Project Description

This program is a short introduction to field archaeology. It is designed to present students with the basic fundamentals of field work and a taste for the rigors of field research. Students interested in the full session field schools should consider applying to any of our standard 4-5 week-long programs.


 Ancient Apollonia Pontica (present-day Sozopol, Bulgaria) is one of the earliest Ancient Greek towns on the western Black Sea coast. The city was founded by Milesian colonists at the end of the 7th century BCE. As a result of intensive trade with the surrounding Thracian tribes and the Greek poleis, Apollonia became one of the most prosperous Greek colonies in the Black Sea region in Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods. The archaeological project takes place on the small St. Kirik island (connected to the mainland by a breakwater way), where an Archaic period neighborhood of Apollonia arose and where later the sacred precinct (temenos) of the town was built. On the island was situated the temple of Apollo – the patron deity of the town, famous in the Ancient World for the colossal bronze statue of the god erected in front of it. Two other Ancient Greek temples, several altars, numerous ritual pits full of artifacts (donations), as well as a Late Antiquity basilica and necropolis have been excavated there so far. In 2020, excavations will take place at the top of the island, in the area of the Archaic and Classical Greek and Hellenistic temples, Ancient Greek copper foundry and the Early Christian basilica and necropolis, where the excavations have been taking place since 2012. We will continue exploring the evolution of the site from early Greek settlement through the temenos to the Christian religious center. The program includes excavations, finds processing, various workshops, lectures and presentations by specialists in the field of Ancient Greek art and archaeology, as well as trips to heritage sites along the western Black Sea Coast. The project venue Sozopol, is a historic town with rich cultural heritage and is a famous tourist spot offering various opportunities for intercultural experience and recreation summer activities.

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: TBA

  • Enrollment Status: CLOSED

  • Tuition: $2,601 (per session)

  • Course Type: Classical, Field Archaeology

  • Payment Deadline: TBA

  • Instructors: Dr. Teodora Bogdanova & Dr. Krastina Panayotova

  • Orientation: TBA
  • Academic Credit: 2 Semester Credit Units (equivalent to 3 Quarter Units)

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The directors welcome emails and inquiries about the research elements of this project. More general information (tuition, health insurance, and payment schedule) can be found under the ‘Students’ tab above. Any further questions may be addressed to IFR staff. Additional details about research, course schedule, travel, accommodation, and safety can be found on the syllabus. Contacting the directors or the IFR office is encouraged and appreciated. It may help you determine if this field school is a good fit for you.

Dr. Teodora Bogdanova
Dr. Teodora Bogdanova
Dr. Bogdanova is a Curator for Archaeology at the Museum of Archaeology in Sozopol and a Visiting Professor at the Center for Vocational and Continuing Education, New Bulgarian University in Sofia. She is also a Balkan Heritage Foundation affiliate.
Dr. Krastina Panayotova
Dr. Krastina Panayotova
Dr. Panayotova is an Associate Professor at the Department of Classical Archaeology, National Institute of Archaeology and Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. She is also a Balkan Heritage Foundation affiliate.


This is my second year at Apollonia Pontica – Bulgaria, I came back because I really enjoyed it last year – it was an incredible opportunity to come back and have this experience again. It was really nice to come for a second time and already being familiar with the site and how things work, to improve all the skills I learned last year, and all the lectures, excursions and instructions, I just had the chance to build on what we’ve found previously. Meeting all the people of the team again – it feels like a big family, and I wanna come back again!

Abigail Sanderson, University of Ottawa

I first heard about this field school through a few friends of mine who’ve recommended the course and the project. The experience here in Apollonia Pontica has been absolutely wonderful, completely brilliant. I would recommend it a thousand times to everyone. It’s very much hard work, but at the end of the day – the fascinating amount of artifacts you have found, the hands-on experience that you actually get on this site and the amount of things I’ve learned, I couldn’t ask for a better course!

Sean Crawford, Royal Holloway University of London

Tuition Includes:

  • Cost of Instruction
  • Cost of Credit Units
  • Room & Partial Board
  • All onsite transportation
  • Health & Evacuation Insurance

Student Fees

This program requires an online application — there is no fee to submit an application. Once admitted, a payment of the nonrefundable deposit fee is required to secure a place in the program(s). The Tuition balance (total program cost minus the deposit fee) must be paid prior to the Tuition deadline as listed above under “Course Details.” A $200 late fee will be added to all accounts not paid in full by the Tuition deadline.

Early Decision Enrollment (Nov 1, 2019 through Jan 10, 2020): A reduced, nonrefundable $300 deposit fee is required to secure a seat in the program. This deposit is part of the total Tuition and NOT in addition to it.

Regular Enrollment (Jan 11, 2020 through payment deadline): A nonrefundable $500 deposit fee is required to secure a seat in the program. This deposit is part of the total Tuition and NOT in addition to it.

