Project Description

In light of a changing COVID-19 landscape, including the rapid spread of more contagious Delta and Omicron variants, and in accordance with the recommendation of national medical experts, IFR policy requires that prior to traveling, all field school students must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 AND receive a booster shot, if eligible. If you intend to participate in an IFR program this summer, we strongly encourage you to schedule your vaccination appointment as soon as possible.

All IFR field school applicants should familiarize themselves with IFR COVID-19 Practices before beginning the enrollment process. Program logistics are subject to change as health and risk management experts provide new recommendations and best practices. Each field school syllabus includes specific information about COVID-19 as related to travel regulations and recommendations, accommodations, local protocols, face mask policy and managing COVID-19 cases or outbreaks.

You may want to refer to the following websites to stay informed of COVID-19 case numbers and regulations/policies for Denmark:


The site of Vasagård is located on the southern side of the island of Bornholm, Denmark. Vasagård is separated by the 100m Læså valley from two nearly identical Neolithic sites, and consists of a tomb system where a dolmen and a passage grave can be found close to the settlement. The grave system and causewayed enclosures are dated from c. 3500 BC, and constitute the most north-eastern occurrence of this complex type in Europe. During the excavations of 2013-2017, almost three hundred broken and complete flat, engraved stones were uncovered, marked with patterns of radiating straight lines. Named “sun stones” or “solar stones”, archaeologists from the Bornholm Museum have postulated that these artifacts were likely part of the rituals carried out by Neolithic sun-worshipping practitioners about 5,000 years ago. New excavations will help to increase and to improve the amount of information about the site and the Neolithic Period in the Baltic region.

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: July 31- August 27, 2022

  • Enrollment Status: Closed

  • Total Cost: $3,960

  • Course Type: Field Archaeology
  • Payment Deadline: April 15, 2022

  • Instructors: Dr. Finn Ole Nielsen, Dr. M. Nicolas Caretta, MSc. Michael Thorsen, MSc. Ditte Kofod

  • Online Orientation: June 25, 2022 at 9am PT / 12pm ET / 6pm CEST

  • Academic Credit: 8 semester credit units (equivalent to 12 quarter credit 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. M. Nicolás Caretta
Dr. M. Nicolás Caretta
Dr. Caretta is an archaeologist and researcher and responsible for the International Office at the Bornholm Archaeological Research Center (BARC) of the Bornholm Museum in Denmark
Dr. Finn Ole Nielsen
Dr. Finn Ole Nielsen
Dr. Nielsen is Head of Archaeology at the Bornholm Museum, Bornholm Archaeological Research Center (BARC), Denmark.
MSc. Michael Thorsen
MSc. Michael Thorsen
Michael Thorsen is an archaeologist and researcher at the Bornholm Archaeological Research Center (BARC) of the Bornholm Museum in Denmark.
MSc. Ditte E. P. Kofod
MSc. Ditte E. P. Kofod
Ditte E. P. Kofod is currently an intern at the Bornholms Museum in Denmark.


I had a fantastic time excavating at Vasagård last summer. It was highly informative, both in terms of how to excavate properly and Neolithic Denmark, and really fun. The instructors and staff were all exceptionally nice and attentive. They took us on tours throughout the island to look at different archaeological sites, such as the ship carvings and Sorte Muld. When they found out that one of us was interested in something, they worked to include it. When they found out that I had written my dissertation on bracteates, they brought one out from the Bornholm Museum’s collection and let us hold it, which was the highlight of my entire year! We got to learn about how unique the Vasagård site was and really see how the interpretation of some of the artefacts found was developing. It was an exceptional experience that really allowed me to put my theoretical knowledge of archaeology into practice and to develop as a person.
Holly Kane, University of Oxford

Tuition Includes:

  • Costs of Instruction
  • Cost of Academic Credits
  • Room Only (Food Not Included)
  • All Local Transportation
  • Health & Evacuation Insurance

Student Fees

This program requires an online application — there is a $25 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 $100 late fee will be added to all accounts not paid in full by the Tuition deadline.

Deposit: 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.

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. In the event that IFR must cancel a field school, all accepted students will be notified as soon as possible and will receive a refund of all tuition paid including the deposit fee. IFR offers students the opportunity to transfer to another field school, permitting that there are spots available and the program director approves the student to participate in their field school. Upon approval of the program director, IFR staff will make the arrangements to transfer the student’s application and payments.

Credit Card Processing Fee: A 3.5% 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: Please consider purchasing a travel interruption insurance policy that will cover your travel cost and the cost of the IFR program once you make a commitment to attend a field school.

The added risk of COVID-19  should be a “covered event” in your policy.
Please note that the cost of coverage varies, based on your age, the program duration and geographical location.
You may get help and advice from your insurance broker and we offer the links below to help you educate yourself on these insurance products.
Travel Insured International offers coverage Trip Cancellation or Interruption for Any Reason (review coverage based on your state).
– Compare quotes from different companies offering Trip Cancelation insurance plans.


The camping site is in the city of Åkirkeby, approximately 15 km from the capital of the island of Bornholm. It has been adapted into comfortable cabins with beds (bathrooms with shower, WC, and heating system) in the guest house, which also provides free Wi-Fi. Participants are expected to bring sleeping bags and personal towels. Students will share a room based on gender and room size. Food is not included within the program due to the high cost involved to hire a cook or catering service. The house is, however, properly furnished with all the cooking appliances and refrigerators, so students can share the tasks of doing the shopping and cooking their own meals at a lower price.

In the city, there are several options of places where food can be bought for affordable prices. Food stores are within a walking distance from the guest house.

