Parents






Letter to Parents

Dear Parent,

Archaeology field schools offer an excellent opportunity for young 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

We strive to keep the costs of our field schools as low as possible.  Each participant will be awarded 8 semester credit units (equivalent to 12 quarter units) from our partner university – Connecticut College.  Students will be mailed official transcripts at the end of the field school with their letter grade.  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 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.

Quality

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

Sincerely,

Ran Boytner, PhD

Director

 

 

 

Health & Safety

General Advice

Health Insurance

Health and Safety Guide

Mental Health-Related Issues

 

General Advice

Please remember that no place on earth is perfectly safe. Any travel carries with it certain inherent risks.  In most instances, many of the trials and tribulations of travel – whether domestic or abroad – can be avoided by taking certain precautions.  Make sure to educate yourself about your destination and follow the safety tips provided here.

Archaeological field work can be physically demanding. You should be prepared to work outdoors for extended periods.  Note that field sites are often located in remote places without the standard conveniences of an urban setting.  To prepare for such conditions, it is wise to consider the geographical characteristics of your location – such as climate, altitude, and population.  Each program will provide a list of equipment and supplies that will help you to prepare for conditions in the field.

Health Insurance

A traveler's health insurance policy is provided by the Institute for Field Research (IFR) to all international programs.  Students must provide proof of health insurance for all domestic field schools.

Health insurance coverage for international field schools is for the dates of the program only.  Health insurance is provided by HTH Worldwide. There are no deductibles and the coverage includes chronic and mental health issues.   

You are responsible for the initial payment of all fees incurred as a result of any accident or medical emergency which may occur while participating in an IFR program.  Be sure to keep all receipts for medical treatment in order to file a claim upon your return.  Claim forms are available at the insurance carrier website and may be accessed using your ID and Password provided by HTH Worldwide.

If you are traveling before or after the IFR program, we recommend that you arrange for health insurance coverage as a precaution.  Contact HTH directly for extended coverage of their policies.

Health and Safety Guide

Traveling can be a risky endeavor, even within the US. It is important that you prepare yourself before and during your travels. Here are some tips to help ensure a safe and healthy field school experience:

General

  1. If you travel abroad, read the State Department's Travel Advisory for your country and visit the Centers for Disease Control site for relevant health information for your country (including immunization requirements and recommendations)
  2. Make sure the program director is aware of any medical conditions you have
  3. Pack a first-aid kit (including Band-Aids, disinfectant, over-the-counter medications for headaches, diarrhea, sinus conditions, etc.)
  4. If you take prescription medication, bring enough with you to cover your entire time in the field
  5. Always pack prescription medications in your carry-on bag
  6. Drink plenty of bottled water while traveling
  7. To reduce jet lag, try to sleep as much as possible on the plane. Once you arrive at your destination, try to avoid sleeping until night time
  8. Travel in groups. Do not walk alone
  9. Do not accept rides from strangers or put yourself in a compromising situation with someone you have just met. If you go out with locals, make sure to leave their names and addresses with your program director
  10. If you sight-see independently, let the program director know where you are going and when you will return
  11. Always carry emergency telephone numbers with you
  12. Check-in with someone in your home country from time to time
  13. If you travel abroad, keep your passport and other travel documents (plane tickets, travelers checks receipts, extra passport photos, etc.) in a safe place. Keep a photocopy of the front page of your passport separate from your passport
  14. Do not carry large amounts of cash.

Stay in Contact

Make arrangements to contact your family periodically.  Check in when you arrive to let your family know you have arrived safely. If you leave the project location to sightsee during weekends, please let the Program Director or staff member know where you are going.  If you go out with people who are not part of the program, please let the Program Director or staff member know the names of those people.

Safety on the Street

Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home. Be especially cautious in crowded subways, train stations, elevators, tourist sites, marketplaces, festivals, and avoid peripheral areas of cities.

  1. Always remain aware of your surroundings
  2. Don’t use shortcuts, narrow alleys, or poorly-lit streets
  3. Avoid traveling alone.  Three’s is the best way to visit local attractions
  4. Avoid public demonstrations and other civil disturbances
  5. Keep a low profile and avoid loud conversations or arguments. Do not discuss travel plans or other personal matters with strangers
  6. Avoid scam artists. Beware of strangers who approach you offering bargains or offering to be your guide
  7. Beware of pickpockets. They often have an accomplice who will:
    1. Jostle you
    2. Ask you for directions or the time
    3. Point to something spilled on your clothing
    4. Distract you by creating a disturbance
  8. Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest and walk with the bag away from the curb to avoid drive-by purse snatchers
  9. Try to seem purposeful when you move about. Even if you are lost, act as if you know where you are going.  When possible, ask directions only from individuals in authority
  10. Know how to use a pay telephone and have the proper change or token on hand
  11. Learn a few phrases in the local language so you can signal your need for help, the police, or a doctor. Make a note of emergency telephone numbers you may need: police, fire, your hotel, and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate
  12. If you are confronted, don’t fight back. Give up your valuables
  13. Always carry the IFR emergency card with you.
  14. If you see your way being blocked by a stranger and another person is very close to you from behind, move away. This can happen in the corridor of the train or on the platform or station
  15. Do not accept food or drinks from strangers
  16. When taking overnight trains, lock your compartment. If it cannot be locked securely, or if you are sharing a compartment with other travelers, tie down your luggage, strap your valuables to you, and sleep on top of them as much as possible
  17. Do not be afraid to alert authorities if you feel threatened in any way.

Safety on Public Transportation

Taxis: Only take taxis clearly identified with official markings.  Beware of unmarked cabs.  Make sure the meter is running.  In some countries, you must negotiate the price of a taxi ride before taking it.  Please consult with your field school director prior to arrival about the specific local traditions related to taxis.  

Buses/Trains: Be vigilant when using public transportation.

  1. If you see your way being blocked by a stranger and another person is very close to you from behind, move away. This can happen in the corridor of the train or on the platform or station
  2. Do not accept food or drinks from strangers
  3. When taking overnight trains, lock your compartment. If it cannot be locked securely, or if you are sharing a compartment with other travelers, tie down your luggage, strap your valuables to you, and sleep on top of them as much as possible
  4. Do not be afraid to alert authorities if you feel threatened in any way.

Mental Health-Related Issues

Traveling and studying in another country are demanding activities that often compound or exacerbate both physical and emotional issues. In particular, if students are concerned about their use of alcohol and other controlled drugs or if they have an emotional or physical health concern, they should address it honestly before making plans to travel and study abroad.

Cancellation Policy

If you need to cancel your participation in any of our field schools, the following policy applies.

  • If you did not pay deposit and tuition, you were allocated no spot at the field school.  You need to do nothing.
  • If you paid the $500 deposit, it is nonrefundable.
  • Tuition is refundable until April 2; it is nonrefundable thereafter.
  • If you paid the $500 deposit but decided not to attend the field school, you must notify the IFR of your intention by sending a Letter of Cancelation to the Institute for Field Research. 
  • Failure to inform the IFR of program cancelation by the April 2 deadline (see above) will result in a bill for the full cost of tuition.  You will be held liable for the full tuition costs and your bill will be sent to a collection agency. 

In the event that a field school is cancelled by the Institute for Field Research, all enrolled students will be notified immediately and given a full refund of Tuition costs, including the $500 deposit.