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ISLE Program

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Since 1982

Intercollegiate Sri Lanka Education (ISLE) is a faculty-run program in partnership with the University of Peradeniya. The ISLE Consortium colleges are Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Carleton, Gustavus Adolphus, Holy Cross, and Swarthmore Colleges. ISLE is an approved program at Amherst College, Bard College, Colgate University, Cornell University, Olin College of Engineering, and Whittier College. Students from any institution are welcome to apply. Please email isle@bowdoin.edu for specific information or click here to apply.

Avukana Buddha

The ISLE Program experience blends cultural immersion and rigorous academics to give students the tools to understand Sri Lanka from a well-rounded perspective. Students take classes with esteemed faculty at University of Peradeniya while they learn to navigate Sri Lankan society through their homestay families, university student mentors, language study and Sri Lanka Studies Seminar. Throughout the semester, each student works with ISLE staff and University of Peradeniya faculty to craft his or her own month-long independent study project, which is carried out in the final month of the program.  

Beginning in Spring 2015, ISLE will offer a separate track in Environmental Studies!  

What makes ISLE special?

Learn about self-designing your Independent Study  

Apply Now for Spring 2015! Click here to begin the first part of the application. Due by October 7th, 2014.

Experience Sri Lanka: check out these YouTube clips


The ISLE Program, as a non-profit Incorporation in the USA, complies with applicable provisions of federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination in employment, admission, or access to its educational or extracurricular programs, activities, or facilities based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, age, marital status, place of birth, veteran status, or against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability.

Contact us!

Bowdoin College

Intercollegiate Sri Lanka Education Program

4400 College Station

Brunswick, ME 04011

Email: isle@bowdoin.edu 

Phone: (207) 725-3894


Here is what past students have said about their experiences on the ISLE Program:

"[ISLE] is no ordinary program; it provides an immense opportunity for growth"

"I felt that I have matured as a student and as a citizen of the world. I have not felt this much motivation and effort towards my work in years and I do not want that element to fade away in years to come." 

"The independent study really helped me gain confidence in myself and my ability to carry out academic work outside the classroom."

"Living with a Sri Lankan family in a homestay certainly altered my perspective on the world."

"I could not have asked for or imagined a more perfect experience with [my host family]...They were among the first people I went to when I needed to discuss anything."

"I am a more capable and balanced person, based upon my abilities to communicate across cultural differences and my new appreciation for patience and putting myself in others' shoes."

"The Independent Study was altogether a great experience--one of the most interesting academic endeavors of my life."

"[ISLE] helped me understand more about who I am, and [I got] a better view on my life and the United States in general." 

Tea Plantation, Nuwara Eliya Region

Tea Plantation, Newara Eliya Region

Kirinda Temple, South Coast

Kirinda Temple, South Coast

Orphanage Visit, Aruppola

Orphanage Visit, Aruppola

Host Family Tea, ISLE Center

Host Family Tea, ISLE Center

Children at a Drumming Village

Children at a Drumming Village

Visiting with monks

Visiting with monks

Atop a peak, Knuckles Mountain Range

Atop a peak, Knuckles Mountain Range

Mini World's End, Knuckles Mountain Range

Mini World's End, Knuckles Mountain Range

 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Read firsthand accounts from ISLE students on tumblr.

Check out our student blog!

Kallie Nixon (Bates '14) 

Learn more from former ISLE students in these Youtube videos!

Watch ISLE Students perform Kandyan dance and drum routines!