ISLE Program

Fall 2013 Getting There

Greetings and welcome to the first glimpse of the Fall 2013 ISLE Program!

In the month prior to the start of the program, ISLE Executive Director, Padma Holt, traveled to Sri Lanka to solidify plans for the program. Faculty Resident Director, Professor Mat Schmalz, joined Padma later in the month to prepare for the semester.

They met with faculty to discuss the academic layout of the semester:


They also met with host families to prepare them for their ISLE students:


Then Padma and Mat worked to assemble a team of Learning Partners or "LP's from the University of Peradeniya." Each LP will be paired up with a student, whom they will guide and mentor upon arrival to Sri Lanka.


The Fall '13 ISLE students and their wonderful Program Assistant arrived to Colombo in the early morning on Monday, August 26th. Prior to arrival in Sri Lanka, six of the students met at London Heathrow Airport where they got to know each other and awaited their final flight.


Robin, Andrew, and Eli chat during their layover.


Maja and Derek are excited to begin their new life in Sri Lanka!


Faculty Resident Director, Professor Mat Schmalz and ISLE Librarian, Tilak Jayatilake, were there to greet the students upon arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo.


Tilak, Professor Schmalz, and the students then boarded the ISLE van and departed Colombo for Kandy. 


As is customary on a long journey, the group stopped for tea at a restaurant along the Kandy-Colombo road. 


Once they had arrived in Kandy, they relaxed over breakfast and enjoyed their first taste of delicious Sri Lankan fruits. 


The group then headed for a tour of the ISLE Center, where the ISLE office, library, and classroom are located.


Next stop: University of Peradeniya, where they met their Learning Partners. The LP's are university students, who will guide and support the students throughout the immersion process. 


Hannah (front) chats with her new LP.


Guided by Tilak and the LPs, the students took a walk to the Hindu and Buddhist temples located on the University campus.


Professor Schmalz and the students stand outside the Hindu shrine on the university campus. 


When the entered the Hindu temple, they received a blessing from the temple priest. 


Eli and his Learning Partner chat outside the temple after receiving a blessing. 


Maja, Hannah, and Sam talk outside the Hindu temple. 


Fighting off jet-lag, the students relaxed and cooled down after their walk. Here Maja and Hannah sit with their Learning Partners at the university. 


The group poses at the university.


Finally, they headed back to the hotel for a traditional Sri Lankan meal of rice and curries. Despite having only been in the country a few hours, they have already learned to eat in the traditional Sri Lankan style...with their hands!