Welcome to an Institute for Field Research program!
As you get ready for your departure to the field school, please read this guide to help organize your pre-departure arrangements. These pages contain important details on student conduct and safety abroad that will better prepare you for your travels. Please read all sections carefully to make participating in your program a truly wonderful experience. For more program-specific details, please consult with your field school director, contact IFR staff or visit your program page on this website. Make sure to check your e-mail regularly for information from the Institute for Field Research.
There is much to look forward to. You will soon become a member of a professional team, led by some of the best scholars in the world. The team is small, discovery guaranteed, and teamwork will help establish friendships that will last a lifetime. You will learn a great deal about archaeology, about research and the challenges of fieldwork, and about yourself. Through adherence to the highest academic standards, our goal is not only to train the next generation of archaeologists but also to instill a passion for the past in all students, even those that will seek careers outside the discipline. We hope that this will be just your first step in developing a lifelong relationship with archaeology!
Each program has a required course curriculum. Students are automatically enrolled in this curriculum by the Institute for Field Research. These courses are mandatory and cannot be dropped without terminating your participation in the program.
The Institute for Field Research programs are of a serious academic nature. Grades will be posted on the Connecticut College system and transcripts will be available. You may be able to transfer the credit units to your home institution. Please consult your home institution Registrar about best methods to transfer credit units and grade.
Students are graded based on academic criteria, participation in all program activities, dedication to learning and field work. For specific program requirements, please check the grading matrix on your field school syllabus.
Financial Aid may be available to qualified students through their home institution. Please consult with your Financial Aid officer regarding availability and eligibility.
Most IFR field schools run during the summer. Your annual award may be augmented (through additional allocation of funds) to cover the costs of Tuition, estimated airfare and spending money. The summer is usually considered the first term of the academic year but policies may be different at your home institution. If you plan to participate in an IFR field school that run during the academic year, please consult with your home institution about availability, eligibility and home campus deadlines for Financial Aid requests.
Important Notice: Students applying for Financial Aid must comply with all IFR policies, rules and regulations – including our Cancelation Policy. You may not secure a space in the field school without payment of the Deposit fee, regardless of your eligibility for Financial Aid.
If you do plan to use Financial Aid, please complete the following four steps:
1. Consult with the Financial Aid officer at your home institution regarding eligibility, availability and type of financial package you may receive. Complete all relevant paperwork.
2. Apply to an IFR field school. Once accepted, you will be sent an enrollment packet. Complete and send with you the nonrefundable $500 Deposit to secure a spot in the program;
3. Carefully read and complete the IFR Financial Aid Agreement (click here to retrieve the document). Sign, date and send via email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once received, the form will be reviewed and an answer will be sent to you usually within 36 hours. If approved, authorized IFR staff member will sign and send a copy for your records.
4. Once Financial Aid funds are dispersed to you, forward Tuition payment to the IFR. You will not be allowed to attend the field school if we do not receive your full Tuition payment five days prior to the program beginning.
Final payment for your Tuition is due on April 19, 2013. You will not receive a paper billing statement in the mail. E-mail reminders will be sent to you.
Financial aid recipients who have submitted all financial aid documents by the appropriate deadlines are exempt from the final payment deadline.
Financial aid will be disbursed directly to students. If you are receiving Financial Aid, you must pay your program balance in full at least 10 days prior to the program start date.
Please enroll in a field school only when you are certain you plan to participate.
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 19, 2013; 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 19, 2013 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.
All students on international programs are required to have a valid passport. Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the date you expect to return to the United States. If you do not currently have a valid passport, allow approximately three to six weeks for your passport application to be processed.
For information on obtaining a passport, visit the US State Department website (http://travel.state.gov/).
Some countries required entry visas for U.S. Citizens. Students in such programs will receive information about obtaining their visas from the Travel Information page and field school director. Please wait for instructions before applying for a visa. If you are not a U.S. citizen, a tourist visa may be required. Please visit the consular Web sites for the countries you will be visiting for instructions on obtaining your tourist visa. Do not apply for a student visa.
You are responsible for making your own travel arrangements to and from your program destination. Some programs may require you to arrange transportation during the program. Be sure to follow flight instructions for your program carefully.
We recommend shopping around for airfares as soon as possible. If you need assistance with air travel, a variety of websites may help with ticket reservations. You might compare flight prices on some of the following sites:
Booking Buddy (www.bookingbuddy.com)
Withdrawals after a program has begun
Successful academic achievement in field programs requires the full participation of all students, and we expect students are prepared to complete the program. IFR strongly discourages students from withdrawing after a program has begun.
However, we recognize that, due to unforeseen circumstances, some students may need to leave a program early. In these rare instances, students must meet with their program director and request permission to withdraw. If approved, students must vacate the program housing within 72 hours and are not permitted to attend classes or any program-related excursions.
Program accommodations are typically based on fairly rudimentary housing with shared rooms. You may request another program participant as your roommate and the field school staff will do their best to accommodate your request. Please note that IFR cannot accommodate requests for roommates of the opposite sex.
Vegetarian and Other Dietary Requirements
When possible, we will try to provide vegetarian options at group meals. Please keep in mind that in many countries, vegetarianism will not always be understood. Also note that the diversity of food options available at home may not exist abroad. If vegetarian options exist in the country you are visiting, they may be quite limited. If you have other dietary restrictions, please be aware that the program may not be able to accommodate your needs. Be sure to notify the IFR and your field school director of any dietary requirements you may have. We will do our best to accommodate you.
