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Field Course: Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka field course integrates a range of medical, social and environmental themes, with the specific focus changing annually in response to previous years’ findings. We are located in the coastal southeast of Sri Lanka, a largely rural area that in recent years has experienced significant infrastructure investment and development.

Previously, students have studied the impacts of change on social and health wellbeing, diet and anthropometric indicators, human-wildlife interaction and conflict, and the meeting of local and global traditions of charity, philanthropy, and development.

The site is run in collaboration with the University of Colombo, and students spend some of their time conducting research with a counterpart from that university. We place a strong emphasis on cross-cultural learning opportunities, and immersive research techniques. In addition, we include several optional activities such as visits to places of historical and cultural interest and local beaches.

Students and locals working the land and raking soil


“The fieldwork research itself was extremely intellectually stimulating, interesting, and a great all round experience for working across cultural and language barriers and also for meeting and getting to know new people on the course. I received extremely helpful advice consistently throughout from Gillian Bentley and Tom Widger and they were great. Feedback was also good too.”

“Amazing opportunity to study society in person rather than learning about it second hand. The overall organization of the trip to Sri Lanka was excellent, it was such a great experience that will help me with my dissertation!”

“The Sri Lanka field course was incredible. The counterpart pair system was an amazing experience and something that is so important. Working through language barriers and learning about Sri Lankan culture through living with and forging friendships with the Colombo students made this trip without a doubt the best educational experience of the course by a country mile.”