Seema Malaka Meditation Center. By Chrissy Hayes '13. View this photo and more on the ISLE Student Tumblr.

About the Program

The Intercollegiate Sri Lanka Education (ISLE) Program is a consortium-run study abroad program affiliated with the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. The ISLE consortium includes Amherst College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Carleton College, College of the Holy Cross, Gustavus Adolphus College, and Swarthmore College. However, students from all U.S. colleges and universities are encouraged to apply. The semester-long program combines cultural immersion with academic study and research to give students the tools to understand Sri Lanka from a well-rounded perspective.

"The ISLE program has a wide range of resources at its disposal to assist in academic study. It was sufficiently challenging and facilitated a phenomenal learning experience all around." -Fall '12 student

The intensive language study and field lectures give students the tools to navigate Sri Lanka as
cultural insiders. ISLE encourages students to pursue their own academic interests through a combination of elective courses, volunteer experiences, and an independent study project.

"During the independent study, I had the chance to take ownership of my own work, to finally make the connections between academic literature and the actual lives, feelings, and sentiments of the people this literature describes.  I felt connected to my [project], and proud of [what] I was undertaking." -Spring '14 student

In addition to academic study, students live with homestay families and cultivate relationships with locals and university students as they study spoken Sinhala and/or Tamil languages. This combination of classroom and real-world exposure to Sri Lankan culture and society allows for a rich and transformative experience.

"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. It is never too late to learn those things." -Fall '13 student

ISLE Semester Highlights