Archaeology field schools offer an excellent opportunity for students to explore the world around them while gaining a deeper understanding of the past, themselves and cultures other than our own. They also offer students the chance to participate in basic research and experience firsthand the challenges of adjusting research design to the realities of field conditions and unexpected discoveries. Archaeology field schools have a very low faculty-to-student ratio, so students get extensive and quality time with scholars. This translates into a deeper engagement with the intellectual processes involved in research and frequently, strong recommendation letters for students that are based on real acquaintance. Finally, archaeology field schools involve physical labor in open environments, taking students away from the virtual world and into more basic but healthy, personal contact with other humans.
Sound like something your child may enjoy and benefit from?
This letter includes information that will help you support your child in their pursuit of a summer of academic excellence, personal growth and learning that will engage all of their senses. It also provides general information about the Institute for Field Research programs. We encourage you to visit our individual program pages to evaluate which program may best serve the needs of your child.
Frequently, a student’s decision to study abroad or attend a domestic field school can be more stressful for the parent than the child. You may have health and safety concerns, financial concerns, and concerns about the quality of the programs, among others. Our programs take all of these matters very seriously and address them to the fullest extent possible.
Health and Safety
The health and safety of our students is paramount in every field school we establish. All of our locations have been personally visited and evaluated by Institute for Field Research staff. For international field schools, students are fully insured against illness and safety-related emergencies. For more information on how to proactively address the health and safety of your child, click here.
Finances & Credit Units
We strive to keep the costs of our field schools as low as possible. Each participant will be awarded 12 quarter credit units (equivalent to 8 semester units) from our partner university – UCLA Extension. Transcripts are available through the UCLA UnEX portal. Grades will be posted and transcript available usually within six weeks after the end of each field school. All IFR field schools are listed as ‘XL’ classes and thus are transferable courses, depending on the student major, standing, GPA etc. To learn more about ‘XL’ designation, click here. These credits are transferable to most universities around the world, although how many and how they are counted are dependent on your student personal standing – their major, GPA, academic standing etc. It is always smart to encourage your student to check with their academic adviser (at home university) how the field school credit units will be counted in her/his record.
The Institute for Field Research programs are a cost-effective way for your child to finish his or her degree. To assist with financing, the Institute for Field Research offers its own multiple scholarships, as well as links to other organizations that provide funding for students to attend field schools. The Institute for Field Research also works closely with students to support eligibility and funding through Financial Aid awards. For more information about scholarships, click here. For more information on financing your child’s field school experience, click here.
All Institute for Field Research field school directors are leading scholars in their field. All share a strong passion for research and a deep commitment to teaching. To ensure that all projects are of the highest academic quality, each program is handpicked, reviewed and approved by the entire Board of Directors and visited frequently by our staff. Our academic standards are the highest in the business and our quality controls supersede existing systems in any university, anywhere in the world. To read testimonials about the quality of the student experience, check the web pages of each field school. We provide the name and institution of the students who made the comments. These are real students making personal observations and recommendations.
We know you have many thoughts and questions about sending your child to participate in the Institute for Field Research programs. Please look around the site, and if you still have questions—or if you simply desire to speak with us personally—do not hesitate to contact us.
Ran Boytner, PhD