In recent years, more and more schools are looking to do volunteer work on their overseas expeditions. Volunteer trips are an excellent way to make a positive impact, visit exciting destinations, and for students to immerse themselves in diverse cultures and increase their global awareness.
However, organising a School Trip Abroad involves A LOT of preparation. PMGY have the expertise, experience and networks to make such an expedition accessible, safe and stress-free. Furthermore, as a social initiative, we are able to guarantee affordable prices without sacrificing the quality of our programmes.
We can tailor a trip around your requirements. Whether you wish to solely focus on volunteering, or would like to incorporate volunteering into a wider trip – we can work together to create the perfect itinerary for you.
PMGY’s UK team will help you in preparing for your trip. Each member of the group will receive a personalised printed expedition handbook, which outlines everything they need to know to prepare for the trip.
The group will also receive a pre-departure briefing by a member of our UK team, which will take place at a location of your choosing. Parents are welcome to attend this session.
We will also set up a dedicated email address for the school group where all students, parents and teachers can email questions to PMGY. You can also contact our UK team at any point with any queries one may have. We will also create a group Facebook page where we will post regular updates to keep families informed of the trips progress.
Whilst you’re in-country, the PMGY UK team will provide you and your family with a 24 hour UK based support service. PMGY maintain strong links with Embassies and High Commissions around the world, and we are well aware of the various economic, social and political situations in each of our host countries. Whatever the circumstance, our UK team are always on-hand to help.
Our in-country teams are experienced in hosting international volunteers and have extensive networks in the local community to ensure they can react quickly and thoroughly in cases of an emergency. We will assign several members of staff to work solely with the group, 24/7. So whatever the issue, we are ready and prepared to assist you.
WHEN CAN WE GO?
We are flexible with our start dates and can arrange the trip around dates that suit you. Just let us know when you can go and we will put a plan in place!
All trips include the following services, factored into the cost price -
• Accommodation and 3 meals per day
• All in-country transport
• 24/7 UK and in-country support
• All travel activities outlined in the trip itinerary
• Project materials and donations for the volunteer work
• PMGY Volunteer Abroad T-shirt and printed expedition handbook for each participant
• One initial information session undertaken by a member of the PMGY UK team - at a location of your choosing
• One pre-departure information session undertaken by a member of the PMGY UK team - at a location of your choosing
Ambalangoda is a quaint oceanside town located on the South West coast of Sri Lanka. It is traditionally a fishing community but is famous for being the major production centre for demonic wooden masks. The traditional masks were originally designed to be worn by performers in kolam and other southern Sri Lankan dances, but are now mainly used as souvenirs. Many families hang a mask on their front door to worn off evil spirits.
Life in Ambalangoda is slow and laid back. The people are unbelievably friendly – you’ll receive smiles from the locals as you walk around town.
The Volunteer in Sri Lanka group will stay at a private residence, exclusive to the group. We can offer separate quarters for the teaching staff and same-sex dorms for the students - up to 6 persons per room. Facilities will be basic, but comfortable. Rooms will be shared with either single beds or bunk beds. There will be western toilets with hot showers and Wi-Fi. There will be a communal area where the group can eat their meals and hang out in their spare time. The accommodation will either be at one of our Volunteer Houses or at a local guesthouse.
All meals will be prepared at the house (during the volunteering part of the expedition). Meals will be traditional Sri Lankan cuisine and we can cater for all dietary requirements. Purified water filters are also provided.
During their travels, the group will stay at hotels in the various locations they will travel to. Accommodation will be basic but comfortable. Meals will be served at restaurants and at the hotels.
The group take part in a construction and renovation project alongside childcare and teaching projects. This will give the group a varied experience and also enable them to see a tangible result from their contribution. We may need to divide the group into teams of 10 or 12 people and place them at different projects, due to the limited space available at the placements. The group will always be supported by the PMGY Sri Lanka team.
All transport is included in your Programme Fee. We will arrange private vehicles to transfer the group throughout their stay. The vehicles can accommodate up to 12 people per vehicle, so we may not use multiple minivans. There will always be a member of the PMGY Sri Lanka accompanying the team.
The cost is £699 per person. This includes:
• Accommodation and meals
• In-country transport
• Project donations and building materials
• Travel activities outlined in the itinerary
• 24/7 UK and pre-departure support
The additional costs to factor into an overall budget would be:
• Travel Insurance & vaccinations
• Spending money (£50 to £100)
Day 1 - Arrival
The group will be at Colombo International Airport (Bandaranaike International Airport). On arrival into Colombo International Airport you will be greeted by the PMGY team.
We will then transport you by private bus to your volunteer accommodation in Ambalangoda The journey takes around 2-3 hours so expect to arrive early Sunday morning ready for breakfast and a short rest to refresh!
Feeling re-energised, you will have lunch in the early afternoon before beginning your orientation. In the orientation, our local team will begin with taking you to see some of the famous sites around Ambalangoda, including the longest sleeping Buddha statue in South East Asia, an original blue moonstone mine and some famous Buddhist temples. You will also have the chance to change money during the orientation.
In the evening time and before dinner, our local team will return with you to the volunteer accommodation to teach you about life in Sri Lanka, the do’s and don’ts, and the local culture and religion. This will continue with an introduction to the transport system, safety advice and all the projects we support in the community.
After dinner, its time to reflect on your first day in Sri Lanka by which time you would have really hit the ground running and get ready for the first day of volunteering projects tomorrow!
Day 2 - 6 - Volunteering
We will start our project work on the morning of Monday 4th July 2016. After a good breakfast at the volunteer accommodation, you will travel by private transport to the project site.
