The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is on the southernmost tip of India. Sri Lanka is a modern, industrial economy producing and exporting tea, coffee, coconuts and rubber. More recently it has moved into textiles, telecommunications and finance. The official languages are Sinhala and Tamil but English is widely spoken due to Sri Lanka’s former connections with the British Empire and English is used for education and commercial purposes.

The largest city is Colombo and the currency is the Sri Lankan rupee. Tourism is a major source of income as Sri Lanka has beautiful beaches, forests and landscapes and an interesting culture. It enjoys a tropical climate with monsoon rains in June and is quite hot and humid all year round. The mountains, botanical gardens, wildlife, temples and interesting culture draw many visitors to Sri Lanka and some stay and retire here due to the comparatively low cost of living. Recently there has been a decline in tourism due to the civil war and local unrest.

Visas are not required by Americans, Australians and Europeans for stays of up to 30 days providing that they hold return air tickets. Business visitors and tourists staying for up to 90 days will however need visas.

Literacy in Sri Lanka is high at 92% and most of the population has secondary education. Music and the arts are an inherent part of the culture. Healthcare is more primitive, often relying on community health programs through charities, particularly outside the cities. Visitors should ensure they have adequate health insurance should any healthcare needs arise. Repatriation may be the most sensible answer for serious health issues.

Real estate, land and homes are available particularly in the tourist areas around Colombo. A beautiful beach house villa on half an acre on the sea front complete with pool is well under $175,000. An international removal company will be required to move all your household goods. Westerners moving to Sri Lanka for any period of time will find the people welcoming and friendly and the countryside quite beautiful. However there will be a considerable culture shock as many locals live very simple existences in locally built housing in villages with no running water.

Finding jobs in Sri Lanka is difficult as it is a developing country, but volunteer work through agencies is a good way to experience the country. There are some international job posting available on the internet from time to time.