Volunteer in Sri Lanka - What happens when I arrive?

Volunteer in Sri Lanka - What happens when I arrive?

Once you disembark from the plane, you’ll head into passport control. If you weren’t given a landing card on the plane, you can get one at this point, on one of the desks.

Top tip: travel with a pen, there often aren’t any there for you to use!

The form needs to be filled in and presented to the Immigration officer with your passport. Occasionally volunteers have been delayed and asked to chat with the immigration captain. This is never an issue, but it’s good to travel with your visa fax just in case. He’ll just ask you a few more questions about who you’re volunteering with. As long as you answer ‘volunteering with the National Youth Services Council’ and smile, you’ll be good to go.

Once through Immigration, you’ll need to fetch your bag and then head through to the Arrivals waiting room (which is really small) and look for one of our team. We’re usually there waiting, but occasionally the Colombo traffic gets us and a cow in the road causes delays. If we’re not there straight away, don’t panic, we haven’t forgotten you. You can take this opportunity to use the bathroom or grab some cash from the far right end of the airport. 10,000rps is about £50/€70/$74, and that’s a good start.

We’ll wait for everyone to arrive and then hit the road and head to your homestay, the closest of which is 2.5 hours away, the furthest, 4 hours away, so grab a book out of your bag and make sure you use the toilet before you set off.

Once you arrive at your homestay, you’ll be given time to settle in, meet your national coordinator and socialise with the other volunteers before you begin to volunteer in Sri Lanka. You will also be provided a project pack that will contain information about your timetable, the projects you will be attending as well as emergency contact information.

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