boutiques.
Brief information on a variety of neighboring countries.
Recommend to visit India, Thailand Singapore and Japan while you are living in this part of the world.

Our Vision
To contribute to reducing inequalities in accessing ICT services and technology for sustainable development.
Our Mission
To provide the community with leaders equipped with the necessary attitudes, skills and knowledge especially in relation to ICT and technology who will be able to contribute to the sustainable development of their community.
Visit
http://www.batuwangala.org
http://www.batuwangala.sch.lk
This is a Project work under SEMP project,By the Ministry of Education in Sri Lanka.

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Walking through the blossoming countryside of Batuwangala, a village adjacent to the largest and well preserved rainforest as the backdrop, the volunteers can walk from their own village houses to local primary schools. Batuwangala village is surrounded by lush tea plantations with occasional paddy fields, vegetable plots, rubber estates scattered over.Here the volunteers can teach basic English and a choice of extra-curricular activities such as football, Cricket, painting, singing or dancing, and become immersed in village life with the Local people who are mainly Sinhala Buddhists. Eastern dancing is also a common traditional teaching by traditional dansers.Eastern dancing is also a common traditional teaching by traditional dancers. Among Village youth there are talented dancers who are willing to share their knowledge.Many village children only have the chance of primary and secondary education – so you can help where the need is greatest.

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Most of the time it may be raining here in Batuwangala except in December and January. Climate is cool and comfortable. No air conditioning is required. The out door activities are to be organized with lot more care with the prevailing weather conditions. But hiking, Expeditions, volunteer work campaigns can be organized.

Annual school calendar consist of “Sila samadhi”, a frequent Buddhist group meditation exercise, annual school trips, annual sports events Etc. As the waterfalls are nearby, occasionally, when students feel bored, they visit the waterfall. There are 5 waterfalls nearby approximately 2 km. from the school. One water fall is with in 50 meters.

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The nearest regional city is Galle which is the capital of the southern province and it is about 65 KM from Batuwangala and can be reached in 2 hours by public transport. UNESCO declared World Heritage Site, the magnificent Dutch fort is the most popular attraction of the Galle town. 300 year old Dutch atmosphere is still very much alive around the fort and amidst its many historical buildings not invaded by the skyscrapers.. Nearest beach resorts are Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna and can also be reached in two hours.

How to apply
If you are interested in spending your gap year (minimum of 6 months) or having a career-break working in Sri Lanka, please contact us.

For the Application Form, Terms & Conditions, etc…. contact us……

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About batuwangala

I am Aruna Chaminda Pushpakumara.I was born as the eldest of my family. I have one sister. we live in Galle. I was a extroversive character from my childhood. I used to be with my grandmother when I was a child. She was my first teacher. She lived in polonnaruwa and to day I believe, the time I spent with my grand mother has made me who I am today. From the childhood I wanted to learn every thing. I can remember well. I didn’t wanted to pass the examinations. But wanted to learn how things work. I was not a tamed boy. As my grandmother most of the time had to visit my school for principals, class teacher’s messages. I did two things from the begging. One was mathematics. The other was English. I got through my OL with a distinction for mathematics. Then every one in my family wanted me to learn to be an engineer. But I wanted to be a doctor. I got through the GCE AL. But couldn’t enter the university. Then I applied for National College of Education. I got selected for Mahaweli National College of Education. This is the place where I became a defferent man. I followed the teacher training course and of course I rather followed IT over there. Most of the time I observed thing deeply and I had the ability to endure thing thoroughly. After three years of my training I came out from the college as a full teacher. Even to day I would like to thank full my teachers over there. Madam Rathnayake and Madam Manik wawegama was my best teacher Educators. Specially Assistant Principal Mr.Premadasa of Nugawela Boys College is some one I will never forget. As a whole by Teacher training I got vast knowledge, and experiences which I absorbed through out that time period helped me to work and think not only a Teacher but a counselor, also as a matured person who can understand things and how the universe works. I got my teacher appointment in 2006.I came to Batuwangala Maha Vidyalaya as an English teacher. Batuwangala Maha Vidyalaya is a Beautiful location. I was living in busy environment before coming here. But after I came to batuwangala I felt that I came to the place where I meant to be. So Finally I studied about the village and one day mathematics teacher Mr.Sarath brought me in to the computer lab. I saw more than 20computers were there. Dust full environment. Only three pcs were preferably can use.Mr.Sarath talked to me and he talked to principal and so I became the in charge of the lab. I cleaned the lab for more than 24 hours with senior students. Students were curios abut their new teacher who rarely speaks Sinhala.I finished the labs security levels and opened the lab for children. We published a web site for our school. Within one month. Student became friendly and I always asked them to take me as a friend who knows more than them .I also have given them the freedom to think up to far far away so they can explore things in different ways .I asked them always to start thinking where I stoped.I teach them not to pass all that examinations but to live. One day accidentally Mr.Block Jayathissa who was the Southern province IT director for SEMP talked to me. So as we were given evillage project. From there we has come across lots of obstacles. But my students, and me always silent but working. To day I have bough the innocent students to the global village. Batuwangala is 65km away from Galle city.But now I have made it one click to the whole world. Principal Thilaka Wijenayake,BMV staff helped me and guided me through.I want to see a day where my students use computers as professionals do one day.
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5 Responses to Unique Opportunity for Gap Year Students in Sri Lanka.Use your gap year to build skills and intercultural experience in Asian Culture !

  1. wonker says:

    Interesting blog, I’ll try and spread the word.

    • batuwangala says:

      Thank you very much for your word.By doing so You simply help us to achieve our goals.Thank you onece again.

  2. matt says:

    This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  3. Buck Presson says:

    Best of luck with the blog, I enjoyed finding your post today.

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