Late Enrollment (payment deadline forward): A nonrefundable $600 deposit fee is required to secure a seat in the program. In addition, a $200 late fee  will be added to all accounts not paid in full by the Tuition payment deadline.

Withdrawal & Cancellation Policy: If you paid the deposit fee but did not cancel your participation by the Tuition payment deadline, you are legally responsible for the full Tuition regardless of attendance at any IFR program. Please carefully read our Withdrawal & Cancellation Policy for further information.

Credit Card Processing Fee: A 2.5% processing fee is automatically incurred for all credit/debit card/online payments.

Academic Credit Opt Out: Students who wish to participate in an IFR field school without earning academic credit units may do so and receive the following discounts: $300 off a full program (4 or more weeks in length) or $200 off a short program (2-3 weeks in length).

Trip Cancellation Insurance: The IFR does not provide trip cancellation insurance. Read this Wall Street Journal article about travel insurance — it may help in making a decision whether such insurance is for you. If you do wish to purchase such insurance, Insure My Trip or Travel Guard are two possible resources you may wish to explore.


Accommodation is either at Dom Mladenovi Guest House or at the VMK Military Club, both of which have comfortable rooms with private bathrooms, air-conditions, refrigerators and TV. Internet available at the lobby area of the hotels.  Both hotels are located close to the town beaches, the Old Town Quarter, the Archaeological Museum,and within 15 min walking distance from the archaeological site.

Staying an extra day will cost 30 USD. Single rooms are available upon request for an additional fee of 125 USD per week (Prices may vary due to the USD rate fluctuations).

Participants will walk to and from the excavation site daily. It takes approximately 15-20 minutes to walk from the hotels to the site.


Daily breakfast and the official welcome and the farewell dinners are covered by the tuition fee. Students are responsible for their own lunch and dinners.

Sozopol offers variety of restaurants that can meet everyone’s preferences and dietary requirements – from fast food options to cozy gourmet restaurants. The average meal price (soup/salad, main dish and dessert) can cost between 6 to 12 USD. The project team will recommend restaurants for different preferences (cuisine, cost, dietary needs) and will arrange discounts for the students.

Travel Info

Please hold purchasing your airline ticket until six (6) weeks prior to departure date. Natural disasters, political changes, weather conditions and a range of other factors may require the cancellation of a field school. The IFR typically takes a close look at local conditions 6-7 weeks prior to program beginning and makes Go/No Go decisions by then. Such a time frame still allows the purchase of deeply discounted airline tickets while protecting students from potential loss of airline ticket costs if we decide to cancel a program.

You are expected to arrive on June 20 or July 4, 2020 by 7:30 pm at the Dom Mladenovi Guest House in Sozopol ( A detailed travel info sheet will be sent to enrolled students. A traditional Bulgarian welcome dinner will take place in a local restaurant. 

A transfer from Burgas, Varna, Sofia airports or from other towns in Bulgaria may be arranged upon request for an additional fee. Individual or group transfers’ price may vary from $15-250 USD depending on both distance and number of passengers. 

If you missed your connection or your flight is delayed, please call, text or email project director immediately. A local emergency cell phone number will be provided to all enrolled students. 


Citizens of US, Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand do not need a visa to visit Bulgaria for up to 90 days. You will enter Bulgaria as a tourist. Citizens of all other countries may need a visa. The Balkan Heritage Foundation can send an official invitation letter that should be used at the relevant embassy to secure a visa to the program. For more information, visit the Balkan Heritage Foundation web site at and the links provided there. 

Student Safety

The IFR primary concern is with education. Traveling and conducting field research involve risk. Students interested in participating in IFR programs must weigh whether the potential risk is worth the value of education provided. While risk is inherent in everything we do, we do not take risk lightly. The IFR engages in intensive review of each field school location prior to approval. Once a program is accepted, the IFR reviews each program annually to make sure it complies with all our standards and policies, including student safety.

Students attending IFR international programs are covered by a comprehensive Health Insurance policy that includes physical illness or injury, mental or chronic conditions. No deductible and 100% of costs are covered up to $250,000. In addition, we provide Political and Natural Disaster Evacuation policy, which allow us to remove students from field school location if local conditions change. Our field school directors are scholars that know field school locations and cultures well and are plugged in into local communities and state institution structures.

Students attending IFR domestic programs (within the US) must have their own health insurance but must report those during enrollment. IFR field school directors are familiar with local authorities and if in need of evacuation, local emergency services and/or law enforcement will be notified and activated.

The IFR has strong, explicit and robust policy towards discrimination and harassment in the field. If students feel they cannot discuss personal safety issues with field school staff, the IFR operates an emergency hotline where students may contact IFR personnel directly.

Call (877-839-4374) or email ( if you have questions about the safety of any particular program.