The Magic in India’s Teardrop

You might reckon Sri Lanka has been hiding in plain sight! Seemingly a teardrop falling off the Indian peninsula due to its position and shape, innumerable travelers have passed overhead on their way to someplace else, but years of ambiguity kept it off many itineraries. Positioned between the more trodden parts of India and Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka’s history, culture and natural beauty are indisputably enthralling. It’s the place you haven’t been to yet, that you should.

Countless Adventures

Hardly any places have as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites (eight) packed into such a small piece of land. Fabled temples sheltered in caves or perch or prominent peaks boast of stunning details and lead to the remarkable Sri Lankan culture that spans over 2000 years. Safari tours of the amusingly tranquil national parks encounter leopards, water buffaloes, plethora of birds and a passel of primates. To an outsider’s astonishment, the thing that seems to be a bump in the night might be an elephant heading to a favorite waterhole.

Convenient Travelling

Distances are short and transport options are plentiful. You might encounter numerous marvels of colonial architecture just during a brisk walk around the city of Colombo. Moreover, the best way to travel around the country is by a train. Nothing can match the experience of riding a slow-moving train through Sri Lanka’s scenic hill countryside and it doesn’t even come with a mighty price tag.

Understand the Culture

At its closest point, only 18 miles of aquamarine waters separate Sri Lanka and India but there’s a world of difference between the two. The pace of life in Sri Lanka feels much less frantic than that of its neighbor, which makes it ideal for those intrigued, yet intimidated by life in India.

Societal Disturbances

This is a country which built itself from the ground up after a civil war that left it in turmoil. With reducing dependence on agriculture and rising urbanization, the Sri Lankan economy is thriving. However, the dark clouds of social injustice, child rights, corruption, gender inequality, political malpractices, environmental concerns, etc. still pose a question on the country’s upbeat and prosperous days ahead.

Volunteer projects run by AIESEC here create a huge impact in terms of societal development as wider perspectives from across the world come into action and create an amalgamation that takes on the deleterious remains of the civil war. In the process, volunteers grow and gain from experiences that change their outlook about themselves and their lives and each one of them thrives to contribute towards the impact.

If you are willing to create a significant impact and at the same time, drown yourself in the natural splendor around, Sri Lanka is the apt destination for you. This awe-inspiring island nation could gain a lot from your contribution and desire to lead and change the world. The experiences on offer here are magnificent and lend you with plentiful chances to find the magic in you. You’re always just a short hop from something utterly new!

Sri Lanka is spectacular, affordable and still often uncrowded. Now is the best time to discover it. Sign up as a Global Volunteer today!

8 things you must do in Sri Lanka

I’m not sure if you know about it, but Sri Lanka is an island full of beautiful places. If you’re young and passionate about exploring new places and living adventures, you should definitely visit this country.

Besides, Sri Lanka it’s also one of the countries with an easy visa process for Indians.

Here are 8 unique things to do in Sri Lanka.


1. Go on an Unforgettable Train Ride

When the journey is more important than the destination, you know you’re in for a special treat.

The train route from Kandy to Ella is one of the most beautiful train rides you will ever experience in your life. Surrounded on both sides by lush green forests, tea plantations, charming hills and the occasional waterfall, this is one train journey that you’ll wish would never end.

The trains in Sri Lanka are very clean and rarely crowded, so you might not even need to book your tickets in advance.

2. Stay in a Tree House

No matter where you are in Sri Lanka, you’re never too far from a lush forest. The incredible greenery of this country is one of the top reasons to go there. To get the full experience of these forests, make sure you spend the night in one of the many tree houses for rent here.

Originally built by villagers to protect them from the many wild animals which roam these forests, the tree houses in Sri Lanka are the perfect way to spend a night close to nature. These tree houses aren’t just comfortable to stay in, but also very affordable, making them one of the top things to do in Sri Lanka

3. Try Surfing on the Beaches

No visit to this country is complete without a day spent at the beach, which is one of the top Sri Lanka tourist places. Being a coastal country, Sri Lanka has some of the best beaches in the world.

Just relaxing by the sea watching the sun go down is a great way to spend your time. But if you’re in the mood for something more adventurous, you can also try your hand at surfing. Arugam Bay, in eastern Sri Lanka, is one of the top surfing destinations in the world!

So make sure you visit during the surfing season in March and April, because this is when the waves are at their strongest.

4. Go on a Bicycle Adventure

The best way to explore the small villages of Sri Lanka is on two wheels. There are many places here which allow you to rent bicycles at a very low price. Just cycling through narrow lanes, dirt paths and patches of greenery can be an incredible way to spend the day.

Don’t bother sticking to a map or a set bicycle route. Going where the road takes you can help you discover more of this beautiful country.

5. Go Dolphin and Whale-Spotting

How often do you get to see the biggest mammal in the world up close?

