Study in Sri Lanka

Have you ever visited Sri Lanka? It is a beautiful island with lots of breathtaking sea beaches. But did you know that education in Sri Lanka is also of high standards? In fact, the population of Sri Lanka is also quite low. So, one can think of pursuing an education and career in Sri Lanka. To know more about such interesting facts, go through the following information that relates to study abroad in Sri Lanka.

You find very few countries in this world, where the education is free. Sri Lanka is one such country. Buddhism or Theravada Buddhism is the major religion that is followed in Sri Lanka. It is said that the expansion of the religion of Buddhism occurred during the reign of King DevanampiyaTissa. At that time Sanskrit was used as the primary communication language by the Buddhists. The education is provided free of cost in Sri Lanka. This free education is applicable right from the school level to university level. In fact, the government of Sri Lanka has a very efficient academic system, under which the high-quality education to students. It has been found that the growth in adult literacy in Sri Lanka is over 95%. The government provides school textbooks free of cost to the students. This kind of a system increases the urge for higher education, especially among underprivileged children.

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About Sri Lanka

  • Geography-The island of Sri Lanka is located in the Indian Ocean. The Gulf of Mannar and Palk Strait separates Sri Lanka from the Indian subcontinent. This landmass is located to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and to the southeast of the Arabian Sea. The capital of Sri Lanka is known as Colombo. There are more than 10 airports in Sri Lanka. Among the important airports is Bandaranaike International Airport and the MattalaRajapaksa International Airport. These airports are mainly popular for their international flights.
  • Mythology-The original name of Sri Lanka was Ceylon. According to the Indian epic Ramayan the King of Ceylon, Ravana, kept Sita as a hostage in the Ashok Vatika of Sri Lanka or Ceylon. I would like to share one interesting fact here. Ravana is considered to be evil in our Hindu mythology. He is considered to have kidnapped Sita, wife of Rama. He had to fight a battle with Rama and his brother Lakshmana, in which he lost. Rama succeeded in getting his wife back. There is an alternate version to this in the Sri Lankan mythology. According to the old scriptures of Sri Lanka, Ravana was a great warrior and ruler or Ceylon. He was a man of power, brilliance and wisdom. He is not considered as an evil autocratic king here.
  • History-As mentioned in an earlier section, the basic economic structure of Sri Lanka has been constructed on farming. Farming in Sri Lanka started from Before Christ period. The kingdoms established in Sri Lanka were-Jaffna, Gampola, Kotte, Vannimai and a few others. Among the invaders of Sri Lanka, the Chola, Chera and the Pallava dynasties are the most important ones.Later on, Portuguese people tried to settle in Sri Lanka. They started building forts and captured the coastal areas. They started their invasion with Colombo. Then, later on, King Rajasinghe II made a treaty with the Dutch people to recover the coastal areas from the Portuguese. Just like India, slowly and gradually, Sri Lanka was invaded by the British rulers. Sri Lanka obtained its independence from the British rulers on 4th February 1948. It became the Republic of Sri Lanka on May 22, 1972.
  • Politics-Sri Lanka witnessed the first female ruler or queen in the history of Asia. The name of the queen was Anula of Anuradhapura. This was way back during the Before Christ or BC period. But if you come to the twentieth century, then SirimaRatwatte Dias Bandaranaike or Sirimavo Bandaranaike was the first female prime minister of Sri Lanka. In fact, she was the world's first woman prime minister. So Sri Lanka is a country that definitely marks women empowerment to its optimum. She was the wife of Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike. Her husband was an eminent lawyer, who later turned into a politician. In fact, her early political career started by assisting her husband. She served three terms as a prime minister. Her last term continued until August 2000.

