International Office

The University of Colombo is Sri Lanka’s defining University and has a proud tradition of academic and research excellence. Among Sri Lanka’s tertiary institutions, the University of Colombo is unique and draws on a rich history that mixes leadership in Arts, Sciences, Management and Finance, Education, Law, Medicine, and Graduate Studies through our various Faculties. We are also renowned for our creativity and innovation across the fields of agriculture, agro technology, computing, English language teaching, human resource advancement, indigenous medicine, and study of human rights through our many institutes and centers located in and around Colombo.

As a well-established University in South Asia which, as a region has grown in global strategic importance in relation to the economy and issues of security, ecology, and cultural diversity, the University of Colombo brings a Sri Lankan perspective to South Asia Studies. Collaborations between the University of Colombo and South Asia Studies Centers, Departments, and/or academic programs overseas can contribute meaningfully therefore to global knowledge and policy on South Asia. Apart from the wealth of experience available at the University of Colombo as the oldest university in Sri Lanka, our location in the capital city of Colombo and the diverse range of academic programs we offer are distinct advantages.  Our Faculties and Centers hold rich empirical and clinical data in medicine, law, the social sciences, and cultural studies.  The University of Colombo is therefore ideally placed to develop mutual, innovative, collaborative research projects with international partners and offer research affiliations to overseas postgraduate students and faculty.




Why study at the University of Colombo

  • Academic excellence: the University of Colombo offers Internationally recognized Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees
  • Metropolitan Location: the university is located in the heart of the Colombo City
  • An internationally relevant curriculum prepares students to be global citizens, entrepreneurs, employers, and employees
  • A range of courses and pathways to meet the requirements of diverse markets
  • The many research opportunities offered through the University’s strong international research partnerships and internationally focused research
  • Student support for international students to engage successfully in their University life and in their communities
  • Diversity in the student body at the University of Colombo
  • A unique student experience that brings together a Sri Lankan experience with a supportive and celebratory multicultural student environment.


  • To promote collaborative and innovative research between the University of Colombo and partner universities
  • To implement new study abroad programs and develop existing partnerships
  • To create postgraduate opportunities abroad for University of Colombo faculty and develop curricula through institutional links and faculty exchange
  • To strengthen e-learning and distance learning programs for postgraduate students and develop Information Technology
  • To organize joint conferences, seminars, and workshops with partner universities
  • To establish new research opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students with partner institutions and strengthen existing research networks

Admission Requirements

Students for exchange programs will be nominated by their home university. Please contact the International Office of your University for selection criteria.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees are waived under certain exchange agreements. Students of La Trobe University, Australia and Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany are exempt from tuition fees during their study period at the University of Colombo. Contact the International Office of your University for further details.


Students will be responsible for accommodation and living expenses. However, the International Office will assist prospective exchange students and students under Sri Lanka Government Scholarship schemes to find suitable accommodation during their stay in Colombo. Please contact the Coordinator well in advance of your arrival for information about housing.

English Language Requirements

A majority of lectures at the University of Colombo are conducted in English. Prospective students are therefore expected to be competent in writing, speaking, listening and comprehension skills required for academic work. Students may be required to produce a writing sample of their work in English depending on the course they wish to offer and the requirements of the relevant Department.


It is compulsory to obtain a resident/student visa to study in Sri Lanka. In order for that, you may have to enter the country with an Entry visa. Please note that a visiting/ tourist visa would not permit you to commence your studies. If you require assistance with obtaining a visa to enter Sri Lanka for the period of study at the University of Colombo, contact the International Office, leaving a period of at least three months for the processing of the visa.

For more information regarding obtaining a Sri Lankan visa visit the official website of the Department of Immigration and Emigration of Sri Lanka.  

Information about arriving in Sri Lanka

The official website of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) provides answers to all your questions regarding Arrival in Sri Lanka, Immigration and Customs regulations, Baggage, Banks and Currency exchange.

Airport pickup and Taxi services

Once you arrive in Sri Lanka, you can easily arrange for transport from the Airport to the University of Colombo through the 24 hour Airport Taxi Service.

