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University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka


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University life in Sri Lanka

Published by Crazy Travel — 3 years ago

Sri Lanka is an island country in southern Asia, located in the middle of the Indian Ocean. In early times, it was named "the pearl of the Indian Ocean" because of its natural beauty. Sri Lankans have a unique culture, tradition and language. Originally, Buddhism was the prevalent religion in Sri Lanka. However, Christianity reached the country through Portuguese, Dutch and British colonists. Moreover, English became Sri Lanka's second language.

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Sri Lanka has a good education system. All English-medium universities and higher education institutions offer a variety of bachelor degrees and other diplomas. However, the problem is that in Sri Lanka there are only 15 state universities. Furthermore, the number of places available for students has been limited too. Therefore, students must take an extremely demanding examination (Z-score system) to be able to get into university. Only those students who obtain the highest marks in the exam will be selected to enter university.

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Universities in Sri Lanka are appealing to Western students because of the quality of education they provide, as well as the reputation of their MA's and PhD's. All state universities offer a free education system as well as other facilities.

I would like to share some details about the orientation period at Sri Lankan universities and my experience in the country, which is quite unique and interesting.

Each university has a subculture that is common to all the universities in Sri Lanka. When incoming students start university, senior students make them familiar with this subculture in an interesting way. Seniors take four to six months to initiate freshers into the university's pace and lifestyle. This period is called "the rag period", during which freshers must obey seniors and follow the dress code.

During the first few months, seniors rag freshers and give them nicknames. From then on, freshers will be referred to as these monikers for the rest of their university life. Seniors also offer a wide range of "funny" activities to freshers, such as singing or playing performances, among others.

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The worst aspect of this period is that sometimes pranks are too aggressive. For example, seniors can trip freshers up. Nevertheless, in the last years, these physical rags have been totally prohibited. Rags can vary depending on which university you enroll in.

At the end of the rag season, seniors and freshers become very close and organize a series of trips to climb a mountain called Hanthana. It is one of the most beautiful mountains in Sri Lanka. The goal of these trips is to "make peace". Most of the time, while climbing the mountain, those boys who had fallen in love with some girl during the rag season confess their love for each other. So, this trip is very famous among lovers. Afterwards, seniors organize a party to officially put an end to the rag season. When the party finishes, freshers have all the freedom to do everything they want.

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This experience is totally different from the orientation period in European universities. In my opinion, in the beginning, the rag period was so annoying. But later on, it turned into a nice experience and a sweet memory.

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