Shiney Umaya

Zen Student Program Director

Shiney is our Program Director at Zen Student and has over half a decade of international teaching experience. She is a Pearson Qualified teacher from the University of London, and has also completed TKT & TESOL certifications from the University of Cambridge.
Shiney’s approach to learning is to come from a place of compassion and make learning fun for students. One of her greatest joys in life is seeing her students succeed as they make progress towards achieving their academic or professional pursuits; Shiney loves to teach because of her wonderful students. Her teaching style is fun, interactive, practical, and compassionate.

As a teacher, she strives to engage, challenge, and improve growth in her students which is not limited to the classroom. She adapts her teaching methodologies according to the individual capabilities of every students, and goes above and beyond to ensure the success of all of her students.

Shiney focuses on creating a culture of fun at Zen Student, and encourages her teachers to make class sessions as entertaining and interactive as possible. She believes in the innate abilities of every student, and understands that learning is a life-long process that requires patience and consistency. As our Program Director, Shiney aims to make Zen Student an organization dedicated to the creation of efficient, effective, and passionate life-long learners and future leaders.

Speaks: English, Sinhalese

Teaches: English, Pedagogy, Test Preparation, Research Methodologies & Strategy


Preferred Student Levels

Shiney actively instructs students from a wide variety of academic and professional disciplines. She is an experienced professional who is adept at teaching students from a plethora of backgrounds and adapts her teaching style accordingly.


Corporate Training


University Undergradaute and Graduate Students


Working Professionals


Level of English Students










Why Teach?

Shiney had a passion for teaching at a young age. Born and raised near Colombo, Sri Lanka, she would actively engage in volunteerism teaching English to underprivileged youth. She was also a teacher trainee at institutions such as Zahira College and the Royal Institute International School, and was able to analyze the intricacies of the Sri Lanka education system at a grass-root level. She found that the current paradigm of pedagogy at institutes of higher learning was systematically inadequate to facilitate a passion for learning, and started Zen Student to fulfill that void for the benefit of her students.


Qualifications & Certifications

Dec 2020 – Present

CELTA, University of Cambridge

Jan 2018 – Sep 2019

Pearson Qaulification in English Medium Teaching, University of London

Nov 2017 – Sep 2019

TESOL, British Council Sri Lanka

Jan 2017 – Jun 2019

TKT Qualification, British Council Sri lanka

Subjects Taught

English, Pedagogy, Test Preparation, Research Methodologies & Strategy

Test Prep



PTE Academic

IELTS Academic/General/UKVI

Cambridge FCE/CAE/CPE

Let's Learn Together!

We enable our students to achieve their desired academic and professional goals with a sense of confidence by giving them personalized attention and guidance. Get in touch with one of our professionals to create a FREE 1-on-1 customized learning plan to suit your unique needs. We look forward to working with students of all different kinds of backgrounds, and genuinely care about the success of all our students!