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first visit, teaching, general travelling tips?

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first visit, teaching, general travelling tips?

my boyfriend and i are teaching for the whole of july in a little school in negombo. weve got weekends off where we have trips to temples and the elephant orphange and the general tourists attractions.

i was just wondering if anyone had any general trips

for example, getting a phone, pda, clothing (we know we have to cover shoulders and knees when teaching), money

any advice at all would be fab.

St Austell
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1. Re: first visit, teaching, general travelling tips?


If you haven't yet worked out what trips to do, you might like to read this recent post which gives you a lot of information on excursions from the Negombo area: tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g297897-i9960-k3…

It's well worth getting a local phone sim card whilst you are there and I recommend Dialog as it gets good coverage more or less anywhere in Sri Lanka (I found Unawatuna in the south was the one place where I had a patchy signal; everywhere else was perfect). If your current 'phone is unlocked, then just get a sim card; if it isn't, either buy a cheap 'phone here before you go, or get one from Negombo for around £15. Local texts only cost just over 1 rupee each (free from one Dialog user to another) and to text to the UK they are about 6 rupees. Amazing value. You can top up the 'phone at any Dialog outlet and I prefer to use the ones which say "eZ Reload" as the amount you want to top up is immediately issued and you get a text confirming the transaction. Alternatively, buy a pre-paid scratch card for a set amount and dial the number given on the card to get your credit top up that way.

Clothing: Cover shoulders and knees and remove headwear when visiting temples. Otherwise, in Negombo with its large tourist numbers, you can wear your normal clothes with no worries. It is the same in most places frequented by tourists, but I tend to be more conservatively dressed than at home, ie, wearing shorts to around knee length and avoiding vest tops; that sort of thing. It's not forbidden to wear skimpy clothes, but local women don't dress like that and it is nicer to fit in and respect the local culture.

Money: Lot of different ways to manage your cash. I tend to take out an initial amount at the airport, changing my sterling to rupees at that time. You can withdraw more cash as you need it from banks or by using ATMs with your debit card. If you are using cards, notify your bank before you go so that they don't put a block on its use when you suddenly start using it in Sri Lanka. If you are staying in an hotel, they might offer money changing for you, but it will be at a poor rate. Credit cards are accepted at most hotels and restaurants, but be cautious of using them. I tend not to, as there have been cases of fraudulent use.

All the best


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2. Re: first visit, teaching, general travelling tips?

As one who worked in teacher education for three years in Sri Lanka, I have a broad knowledge of schools in the island and my main tip would be to make sure that you go out with a range of suitable teaching materials to supplement the very limited resources the school is likely to have. I assume that you will be teaching English and there are many excellent communicative, activity based materials available in the UK which cannot be found in Sri Lanka. A range of games and activities for English language learning will go down very well.

If you wish to PM me and let me know the age of the children you will be teaching, I can probably point you in the right direction.

There is lots of information on the other subject you mention in the forums for Sri Lanka. Just do a search and you will find it. July is a pleasant time of year to be going. Dress for a hot summer, with nothing revealing for teaching and you will be fine.

Best of luck,


3. Re: first visit, teaching, general travelling tips?

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