The ISLE Program is distinguished by the quality and diversity of its academic experience. The program explores a multi ethnic society in an area of great natural beauty with the oldest continuing Buddhist civilization in the world. During the semester at the University of Peradeniya, Buddhism, the politics of ethnicity, the economics of development, the dynamics of gender relations, the creativity of literature and art, and the legacy of archaeology are systematically explored through small insightful course seminars in anthropology, economics, environmental studies, government, history, literature, philosophy, and religion. Cited by Conservation International as a biodiversity hotspot, students interested in the environment find Sri Lanka a perfect location to advance their understanding of the natural world.
The ISLE Program has introduced over 400 American undergraduate students to Sri Lanka's history, environment, society, religions, literature, languages, politics, economics, and art. Many ISLE students have subsequently returned to Sri Lanka for further studies on Fulbright grants or within the context of graduate study programs in the humanities and social sciences. As of June 2013, there are 41 ISLE alumni who have been awarded Fulbrights for further work and research in Sri Lanka, and 29 alumni working in academia. ISLE is a consortium program, affiliated with Bates, Bowdoin, Carleton, Colby, Grinnell, Holy Cross, Swarthmore Colleges. Applicants from these colleges have priority in applying, but ISLE also welcomes students from outside the consortium.
• Since 1982, the only undergraduate study abroad program in Sri Lanka
• Superb language teachers facilitate intimacy with people and culture
• Program-long home stay further enriches cultural experience
• Opportunity to work with leading academics from the University of Peradeniya on independenty study projects chosen by students
• Mini ISLE campus including library containing 5,000 titles for exclusive student use along with access to University of Peradeniya facilities and International Center for Ethnic Studies
• Chance to live in a new location and with a new homestay during Independent Field Study in location of student's choosing