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Sri Lankan Studies



Cornell has been a global leader in Sri Lankan Studies since the 1960s 

  • Cornell is the only university outside Sri Lanka offering a full curriculum in Sinhala language. Cornell's Sinhala language program was established in the 1960s by Professor James Gair, in close collaboration with Professor W.S. Karunatilleke (University of Kelaniya). The Cornell Sinhala program is now at risk.
  • Cornell is the global leader in publishing Sinhala language teaching materials, including instructional books, CDs, and DVDs for colloquial, written, and literary Sinhala.
  • Cornell is one of the few universities in the U.S. offering Tamil language instruction. All levels of Tamil are offered via the Shared Course Initiative from Columbia University.
  • The Cornell Tamil Studies Initiative supports graduate student study of projects related to the Tamil spheres of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka diaspora, and brings Visiting Scholars from Sri Lankan universities to the Cornell campus.
  • Cornell is one of the few universities in the U.S. offering Pali language instruction, as well as a world-class program in Sanskrit language.
  • Cornell undergraduates study abroad in Sri Lanka at Peradeniya University.
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