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Colombo, Sri Lanka

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By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Sep 17, 2022

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

What do expats in Colombo appreciate most about the local culture?

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"It is clean, people are more educated amongst south Asian people, nature is beautiful, weather is nice, great fruits and sea food," said another person in Colombo .

"Friendliness of people and their willingness to help you at every turn. I was working in London and Latvia before and I was depressed then due to the fact that I did not find genuine people around me," remarked another expat in Colombo.

What do expats find most challenging?

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"Everything is so slow. People are very proud and stubborn at times. They smile a lot, but the smile doesn't always feel sincere. There is a lack of problem solving orientation. Prices are quite high for some items and especially for foreigners. Old cars are being driven and they are very polluting," said another person in Colombo .

What are the schools in Colombo like?

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"OSC is getting smaller. Some of our friends have enrolled their children in other international schools, while others have left the country over security issues. It's a very fluid situation. Kidnappings by police, or people imitating the police, are on the increase, along with bombings and attacks in Colombo. It is sad to see the civil war destroying the country," commented one expat when asked about Overseas School of Colombo in Colombo.

"Look round all the iternational schools in Colombo-we did and decided that OSC was by far the best," remarked another expat living in Colombo with children attending OSC.

"The headmaster of the school is quite charming, at least on the surface. The school appears to be in decline. Some of the classes seem to have lost half their students in recent years. One should also consider the security situation in Sri Lanka before bringing children. Check with your High Com or Embassey. This year the airport was bombed and closed to all international travel for a time. Conditions are getting worse, so do your research before arriving," said another expat in Colombo with children at The Overseas School of Colombo.

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.

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Expats in Sri Lanka live in a country just south of India that is regularly reported by expats as being a clean and hospitable place to create a life abroad.

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Expats ColomboExpats in Colombo

Expats, digital nomads & retirees talk about what it's like living in Colombo.

Sri Lanka Index Colombo Index
An index of all of our site's Colombo information.

Sri Lanka Forum Sri Lanka Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Sri Lanka on our Sri Lanka forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Contribute to Sri Lanka Network Contribute
Help others in Sri Lanka by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Sri Lanka.

Expat Healthcare Advice in Sri LankaHealthcare & Health Insurance in Sri Lanka

Expats in Sri Lanka offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Sri Lanka.

5-Tips-For-Living-In-Sri-Lanka5 Tips For Living In Sri Lanka

Expats in Sri Lanka live in a country just south of India that is regularly reported by expats as being a clean and hospitable place to create a life abroad.

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