Dinuka gets a scholarship in Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minn

Committed to preparing students for leadership and service in a global society, Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., has welcomed Dinuka Jayasooriya from Sri Lanka as a student on campus this fall. Jayasooriya is studying chemistry in hopes of someday attending graduate school.
Jayasooriya is this year’s recipient of a scholarship Saint John’s offers to outstanding students of Sri Lanka counseled by Priyanthi and Padmasena Dissanayake, the island’s foremost independent recruiters to the United States.

There are six students from Sri Lanka currently studying at Saint John’s and its academic partner, the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn. Nineteen Sri Lankans have attended either Saint John’s or Saint Benedict since 1989.

Jayasooriya completed his G.C.E. Advanced Level exam and then attended the Institute of Chemistry in Sri Lanka. His interest in chemistry was instilled by a science master “who really got me interested in chemistry,” Jayasooriya said. “I attribute my love for chemistry because he took the time to teach the subject very well.”

He began his academic career at Saint John’s as a sophomore, but Jayasooriya is taking junior-level courses at CSB and SJU. “The biggest difference I would say about the chemistry departments between CSB and SJU and the Institute of Chemistry is that the class size is smaller here,” said Jayasooriya, adding that the labs at CSB and SJU have a 10-student maximum, about three times smaller than the lab size in Sri Lanka. “The other difference would be that there are mid-term assessments here at SJU, while there is one big final exam at the end of the semester at the Institute.”
Jayasooriya has also found time to compete with the Crew Club at SJU. He has taken part in two regattas in Minnesota and Iowa.

“I love the team because I feel like I’m part of a family. They are some of the best people I have met so far here at SJU,” Jayasooriya said. Saint John’s designs programmes to meet the needs and aspirations of young men, emphasizing leadership and a personal development profile that includes intellectual, spiritual, emotional and physical development.

Its values-based and value-added residential liberal arts education provides the framework for fulfilling lives of disciplined inquiry and leadership in careers devoted to the professions, public life and service to others.

Set amid 2,700 acres of varied terrain, the Saint John’s campus is remarkable in its natural beauty. It includes wetlands and several lakes, and hiking trails wind through an extensive pine and hardwood forest, an oak savanna and a restored prairie. In addition to its recreational value, the landscape inspires spiritual and artistic reflection and fosters the Benedictine traditions of land stewardship, education and environmental respect.

SJU welcomes people of all faiths and encourages interfaith dialog. Its award-winning spirituality program has helped participants explore and define a sense of spirituality and connectedness.
The partnership of Saint John’s University and its neighbor, the College of Saint Benedict, a Benedictine college for women, is like no other. Located six miles apart in the heart of central Minnesota lake country, the two schools share a common undergraduate curriculum, identical degree requirements and a single academic calendar. Students from both campuses attend classes together and enjoy the facilities of two campuses. With a combined enrollment of just over 3,900, the schools have the largest enrollment of any national liberal arts college.

The Catholic character of SJU and CSB has been and continues to be shaped by the Benedictine communities that founded the colleges, Saint John’s Abbey and Saint Benedict’s Monastery. Benedictine men and women remain active as teachers, mentors and administrators, and their prayerful presence in community life provides the stable sense of place for which SJU and CSB are so well known.

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