Current and Recent Programs

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F2017 students at waste management facility

Photo: Students visit a solid waste management facility in Kandy while learning about trash management systems. 

F2017 students at Elephant Pond

Photo: Fall 2017 ISLE students visit the scenic Elephant Pond, which supplied water to the monks of the ancient Abhayagiri monastery in Anuradhapura.

David P jumps at top of Sigiriya

Photo: ISLE student David jumps for joy after climbing to the top of Sigiriya, an ancient rock palace built in the 5th century C.E. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

F2017 students light candles at Maligawa

Photo: Fall 2017 students light candles outside Dalada Maligawa (The Temple of the Tooth) in Kandy. This is where the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha is kept.

S2017 students meditate at Nilambe

Photo: Students also visited a meditation center near Kandy to spend a day learning about and engaging in Buddhist meditation. 

S2017 students share lunch at Nuwara Eliya mosque

Photo: As part of the Religion and Ritual Practice in Everyday Life course, Spring 2017 students and students from the University of Peradeniya visited a mosque in Nuwara Eliya to observe noon prayers. Afterwards, they shared lunch in the traditional communal style, sharing food from one large plate. 

S2017 students approach Sigiriya

Photo: Spring 2017 students prepare to ascend Sigiriya, a rock palace built by King Kasyapa in the 5th century C.E. Sigiriya is a fascinating example of ancient urban planning and is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

S2017 Sri Murugan Community Centre
Photo: During a trip to Jaffna, students visited the Sri Murugan Community Centre, where they spoke with local residents about the severe impacts of the 26-year-long civil war at the community and individual levels.

S2017 Hindu kovil Nainativu
Photo: Spring 2017 students visit the famed Sri Nagapooshani Amman Kovil on the island of Nainativu.

S2017 students at Nainativu
Photo: Spring 2017 ISLE students smile at the entrance of Nainativu, an island off the coast of the northern city of Jaffna. Nainativu plays a significant role in Sri Lankan folklore and is home to two stunning Hindu and Buddhist temples.

F16 students with dance master, Anura Sirisena
Photo: Fall 2016 students smile with their Kandyan dance and drumming instructors after their final performance.

Fred drumming
Photo: Fall '16 student, Fred, shows off his new Kandyan drumming skills during the final Kandyan dance and drumming performance. 

F16 ISLE girls dye batik
Photo: Fall 2016 students begin the process of creating their own batik tapestries. Here, they drip wax onto designs traced on cloth. When the cloth is dyed, the areas that have been covered in wax will remain white. This process is repeated as the cloth is dyed in progressively darker colors.

Fall 2016 students at Mazeefa wedding
Photo: The Fall 2016 students attended a wedding celebration for ISLE Center accountant, Mazeefa. Congratulations, Mazeefa!

F16 girls in sprees
Photo: Fall '16 students donned sarees to attend the wedding of an ISLE staff member. 

F2016 group at Federation of Kattankudy Mosques and Muslim Institute

Photo: During their trip to the Eastern Province, the Fall '16 students visited the Federation of Kattankudy Mosques and Muslim Institute, where they learned more about the challenges faced by the Muslim communities throughout the region.

F2016 students meditate at Ruwaneliaya
Photo: Fall 2016 students meditate in front of Ruwanwelisaya ("The Great Stupa") in the sacred city of Anuradhapura. The Buddhist stupa was built by Kind Dutugemenu in 2nd century B.C.E.

New Year party at ISLE Centre
Photo: Spring 2016 students, dressed in sarees, smile with their host mothers (amma) and Program Director, Trudy. The students gathered at the ISLE Centre with their family and friends for a Sinhala and Tamil New Year's celebration filled with games and food. Check out more photos from the party on the ISLE Facebook page:

Spring 2016 at Atadage, first Temple of the Tooth (Polonnaruwa)

Photo: The Spring 2016 students and Dr. Aruna Rajapaske, professor of archaeology at the University of Peradeniya, visit the Atadage in Polonnaruwa. The Atadage was originally built to house the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha.  

Fall '15 students Kandyan dancing

Photo: After eight weeks of Kandyan dance classes, Fall 2015 students put on a dance and drumming performance for their friends and host families.

ISLE students at Kilinochchi war memorial
Photo: Fall 2015 ISLE group visits a war victory monument in Jaffna dedicated to the Sri Lankan Army. 

Fall '15 students in front of abayagiri
Photo: Fall '15 students visit the ancient Abayagiri stupa in Anuradhapura.

Fall 2015 students meet with Katukale imam and board of directors

Photo: ISLE students meet with the imam and board of directors of Katukale Mosque after observing jummah (Friday noon prayer).

students walk through Weherahena
Photo: Fall '15 students walk through Weherahena, a temple near Matara in southern Sri Lanka. The inner walls of the temple are covered with detailed, colorful paintings depicting scenes from the life of the Buddha.

Photo: Spring 2015 ISLE group with Professor Meegaskumbura and two Vedda leaders from a community in Dambana, Sri Lanka. 

Photo: Spring '15 ISLE student, Kim holds a giant sea turtle at the turtle hatchery in Ahungalla

Photo: Spring '15 ISLE group inside the Upper Kothmale Hydropower Plant, a large-scale development project. The students toured the site and learned about the project's social and environmental impacts. 

Photo: Spring '15 ISLE students smile alongside a bridal party at the Hindu Cultural Centre in Kandy. They attend as a part of their Hindu Religion Seminar led by Dr. Theaver. 

Photo: Spring '15 students and Dr. Savi Gunatillake observe the giant oyster fossil collection inside the University of Peradeniya Fossil Lab. 

Photo: Spring 2015 ISLE students sit front row at the Gangarama Temple Perahera festival in Colombo. Find more photos of current and recent ISLE students at

Here a few posts from our ISLE Student Blog! Enjoy more at