ISLE Program

Fall 2011 Session I Activities

Isle_Garden

Chelesea, Sara, Erica, Alex, and Mimi relax under an avocado tree
in the ISLE center's beautiful garden.

Group_eating

The students spend the first few days in a hotel before moving in with their host families. Here they are enjoying a typical Sri Lankan lunch of rice and curries. From left to right: Lily, Kelsi, Emma, Chelesea, Erica, Sara, Erica, Malik, Mimi, and Meg.

Hindu_temple_visit

On their first day in Sri Lanka, the students visited temples and a mosque on the Peradeniya campus. Chelesea, Mimi, Sara, and Emma at a Hindu temple.

Mosque Lecture

Malik, Kelsi, Lily, Professor Campbell, and Erica listen to a lecture about Islam at a mosque on the Peradeniya campus.

Sinhala_class

Emma, Meg, Mimi, Alex, Sara, Erica, and Chelesea listen as Sinhala teacher Sandamali explains Sinhala kinship terms.

Northern Tour

The students went on a week long tour of ancient sites in conjunction with their Archaeology course.  Beginning with the Iron Age and moving forward, they explored early monastic and burial sites, stupas, temples - some of the historically important sites of the island.

 At Ibbankatuwa, students with Professor David Campbell discover a lineage symbol engraved on one of the stones.

 At Ibbankatuwa, students with Professor David Campbell discover a lineage symbol engraved on one of the stones.

The group in front of the Maha Bodhi temple. The Sri Maha Bodhi tree is believed to be grown from a branch of the tree under which the Buddha reached enlightenment.

The group in front of the Maha Bodhi temple. The Sri Maha Bodhi tree is believed to be grown from a branch of the tree under which the Buddha reached enlightenment.

The students observe the ongoing conservation project at the Abhayagiri stupa.

The students observe the ongoing conservation project at the Abhayagiri stupa.

Kelsi and Mimi pause for a break beneath a bodhi tree at Abhayagiri.                              

Kelsi and Mimi pause for a break beneath a bodhi tree.  

Meg and Sarah pose in front of the ruins of the monastic complex at Abhayagiri.

Meg and Sarah pose in front of the ruins of the monastic complex at Abhayagiri.

Emma attempts a climb.     

Emma attempts a climb.          

Sarah, Meg, and Emma relax at the edge of Pidurangala rock.

Sarah, Meg, and Emma relax at the edge of Pidurangala rock.


Malik and Sarah explore the Tooth Relic Complex in Pollonaruwa. The Tooth Relic, now kept in the temple in Kandy, is one of the most important relics in Theravada Buddhism.

Malik and Sarah explore the Tooth Relic Complex in Pollonaruwa. The Tooth Relic, now kept in the temple in Kandy, is one of the most important relics for Theravada Buddhists.                  

  Alex approaches the shrine room at Isurumuniya, a temple famous for its rock carvings of a pair of lovers.

Alex approaches the shrine room at Isurumuniya, a temple famous for its rock carvings of a pair of lovers.


A group of students explores the ruins around the monastery. Much of the architecture of the forest monastery is built into the natural rock formations.

A group of students explores the ruins around the monastery.  Much of the architecture of the forest monastery at Ritigala is built into the natural rock formations.

Sarah, Mimi, and Alex sit in front of the Aukana Buddha statue, one of the tallest in Sri Lanka.

Sarah, Mimi, and Alex sit in front of the Aukana Buddha statue, one of the tallest in Sri Lanka.

Meg and Erica admire a lion statue in the ruins around Mihintale.

Meg and Erica admire a lion statue in the ruins around Mihintale.

Rev. Dhammananda, Chelesea, and Lily take a break halfway up the steep ascent to the top of Mihintale.

Rev. Dhammananda, Chelesea, and Lily take a break halfway up the steep ascent to the top of Mihintale.

Kelsi and Malik at the top of Mihintale.

Kelsi and Malik at the top of Mihintale.


The group stands in front of the tissa wewa, an ancient reservoir still used for irrigation in Anuradhapura.

The group stands in front of the tissa wewa, an ancient reservoir still used for irrigation in Anuradhapura.