Project Description

IFR policy requires that prior to traveling, all field school students must have completed a COVID-19 vaccine primary series AND received the most recent booster dose recommended by the CDC, if eligible.

 All IFR field school applicants should familiarize themselves with IFR COVID-19 Practices BEFORE enrolling in a program. These practices are subject to change as health and risk management experts provide new recommendations and best practices.

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


The field school takes place in the quaint Transylvanian village of Sânpetru, a few km from the city of Brasov, and aims to develop specific aspects of the broader Braşov Bioarchaeology Project (est. 2014), investigating biocultural diversity in medieval Transylvania. Two core objectives are:

1) To continue the post-excavation processing of human skeletal remains from the Braşov medieval cemetery (cleaning, organising, bagging);

2) To uncover new archaeological evidence through the excavation of areas of the fortified Saxon church in Sânpetru.

The field school offers the unique opportunity to receive training in both bioarchaeological analysis and archaeological fieldwork. Among the assemblages under study, the medieval parish church assemblage, one of the largest thus far excavated in Romania, was recovered between 2013 and 2014 during rescue excavations in the historical centre of Braşov, a space dominated by the Biserica Neagră (the ‘Black Church’), one of the foremost Gothic monuments in Eastern Europe.

The village of Sânpetru, where both archaeological excavation and osteological practice will take place, is known not only for its 13th century fortified church and 14th century painted chapel, but also for the discovery of several fossilized dinosaur bones in its territory.

In Transylvania, a land steeped in history and myth, students will be able to learn more about archaeology whilst travelling across dramatic landscapes and bucolic villages, taste fresh, organic food and discover this region’s fascinating local customs and traditions. The field school locations are also the venue for cultural, musical and artistic events and are a step away from many heritage and environmental landmarks, including the world-renowned UNESCO sites of Sighişoara and the fortified churches of Transylvania.

Download Updated Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: July 16- August 12, 2023

  • Enrollment Status: Closed

  • Total Cost: $5,035

  • Course Type: Multi-period Field Archaeology

  • Tuition Payment Deadline: May 28, 2023

  • Instructors: Dr. Annamaria Diana & Dr. Daniela Marcu Istrate

  • Orientation: June 11, 2023 at 9 am PT/ 12 pm ET/ 5 pm IST
  • Academic Credits: 8 Semester Credit Units (equivalent to 12 Quarter Units)


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. Annamaria Diana
Dr. Annamaria Diana
Dr. Annamaria Diana is a bioarchaeologist, physical anthropologist and field archaeologist currently involved in projects and collaborations in Romania and Ireland.
Dr. Daniela Marcu Istrate
Dr. Daniela Marcu Istrate
Dr. Daniela Marcu Istrate is Senior Archaeologist at the Institute of Archaeology ‘V. Pârvan’ and a leading Romanian Medieval archaeologist.


This is a new IFR field school. No student testimonials are available at this time.

Tuition Includes:

  • Cost of Instruction
  • Room & Board
  • All Local Transportation
  • Cost of Academic Credit Units
  • Health & Evacuation Insurance

Student Fees

Application Fee: There is a $25 fee to submit an online application.

Deposit Payment:

  • Once you have been accepted to a program, you must place a nonrefundable $500 deposit fee to hold your seat in the program until the tuition payment deadline. The tuition payment deadline can be found in the top right of each field school’s web page under “Course Details”.
  • The $500 deposit fee is included as part of your total tuition fee and NOT in addition to it.

Tuition Fee 

  • The tuition balance is the total program tuition fee minus the $500 deposit fee.
  •  The full tuition fee must be paid by the tuition payment deadline in order to secure your seat in the program.
  • If you do not pay the full tuition fee by the deadline, your place in the program is no longer secure, and if you are unable to participate in the program for any reason, our Late Withdrawal policy below will apply.

Late Fee: A $100 late fee will be added to all accounts not paid in full by the tuition payment deadline.

Withdrawal Policy: If you place a deposit but decide to withdraw, you must notify IFR staff in writing before the tuition payment deadline. In the event of withdrawal, the $500 nonrefundable deposit fee remains nonrefundable and will not be refunded.

Late Withdrawal: 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 fee regardless of attendance at any IFR program. Please carefully read our Withdrawal & Cancellation Policy for further information.

Cancellation Policy: 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.
– Compare quotes from different companies offering Trip Cancelation insurance plans.


Students will stay in a local guesthouse/hotel. Rooms are airy and spacious and all have en-suit bathrooms. They will be generally occupied by two, maximum three students depending on the number of applicants. The hotel is equipped with all essential amenities (Wi-Fi, kitchen, laundry facilities, communal areas) and offers ample outdoor spaces where the students will be able to relax, read, study, eat and socialize on hot summer evenings.

A professional cook will serve breakfast and dinner in the common dining room, while lunches will consist of sandwiches and field food prepared by students themselves from foods provided at the hotel each morning. Accommodations will be made for special dietary requirements and restrictions although some specific dietary restrictions such as kosher or halal meals may not be feasible. The directors will try, however, to accommodate all needs as much as possible.

Travel Info

Due to ongoing uncertainties regarding 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. Natural disasters, political changes, weather conditions and various other factors may force the cancelation of a field school. You are required 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.

Students are encouraged to fly into Bucharest Otopeni International airport. From there, they will have to reach the central station (Gara de Nord) where they will be able to catch a train to Braşov. Our meeting point is the train station in Braşov, where students will be picked up by bus to the host accommodation in the village of Feldioara. More detailed itineraries and options will be provided on orientation day and the directors will be available for help and clarification with each student on the days of traveling.

Students are encouraged to fly into Bucharest Otopeni International airport. From there, they will have to reach the central station (Gara de Nord) where they will be able to catch a train to Braşov. Our meeting point is the train station in Braşov, where students will be picked up by bus to the host accommodation in the village of Feldioara. More detailed itineraries and options will be provided on orientation day and the directors will be available for help and clarification with each student on the days of traveling.

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

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