It will be time for everyone to roll up their sleeves as each morning from Monday right through to the Friday you will be making a tangible hands on difference directly within the Ambalangoda community. Such a project will involve painting and renovating either a local school, hospital or temple for the five mornings.
After busy mornings volunteering, it will be time to return to the volunteer accommodation ready for a well earned Sri Lankan lunch to top up energy levels. After lunch, volunteers will spend a little time preparing and then departing by private transport for their afternoon project. For the afternoon projects the group of 24 will be split into three groups of 8 (see Student Groups above).
Day 7 & 8 - Kandy
After a full week volunteering and giving back to the community in Ambalangoda, it’s now time to spend the second week exploring and travelling what this amazing country has to offer!
Throughout the second week travelling, as well as all accommodation and meals, private transport is used throughout with a member of the local team on hand to co-ordinate the remaining part of the trip.
After an early breakfast at the volunteer accommodation, its time to make our way to the city of Kandy. The journey takes between 4 to 5 hours from Ambalangoda. As we make our way to Kandy we will stop at Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage. You’ll get the chance to visit one of the largest elephant orphanages in the world – getting up close and personal with these enchanting animals. We will then proceed to Kandy.
Located in the centre of the island, surrounded by green hills and full of cultural significance – Kandy is the cultural capital of Sri Lanka. It is also the southern tip of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle. The city hosts the Temple of the Tooth Relic (the sacred tooth of the Buddha), which is a famous pilgrimage site. The picturesque central lake on the other side of town offers a more relaxed feel than the busy town centre.
Kandy will see you visit its renowned cultural dance shows as well as a visit to the ancient Temple of the Tooth. Kandy also represents a great place to do some shopping and pick up some souvenirs along the way with a vibrant mix of local market and high street stores as well as a wood carving factor to choose from.
Day 9 & 10 - Nuwara Eliya
We’ll be up early on the Monday morning as we make way for Nuwara Eliya. Located in the heart of Sri Lanka. Nuwara Eliya was established by British colonialists and is now often referred to as ‘Little England’. The town is surrounded by lush green hills and dotted with English country style houses and half-timbered bungalows.
On the way we’ll be stopping off do to the following activities:
Tea Plantation – We’ll visit at tea factory where you’ll get the chance take a tour of the tea plantations and even pick some tea yourself! Make sure you’ve got your camera ready!
Waterfalls - On the way to Nuwara Eliya you will get to witness some of Sri Lanka’s most awe inspiring scenery which includes rolling hills and enchanting waterfalls. We’ll make a stop at one of the waterfalls, so you can go for a swim or just kick back and enjoy the soothing sounds and awesome sights.
That afternoon we will visit Hakgala Botanical Garden. Each part of the garden is dedicated to a different plant species and type. These include many flower gardens, a rose garden, fernery, rock garden, Japanese garden, Arboretum, Eucalyptus (gum tree) plantation and acacia wood.
That evening we’ll check into our guesthouse in Nuwara Eliya for a relaxing evening.
After an early breakfast on the Tuesday morning we’ll make our way to Horton Plains National Park, which is most well-known for its amazing viewpoint called World’s End. We’ll hike through the national park, checking out all the weird and wonderful landscape, nature and wildlife.
It is a 9km trek before you reach Worlds End, a cliff with a 1000m sheer drop below it! Beautiful, mystical, and a little bit eerie. Make sure you have some good walking shoes or trainers.
That afternoon, we’ll continue to head south to the pleasant town of Thissamaharamaya, known as Tissa. This is the base for your trip to Yala National Park and that evening will also see you travel locally to Katharagama to visit the Hindu temple, which has become a sacred pilgrimage for all religions in Sri Lanka. This is a great opportunity to learn about Hinduism in Sri Lanka.
Day 11 - Safari
Today is definitely not the day for expecting a lie in. You’ll be up bright and early at 05:00 ready to be taken to Yala National Park in the safari jeep.
Famous for having the highest concentration of leopards in the world, Yala National Park is definitely one of the highlights of the trip. If we are lucky we’ll get to spot Leopards, Elephants, Sloth Bears, Sambar and Spotted Deer, Jackals, Mongooses, Wild Boars, Wild Buffaloes, Langur and Macaque Monkeys…so make sure to bring your camera!
After a full mornings safari, we’ll have some time to relax and hang out in the swimming pool. Later in the afternoon we will travel to Mirissa – one of the best stretches of coastline in the whole of the island!
Day 12 & 13 - Mirissa
The time has finally arrived for a free couple days in Mirissa to relax by the beach after what has been a jam-packed itinerary so far.
Mirissa has a number of water activities you can do to keep you entertained or you may wish to simply put your feet up and reflect on what has been a great trip so far!
Day 14 & 15 - Galle
After a couple of days relaxation at Mirissa beach its now time to head to Galle for the afternoon. The drive to Galle will take around one hour as we begin to come to the end of what has been a fantastic trip!
Galle is always a favourite amongst many travellers in Sri Lanka. The UNESCO World Heritage protected Galle Fort is an 18th-century Dutch walled town with chic shops, grand colonial houses and beautiful beaches.
You will spend time walking across the fort taking in the jaw dropping scenery as well as the opportunity to pick up some last minute souvenirs from the shops in Galle Town.
After a late lunch on Saturday afternoon in Galle, unfortunately the time has now come to say goodbye to this amazing country! We will head straight to Colombo International Airport from Galle ready to catch our departing flight.
*Please note this itinerary is flexible and subject to change depending on the weather and any other unforeseen circumstances.
10-40 Students Per Trip
|Free Places for Teachers|
|Bursaries or Funded Places Available|
|Duke of Edinburgh Award|
|Free Places for Teachers|
|Bursaries or Funded Places Available|
|Duke of Edinburgh Award|
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