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 fall 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.
The ISLE Program has introduced over 400 American undergraduate students to Sri Lanka's history, archaeology, environment, society, religion, literature, language, 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. ISLE is a consortium program, affiliated with Bates, Bowdoin, Carleton, Colby, Grinnell, Holy Cross, and Swarthmore Colleges. Applicants from these colleges have priority in applying, but ISLE also welcomes students from outside the consortium.