IFSA Acquires Intercollegiate Sri Lanka Education (ISLE) Program

Press Release: January 18, 2018

IFSA adopts the only study abroad program in Sri Lanka

Indianapolis, IN: The Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University (IFSA-Butler) reached an agreement with Intercollegiate Sri Lanka Education Program (ISLE) to assume management and administration of the ISLE program effective January 1, 2018. This acquisition expands program options for IFSA-Butler to 20 countries in 55 cities on four continents, including the only study abroad program in Sri Lanka.

IFSA-Butler President and CEO, Dr. Heather Barclay Hamir, said, “ISLE has a long history of combining cultural immersion with high-quality academic work and focused, independent field research. This methodology closely aligns with IFSA-Butler’s future-focused approach to study abroad and our commitment to intercultural agility, so combining our efforts made sense. We are excited to see what this partnership will bring to the students we serve.”

The ISLE program has been affiliated with the University of Peradeniya in Kandy, Sri Lanka since 1982. A consortium-run study abroad program, ISLE consortium members included Amherst College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Carleton College, College of the Holy Cross, Gustavus Adolphus College, and Swarthmore College, many of which are long-standing partners with IFSAButler.

Beginning in early 2018, a newly formed advisory committee will engage faculty from these institutions plus other long-time supporters of the program as IFSA-Butler expands access to the ISLE program to its extensive network of colleges and universities across the country. ISLE Executive Director Dr. Padma Holt said, “After thirty-five successful years as a consortium program, we are excited to join IFSA-Butler in 2018. As part of IFSA’s comprehensive portfolio of programs, ISLE will maintain its current academic structure and will continue to deliver high quality academic programming with the full support of IFSA-Butler staff and its partners.” Dr. Holt will serve as an Executive Consultant throughout the program’s transition.

About IFSA-Butler: The Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University (IFSA-Butler) was founded in 1988 on the campus of Butler University as a provider of study abroad programming for U.S. undergraduates. Over time, IFSA-Butler has maintained its independence as a non-profit organization and its close connection with Butler University. The organization has also preserved its foundational commitment to providing high-quality study abroad opportunities with integrated academic guidance and individualized support to foster student success. IFSA-Butler continues to broaden both its scope of programming and its global presence in dynamic countries of ever-increasing scholarly, political and economic interest. IFSA-Butler offers a range of study abroad program models and flexible academic options which draw upon theory and evidence-based practice to align innovative programming with the needs of partners and students.

About ISLE: The Intercollegiate Sri Lanka Education (ISLE) Program is a consortium-led study abroad program affiliated with the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. The semester-long program combines cultural immersion with academic study and research to give students the tools to understand Sri Lanka from a well-rounded perspective. The intensive language study and field lectures give students the tools to navigate Sri Lanka as cultural insiders. ISLE encourages students to pursue their own academic interests through a combination of elective courses, volunteer experiences, and an independent study project. In addition to academic study, students live with homestay families and cultivate relationships with locals and university students as they study spoken Sinhala and/or Tamil languages. This combination of classroom and real-world exposure to Sri Lankan culture and society allows for a rich and transformative experience.