    Quick Facts

    • The original name of Sri Lanka was Ceylon. The name was coined during the colonial rule of the Portuguese.
    • The name was ultimately changed to Sri Lanka in the year 1972. During this year, the constitution of Sri Lanka was written. The constitution was later amended in 1978.
    • The world's first woman prime minister belongs to Sri Lanka. She became the prime minister for the first time in 1960.
    • Sri Lanka is famous for its elephant back safari. Tourists can take a wide view of the wildlife of Sri Lanka from the seats up the back of elephants. This safari is mostly enjoyed by the kids.
    • Sri Lanka is also famous for the blue whales. The coast of the town of Mirissa is where the blue whales dwell. The tourists are taken on a ride to view the blue whales at Mirissa.
    • There are other sea activities like rowing, scuba diving, snorkelling, etc., which attract the tourists to the beaches of Sri Lanka. You will get to witness the alluring coral reefs and views of shipwrecks deep under the sea through the latter sea activities. If you are joining a three-year graduation course or a two-year master's course in Sri Lanka, then you should try these sports during the vacations. Along with this, you have the traditional boating and cruise trips.
    • Those who have visited Sri Lanka for a pleasure trip will know how beautiful this island is. It is due to this reason; the island of Sri Lanka is also known as Pearl of the Indian Ocean.
    • Sri Lanka is one of the leading countries as a tea producer and tea exporter. It is the fourth largest exporter of tea in the world.
    • This country marks the origin of cinnamon, which is one of the spices in garam masala. It was discovered here by the Egyptians, thousands of years ago.
    • The flag of Sri Lanka is the only flag in the world that marks a mixture of the various religious beliefs of its countrymen.
    • Volleyball is the national game of Sri Lanka. The game was introduced in the country, in the year 1916. It was declared to be the national game in the year 1991.

    Admission Process in Sri Lanka

    • The students must select the subject, the degree with respect to that subject way before the admission procedure actually starts.
    • You must submit the photocopies of the mark sheets and certificates of class 10,12, graduation/ master's, as applicable. All these photocopies must be attested by the principal or director of your school or college.
    • You will have to clear an examination called as GCE. This examination is based on the major papers of your graduation. It is an advanced level examination. There could be some other entrance examination, which is university specific. This means that the university where you are taking an admission in, will decide the full marks, choices and other patterns of examination.
    • You require a photocopy of your birth certificate. When you take admission.
    • You require a few passport size photographs. What you should do is, take some extra pictures of your face and neck while clicking pictures for the visa application. You can use the extra photos for applying to a Sri Lankan university.
    • Reference and background check is also a requirement. You need to provide the names, contact numbers, addresses, and designations of those who will give you a good reference letter. You need at least three/ four referees. You can choose the referees yourself. Firstly, you can think of the principal of your school. You can also provide this information about your manager. This is applicable if you are working in a private company. You just need to make sure that the referees you provide have a good relation with you. These referees might be called by the Sri Lankan university. In that case, they must really speak well of you. If anyone of the referees goes against you, then your admission might be stalled. Sometimes all the referees give their recommendation letters in a similar format. The only thing that changes in that format is the name of the referee. This is not acceptable in many universities. Do mention that to all your referees. They should write unique reference letters for you.

    Student Visa Application Process

    There are two provisions under the student visa. Firstly, you can apply for student visa for undergraduate courses or master's courses. This means that the students must be above 18 years of age. But, the students who are under the age of 16 years, or are still at their schooling stage can also apply for a student visa. This is generally applicable for school students who wish to study any certificate course in Sri Lanka. Such courses could be related to language training or any industrial software training. Such students, who are still a minor, are eligible to stay in Sri Lanka along with their parents. This means their parents will get to stay with their child as long as their education in Sri Lanka continues. Initially, students can also apply for an Entry Visa. This is applicable for students who are opting for foreign exchange programs in Sri Lanka. These visas are approved by the Department of Immigration of Colombo.