Visa process for prospective international students/scholars

Any prospective foreign student should obtain the entry visa prior to arrive in Sri Lanka and should obtain the residence visa (Education) within 30 days of arrival to study/ teach/research in Sri Lanka. The same is applied to visiting scholars and research fellows. Please note that the tourist/visit visa would not permit you to obtain the residence visa upon arrival. In order for that, the International students/ Faculty may contact the International Office, University of Colombo, and should furnish the below-mentioned documents through the respective faculty/institute leaving 3 months for the visa process. The exchange students may directly contact the International Office with the documents, 3 months prior to the arrival. Please note that the International Office of University of Colombo shall obtain the prior approvals and send it to the applicant, so he /she may apply for the Entry visa as per the guidelines given therein at the Sri Lankan, Mission in his/her country of residence (during the time of application).

Required Documents and Payments

Prior approval for Entry Visa

  • Scanned bio page of the passport
  • If the applicant is in a foreign country, the Scanned Residence visa page of the passport for the country that you are currently residing in
  • Security clearance issued by the country of residence of the applicant
  • Letter of admission/invitation
  • Payment for prior approval of visa issued by Dept. of Immigration, Sri Lanka: 750 LKR
  • Visa payment at the respective Sri Lankan Embassy in your country
  • Or payment for the landing permit, when the Sri Lankan Diplomatic missions are not available in your country

Residence visa (upon arrival in Sri Lanka)

  • Scanned bio page of the passport
  • Duly filled IM 35 Residence visa application form
  • 2 originals of duly filled visa application forms
  • Photocopy of the passport
  • 2 color photographs (size 35mm X 45mm)
  • Letter of admission/ invitation
  • Encashment receipts to the value of US$ 1500/- per year per person
  • Mandatory health protection plan upon arrival in Colombo (to be obtained from IHU, Sri Lanka, if Residence Visa is required for more than two months)
  • Visa fee: 20,000 LKR per person per year.

The University of Colombo has several cooperation agreements with foreign universities, under which academic exchanges and research collaborations take place. The University of Colombo seeks to build on these relationships and develop networks that can be mutually beneficial for all the international academic partners concerned.

  MoUs & Agreements  

Study Abroad Exchange Programmes

The University of Colombo has two study abroad and exchange programs for undergraduates with the University of Justus Liebig, Giessen, Germany, and La Trobe University, Australia. Under the MoUs with these two universities, students from the University of Colombo are able to study abroad for the duration of one semester. Likewise, Students from Giessen and La Trobe are able to follow courses offered by the University of Colombo. Faculty and Research exchange takes place on a number of other exchange agreements between the University of Colombo and many foreign Universities.


The Asian Universities Alliance (AUA) is an academic alliance of the top universities in the Asian region. It was officially established in 2017 to fulfil the long felt need of exploring an Asian identity in learning and research. The 15 founding members are: Chulalongkorn University, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, King Saud University, the National University of Singapore, Nazarbayev University, Peking University, the Seoul National University, Tsinghua University, the United Arab Emirates University, Universitas Indonesia, the University of Colombo, the University of Malaya, the University of Tokyo, and the University of Yangon. These universities are regarded as the top Asian universities at present.

The University of Colombo received the Executive Presidency of the Asian Universities Alliance in April 2019 for the academic year 2019/2020. As the current Executive President of the Asian Universities Alliance, the University of Colombo will host two major annual events of the consortium: The AUA Executives’ Meeting and AUA Youth Forum in November 2019 under the theme of “Health & Wellbeing”.

The University of Colombo’s Annual Research Symposium is the foremost research event of the university. The University’s academic staff, along with affiliated researchers, showcase the research projects that they have been working on at this event. This year, the Symposium will also be organized parallel to the AUA events, under the same theme. These evenets, as well as the theme, are timely in the context of the University celebrating 150 years of the existence of its first academic institution, the Faculty of Medicine.

Visit Websites for more details

Visit JICA Chair program Websites for more details:
  JICA Chair program  



Dr H. Iroja Upekha Caldera
Director – International Office


International Office – University of Colombo (IOUC)
College House
Cumaratunga Munidasa Mawatha
University of Colombo
Sri Lanka


+94 112 597 386