The ocean surrounding Sri Lanka is teeming with blue whales and dolphins, which can be easily spotted. Every morning, boats leave from places like Galle and Mirissa, in southern Sri Lanka, to popular whale-spotting areas in the sea.

For a very low price, you can buy a seat on one of these boats and see these beautiful underwater creatures for yourself.

6. Hike Your Way to a Waterfall

Sri Lanka is home to hundreds of beautiful waterfalls, set in the middle of green forests. While the popular ones are usually packed with tourists, you can ask the locals for lesser-known falls where you can enjoy your own privacy.

These falls can usually be reached by trekking up hills, many of which aren’t very difficult to reach. Depending on your level of experience, you can find a waterfall to trek your way to so you can fully immerse yourself in its natural beauty.

7. Visit a Tea Plantation

Lipton, a name that is now synonymous with tea, was first started by Sir Thomas Lipton in the tea plantations of Sri Lanka. Even today, decades later, Sri Lanka’s tea plantations remain beautifully green, making them a must-visit for every traveller.

When you explore the tea plantations, don’t forget to also visit the tea factories nearby. If tea makes your world go round, it will be wonderful to see how it’s made from start to finish. The factories even give you a cup of tea by the end of the tour so you can taste the fruits of their labour.

8. Volunteer for a cause you support

Sri Lanka should be at the top of every volunteer’s list.

This incredible island country has some of the most dynamic non-profit organizations, which are bringing about a world of change. Ranging from educating children to preserving marine ecosystems, one can find incredible opportunities to contribute to a better world.

Every minute you spend in this beautiful island will be filled with unforgettable experiences.


Have you ever been to Sri Lanka before? Tell us how was it!

If not, what are you waiting for?

If you are eager for an opportunity to experience Sri Lanka, we can help you with that. Check our opportunities for the Global Volunteer Program.

As a volunteer with us, you will not only be able to bring about a positive impact, but also explore new countries and learn about different cultures.

AIESEC at the World Conference on Youth in Sri Lanka

“We are not the leaders of tomorrow, we are the leaders of today”
– Opening remarks by Jayathma Wickramanayake, Sri Lanka’s first Youth Delegate to the UN

Last week Sri Lanka hosted the World Conference on Youth. Over 1,500 young people representing 169 different countries gathered in the capital city of Colombo for this conference which has been held all over the world every few years since 1936. The United Nations is currently in the process of drafting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the replacement for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which expire in 2015. The biggest problem with the MDGs was that there was little to no youth participation, even though youth were the ones who were responsible for carrying them out. The young people at this conference and around the world are determined to make sure their inputs are considered this time around.

The purpose of the conference was to gather youth input from all over the world to produce a joint outcome document between the government representatives in attendance and the global representation of youth, officially called the “Colombo Declaration on Youth.” This document will be taken back to the UN headquarters in New York City to be considered in the negotiations of the SDGs.

Participants came from all over the world and were fully funded by the government of Sri Lanka. Delegates included youth from marginalized backgrounds, youth leaders and experts, Sri Lankan youth delegates, national youth delegates representing 200 nations, and youth from international youth-led organizations—including AIESEC. Cassandra Ruggiero, Global VP of Public Relations for AIESEC International, and myself as the AIESEC Representative to the United Nations, who represented AIESEC at the conference. There were roughly 20 other AIESECers in attendance from Sri Lanka and the rest of the world.


The biggest testament to the strength of the AIESEC network was that anyone you asked about AIESEC had either participated in a program or definitely knew all about it. Whether or not they were formally a part of our organisation, everyone had the mindset of an AIESECer: determined to make the world a better place through youth leadership.

Cassandra was able to step in for a missing speaker on the Globalization and Youth-led Development panel to share these values with an audience of nearly one hundred people. She was given only 5 minutes to prepare after being asked to speak on the panel, a tribute to the ability of AIESECers to adapt under pressure to any situation. After speaking on the panel, we ran a side event on “Becoming the Leader the World Needs” to help delegates reflect on their leadership journeys so that they can take the excitement of the conference back home and make an impact in their countries.

While many side events focused on presenting information on different thematic areas, AIESEC’s event stuck to a youthful vibe that allowed delegates to learn from their past experiences in leadership and start to figure out what they feel their strengths are. This was just a taste of AIESEC’s leadership development program that runs for each of their members around the world.

“By figuring out how to be the best version of yourself, you can be a better leader for the world, and have more impact in whichever path you choose.”
Cassandra Ruggiero

The Millennium Development Goals have done a lot over the last 14 years to change the world we live in, but take a moment to think about how your leadership can shape the world post-2015. There are many avenues within the United Nations to express your vision for the future, including the MyWorld Survey, but the most important thing for you to do is think about your own community/village/town/city/country/world and figure out how you can make an impact, starting today.

To read more about the outcomes of the World Conference on Youth, head to their blog