    The school students of Sri Lanka are not only asked to focus on their studies, but they are also encouraged towards learning various instruments. Most of the students have a high penchant for learning to play the piano. The students get free education, books and other things from the school. This is patronized by the government of Sri Lanka. In fact, Sri Lankan cricketers donate books, money and other things to the schools. One such eminent and generous cricketer is Arjun Ranatunga. He donated lots of cricket bats, balls, gloves, etc. to the underprivileged school students. The food in Sri Lanka is more or similar the kind we get in India. In fact, the people of West Bengal will feel at home as curry is one of the specialities of Sri Lanka. The main staple food of this country is rice. You will find fish and meat curry in any standard restaurant. So any Indian student will find it very easy to adjust in the environment of Sri Lanka.
    As Sri Lanka is an island, the monsoons have a deep impact upon it. In fact, there are two kinds of monsoons that affect two different regions. If you go towards the southwest of Sri Lanka, then you will find the impact of the south-western monsoons. So if you choose any university or college in that region, then you must try to come to this country within the month of April. This is because the season of the south-western monsoon is in between May and September. The month of April is the transition period from summer to monsoon. So the weather is quite soothing at this point. Again, if you go towards the northeast of Sri Lanka, then you will find the impact of north-eastern monsoons. The effect of the north-eastern monsoons is very high in between the months of October and January. So if you are taking admission in any university in the northwest of Sri Lanka, then it is better to come in the month of September.
    The students of any university in Sri Lanka form their groups and alumni association. They form their own society. In such groups, seminars, competitions are held at regular intervals. Students of a university or ex-students of the alumni or society are many times involved in a lot of social work. The students are engaged in different teamwork where there is a need for strong leadership. Many colleges have football courts, basketball courts, tennis courts, swimming pools, etc. Therefore, the life of a college or university student will not just involve completion of the syllabus. The students are encouraged in fun and frolic, leadership activities and much more. So you will learn a lot as a student in Sri Lanka. Along with this, you will grow as a complete person.

    Cost of Living for Students

    FoodFirst we come to the cost of food. Initially, what most students do is that they go to restaurants for taking their dinners. Most of them buy their lunch from the college canteens. Sometimes the students even buy their breakfasts from the college canteens. This definitely saves a lot of bucks. But it would be a lot hectic for most of the students. This is applicable to students who have early morning classes. They leave the college after lunchtime. So, they consume their breakfast and lunch from college canteens. But for a regular basis, you cannot do so. It can deteriorate your health. The canteen food may not be of good quality. Restaurants would be very costly for you. The cost of appetizers can rise up to Rs.300 in a Sri Lankan restaurant. You have an unlimited buffet in some restaurants, the cost of which you can already imagine. In fact, this unlimited buffet is a huge disadvantage. There are quite a few restaurants, which have a rule that a customer has to select a buffet. They don't have a provision for a la carte. There aretwo very basic solutions to this problem. Firstly, if you stay in a hostel, then you will have a cook. The cook will be either be hired by the landlord or the landlord may ask you to hire one. In either case, you will be paying the cook. Secondly, if you are staying in a rented flat, then you can think of cooking yourself. Although here also you can hire a cook. The market prices of grocery items are not very costly. In fact, the price of rice is quite moderate. You can get a good brand of rice in Rs.120. Whereas in India, the price of such rice packets could rise to Rs.200. Prices of pulses, eggs, apple etc. are quite moderate. In some markets, you might find the price of these to be matching the prices of the same items in an Indian market.
    AccommodationNow let us consider the accommodation costs.If you look up online, you would see a lot of portals asking for taking furnished flats on rent. There is a very low chance that you get a flat without furniture. Hence, you have to pay higher rent for such flats. The minimum cost of a rented furnished flat could be around 65,000 Sri Lankan rupees. It could range to 2,00,00 Sri Lankan rupees. If you buy a furnished flat, then you won't have to spend any money on the furniture, but it would include the cost of electricity, gas and other utilities. If you keep a housekeeper, then it would cost you extra. It is said that it is better to do your house chores yourself in Sri Lanka, rather than hire a housekeeper. A housekeeper may cost you Rs.1000 per day. The best solution for accommodation is a hostel. A hostel will cost you around Rs.1500 per month. You can apply for hostels within university campus or outside.
    Course FeeLastly, you need to have the monetary support to provide for the course fee. The master's course generally costs Rs.2-2.5 lakh. If it is a management course, then the fee may rise up to Rs.4 lakh. The cost of diploma courses varies between a range of Rs.65,000-Rs.1.5 lakh. The fee for undergraduate courses can rise up to Rs.3 lakh. These are the fee for the entire course and not monthly or semester fee. Some universities take a separate fee for the dissertation submitted in the master's degree. The fee may range between Rs.20,000-Rs.30,000.

