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Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka

Living in Sri Lanka

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Feb 10, 2022

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about what it is really like living in Sri Lanka. They offer advice about meeting people, cost of living, finding a home and more.

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What are the schools in Sri Lanka like?

"I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND LEEDS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, AS IT PROMOTES EDUCATION BALANCED WITH GOOD EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES. IT HAS A GREAT REPUTATION FOR STUDENT DISCIPLINE IN THE SCHOOL TOO," added another expat with kids at Leeds International School in Panadura.

"This school seems to give all students some sense of local culture and the society, compared to many international schools in the country. We have done a good survey of all schools in this area before we get our ones enrolled. We were not very impressed with many other schools as they send students mad with unnecessarily heavy work load. They seem to have the understanding that more work will enable to make better products, which is a myth. But I know some local parents appreciate that approach, which is sad from the child's perspective," commented one expat when asked about Leeds International School in Panadura.

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Are healthcare and health insurance expensive in Sri Lanka?

"Healthcare is free for everyone. Every city and town has a state run hospital/s which has super qualified doctors and treatments and medicine for free of charge. But sometimes line are long. You also have the option to go for a private hospital or clinic which is paid. Insurance usually covers all general treatments and can be claimed. Insurance providers are many in Sri Lanka - with Ceylinco Life, AIA and Janashakti been just a few. Each has different tiers of insurance depending on your budget. You can go as low as you want or as high. ," remarked another expat living in Sri Lanka.

"We have had no experiences with regard to the use of our health insurance as either the cost was too low to even bother with it or it was pre-existing and was not going to be covered so was out of pocket. Yes, we have Cigna Global Health Insurance as to be a foreign resident in Sri Lanka it is required to have health insurance coverage. It has been vague if the insurance will cover Nawaloka, Negombo Branch but their map showing most hospitals for us to go to are in Colombo (27 miles distance). I can't get an answer from Nawaloka Hospital, Negombo Branch either if they would accept Cigna here locally. I did pick Cigna Global as most of the other insurance outfits seemed kind of dicey and it was the best of the lot. ," said one expat living in Negombo.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka

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