Before Arrival

  • Please make sure that you are apprised of all current travel-related and other COVID-pertinent protocols enforced by the Danish government.
  • Bring with you a certificate of vaccination.
  • You must inform the project directors and staff and avoid entering the campsite if you feel any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • You must not enter the campsite if you are aware that you within 10 days before arrival have been in close contact with a person who has been tested positive for Covid-19 virus.

Staying at Aakirkeby Campsite

  • Accommodation will be 2 students in 4-person cabins and 3 students in 5-person cabins.
  • Cabins contain sleeping spaces but not toilets or bathrooms.
  • All cabins (including linens) are cleaned before arrival.
  • It is the guests’ responsibility to keep the cabin clean during the stay.
  • Cleaning and sanitizing supplies will be provided by the project.
  • Toilets / bathrooms are in a separate building and shared by residents of all cabins.
  • Toilets, kitchen and the common room are cleaned every day but should not be assumed to be completely disinfected at all times.
  • Stay responsible to yourself and others

COVID-19 Rules

  • Maintain a 6-ft/3-m physical distance from all others when not in the cabin. Respect others’ space in common areas.
  • Wear a face mask at all times except in your own the cabin, when showering, and while eating.
  • Do not enter any cabin other than your own.
  • Wash hands regularly and use disinfectant/hand sanitizer before entering your cabin or common spaces.

These guidelines may be updated before and/or during your stay, if necessary – or, potentially, requested by the authorities.

Travel Info

UPDATE: Due to ongoing uncertainties regarding the travel regulations related to COVID-19, IFR will assess the local conditions closer to the travel date (5-6 weeks prior to the program beginning) and will make Go/No Go decisions then. We urge you to participate in the mandatory orientation meeting when we will discuss the latest travel information and regulations. We also suggest you consider postponing the purchase of your airline ticket until after the program orientation.

The island of Bornholm is located to the east of mainland Denmark. Students coming from the United States or other countries (except Sweden) should book airfare to Copenhagen, Denmark. From Copenhagen, travelers can take one of two routes to reach Bornholm (see below): 1) take a train from Copenhagen to Ystad, Sweden, and then catch a ferry from Ystad to the city of Rønne (on Bornholm); or 2) fly from Copenhagen to Bornholm Airport.

Students are expected to arrive by ferry at the port in Rønne or by plane at the Bornholm Airport on or before July 31, 2022. Students will be met at the airport or the ferry dock by the project directors or staff and taken to the guest house in Åkirkeby.

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

1. Traveling from Copenhagen to Bornholm via Ystad in Sweden

Take the Øresund train from Copenhagen to Sweden. At Malmö C, Hyllie or Triangeln you will need to switch to Skånetrafikens Pågatåg (commuter rail), which runs the rest of the road to Ystad, where the ferry is. A ticket is always required for the ferry. The trip by train and ferry and both trains can be booked together via DSB, link further down this page. Tickets are available from DKK 149,- one-way.

Total travel time from Copenhagen: Approx. 3 hours and 45 minutes.

2. Traveling from Copenhagen Airport to Bornholm Airport

There are frequent flights between Bornholm Airport and Copenhagen Airport (25 minutes flight). Be sure to check the low-cost flight options. (

IMPORTANT:  Denmark is currently enforcing COVID-related travel protocols. The official websites for the Ministry of Health and Police (see below) are updated regularly to reflect current status about COVID requirements for travelers.

Please see this site for up-to-date information:

Effective September 4, the United States is classified as “orange” for purposes of entry into Denmark.  Fully vaccinated travelers from the United States may travel to Denmark for any reason, including for tourism, with proof you have been fully vaccinated with a European Medicines Agency (EMA)-approved vaccine and it has been 14 days or longer since your last vaccine shot.  Fully vaccinated travelers from the United States are also exempt from testing and quarantine requirements upon arrival in Denmark. You must present documentation that you are fully vaccinated which includes: your name, your date of birth, what disease you were vaccinated against, the vaccine name, your vaccination status, and the date of vaccination (both first and second dose if your vaccine had more than one dose). Visit the Danish government COVID-19 website (in English) for detailed information about travel to Denmark by fully vaccinated travelers from the United States.  We recommend you print out and carry with you a copy of the Danish government guidelines to demonstrate to airline personnel that you are exempt from COVID-related travel restrictions in place.

Measures to mitigate COVID-19 in Denmark may change.  Bookmark the Danish government COVID-19 website (available in English) to have the most up-to-date information about travel restrictions and other measures in place in the country:

  • Depending on regulations at the time the project starts, students will be taken to get a COVID-19 RT-PCR test on arrival and during their stay at the project. The test is free of cost.
  • Students will be picked up at the airport or the ferry port by project staff. It is important for the staff to have all the proper information regarding to students’ flight and/or ferry; this information will be shared in advance of travel. From the airport/ferry, students will be taken to the campsite and then to get a COVID test for safety measures.
  • Daily transportation to the excavation from the campsite will be by bus. Face masks may be used if required by health authorities when sharing common areas or transportation.
  • Hygiene and sanitation will be important in the campsite and the excavation site.


All students are required to have a valid passport when traveling to Denmark. US citizens should ensure that their passport is valid for 6 months after their planned trip before traveling to Denmark. Citizens of EU, EEA, USA, Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand and some countries in Latin America do not need a visa to Denmark for this field school. Citizens of other countries may need a visa, so we recommend consulting the nearest Danish embassy website for specific visa requirements. Where necessary, the BARC can send an official invitation letter that should be used at the relevant embassy to secure a visa to the program.

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 and provide proof upon 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 us at 877-839-4374 or email us at if you have questions about the safety of any particular program.