    Documents for University Admissions in Sri Lanka

    Documents required for a visa application in a University of Sri Lanka

    1. First of all, complete your admission in any Sri Lankan college or university. When applying for the visa, you require the admission or invitation letter of that college.
    2. These student visas are not only meant for degree and diploma students, but they are also required by the religious students coming to Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan embassy will not allow a student to enter Sri Lanka unless the visa application is submitted to the embassy at least six weeks before they arrive in the country. Although for a short-lived entry, say six months or less, an entry visa could be used.
    3. If any religious student is applying for this visa, then he or she must have a request letter from the religious organization they belong to. They would also require a recommendation from the line ministry.
    4. The students also require to produce a recommendation letter from the Ministry of Higher Education in the visa office.
    5. If a student under the age of 16 is applying for the student visa, then his guardian must accompany him. In order to do that, the school or college where he will study must give a request letter. The guardians would also require a recommendation letter from the high commission in support of their stay with their children.
    6. You need to submit the visa application form along with all the above documents. Take a printout of the visa application form. This will be the most important document that you will have to submit for getting the visa. The application form needs to be filled out online. Avoid any scribbling with a pen on that printout.

    7. You need to submit the photocopies of your age proof, your Aadhar card, and all your academic documents applicable for admission in the college, along with the visa application form.
    8. You have to submit two very recent passport size photographs of yours. The size of the photographs should be 35 mm x 45 mm. The background of the photographs should be white in colour.
    9. You need to submit your recent bank statement to the visa office. If you have more than one account, then you might have to show the passbooks for all the accounts.

Sri Lankan culture is inspired a lot by the principles and preaching of Gautama Buddha. This country has a rich cultural heritage, starting from music, drama, literature and continuing to cricket, volleyball, etc. The architecture in Sri Lanka is highly influenced by that of India and China. But the main difference between India and Sri Lanka or China and Sri Lanka is that the latter is not as highly populated as the former, in both cases. The houses in Sri Lanka, mostly include either Hindu or Buddhist or Christian shrine in it. The people of this country are very simple. They are very helpful towards the tourists from other countries. In fact, I can say from my personal experience that the tour guide never charges you a very high price. They stay with you all through the tour, take you to the important visiting places and make your visit very comfortable. The basic economic infrastructure stands on agriculture. This is because, Sri Lanka just like India, has a lot of beaches, canals, rivers, etc. The rising and the growth of the economy is marked by fishing, animal husbandry, etc. Now slowly and gradually Sri Lanka is moving to more privatization and a kind of free market economy.
Here is a list of Sri Lankan universities and the subjects offered in those universities.

  1. Buddhist &Pali University-Subjects taught-Certificate and other courses on Buddhist, Pali, Chinese and Tamil languages, Master's courses in various subjects of the Arts discipline.
  2. Rajarata University--Subjects taught-The most important subject that you can opt for here is a bachelor's degree in Industrial Mathematics. It also provides diploma courses in Information and Communication Technology, English, Environmental Management, etc. Along with this, the university provides online courses in B.Sc. You can think of studying B.Sc. online through the Rajarata University. This way, you will be familiar with the curriculum and examination pattern of this university, before even going to Sri Lanka. Secondly, a lot of time will be saved.
  3. University of Colombo-Subjects taught-This is a very old university. Almost all subjects in Arts, Science and Management discipline is taught here. In fact, there are courses on Medical Science.University of Jaffna-Subjects taught-This university also provides courses in Science, Arts and Management, like the University of Colombo. This university provides a course in both Engineering and Medical Sciences. Another popular unit of this university is the unit of Agriculture. As already mentioned, Sri Lanka was mainly dependent on agriculture. So this university tries to develop new technologies to improve the farming methodologies.

In the country of Sri Lanka, there are special spice and herbal gardens. You will be able to see the spices growing and you will be able to smell their natural odour. The spices, for example, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, etc., are exported from these gardens to India, China, etc. These gardens are also the breeding areas of Ayurveda potions, oils, etc. The only difficulty is that, if you want to buy the spices or such oils, from these gardens, it would cost you more than a thousand Sri Lankan rupees. We bought hair care oil from such a herbal garden and it cost us 3000 Sri Lankan rupees. Sri Lanka also ranks among the best tea producers of the world. Those who have consumed Sri Lankan tea would know that the taste is almost similar to that of Darjeeling tea. In fact, tourists visiting Sri Lanka, are taken to the tea factories to show how such wonderful tea is produced.

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