Careful planning of your finances is important. Adjusting to a new currency and to the prices in a new country can produce some anxiety. As you prepare for your trip:
1. Remember that how much you spend on your program ultimately depends on the choices you make about travel, food, shopping, entertainment, etc.
2. With regard to spending money, make it last the duration of you trip. Always over-estimate your spending. Budget your extra food money first. When buying gifts or souvenirs, think about how you will transport them home.
3. The exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and foreign currencies are not fixed and change daily. Visit www.oanda.com to get a sense of how rates change.
4. It is best to take a combination of ATM cards, credit cards, and traveler’s checks. Keep an accurate record of credit card, ATM card, and traveler’s check numbers separate from the cards and checks themselves. Make a list of phone numbers to report lost or stolen cards and checks. Remember, 1-800 numbers do not work overseas!
5. Keep in mind that your bank may charge an ATM transaction fee for each withdrawal. Check with your bank before you go and include those fees in your budget.
Handling Money and Documents Safely
1. Visit ATMs or change your traveler’s checks only as you need currency. Countersign traveler’s checks only in front of the person who will cash them.
2. Do not flash large amounts of money when paying a bill. Make sure your credit card is returned to you after each transaction.
3. Deal only with authorized agents when you exchange money, buy airline tickets, or purchase souvenirs. Do not change money on the black market.
4. If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police. Keep a copy of the police report for insurance claims. Ask the police to provide you with an English translation of the police report (if possible).
5. After reporting missing items to the police, report the loss or theft of:
a. traveler’s checks to the nearest agent of the issuing company;
b. credit cards to the issuing company;
c. airline tickets to the airline or travel agent;
d. passport to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Your participation in an IFR Field School makes you a representative of IFR. Therefore, you must adhere to our code of conduct. Students are subject to disciplinary action for several types of misconduct or attempted misconduct, including but not limited to:
1. Disruption of teaching, research, administration, or other IFR activities;
2. Physical abuse, threats of violence, rape or other forms of sexual assault, or conduct that threatens the health or safety of any person on IFR property or in connection with official IFR functions, including those activities taking place in the field;
3. Disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, or failure to comply with the directions of an IFR employee or field school staff member acting in his/her official capacity;
4. Unlawful use, possession, sale, distribution, or manufacture of controlled substances, identified in federal and state laws or regulations, on IFR properties or at official IFR field activities and functions.
5. Archaeological heritage is the property of the people and nation in which students are working. Sites, artifacts and ecofacts are not private property. Trading, selling or otherwise removing material culture from sites without authorization from project director is violation of the law. In many parts of the world, trading in antiquities is considered criminal offence, subject to prosecution and jail time. Do not engage in any trading, exchanging, selling or buying of archaeological artifacts at any time.
6. Archaeology is a destructive science. Uncontrolled excavation is considered looting and may be subject to prosecution. Follow your project director(s) and staff excavation and/or survey instructions carefully and do not initiate excavations or any other type of removal of archaeological artifacts, features or ecofacts on your own.
7. Dishonesty, such as cheating, multiple submission, plagiarism, or knowingly furnishing false information to the IFR;
8. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of IFR documents, data, or identification;
9. Theft of, damage to, or destruction of any property of the IFR or property of others while on IFR premises, including field schools, as well as on the premises of all property provided by the program;
10. Failure to pay bills for extra services or incidentals associated with the program;
11. Unauthorized entry to or use of IFR properties, equipment, or resources or imagery anywhere in the world;
Students in violation of the code of conduct will be expelled from the program at the instructor’s discretion. In the event a student is expelled, the student is not eligible to receive a refund of any of the fees paid to the IFR.
Expelled students will not be permitted to participate in any program activity or be entitled to any program benefits including, but not limited to, travel, meals, and housing. Furthermore, the student will be responsible for any additional costs incurred for lodging and transportation once expelled.
Drinking alcohol while socializing is common in many parts of the world. The attitude in some countries toward alcohol may be much different than in the United States. Drinking in some countries is part of the social experience, but not the focus of it. Excessive drinking or drunken behavior is not acceptable. Public drunkenness is illegal in many countries. If your consumption of alcohol becomes disruptive to your program, it is cause for immediate expulsion. If you choose to drink, please be responsible.
When you are in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws and are under its jurisdiction, NOT the protection of the U.S. Constitution. You can be arrested overseas for actions that may be either legal or considered minor infractions in the United States. Be aware of what is considered criminal in the country where you are.
If you are arrested on a drug or criminal charge, it is important that you know what can and cannot be done. Always use your one phone call to contact the nearest United States embassy or consulate.
The U.S. Consular Officer CAN:
* visit you in jail after being notified of your arrest;
* give you a list of local attorneys;
* intercede with local authorities to make sure your rights under local law are fully observed and that you are treated humanely;
* protest mistreatment or abuse to the appropriate authorities.
The U.S. Consular Officer CANNOT:
* demand your immediate release or get you out of jail;
* represent you at trial or give legal counsel;
* pay legal fees or fines with U.S. government funds.
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 abroad can be avoided by taking certain precautions. Please read the following safety tips before you depart for your program. We hope you will have a safe and healthy stay abroad.
Do your Research
Take the time to research the countries you will be visiting. Buy an up-to-date travel guide and use the Web. A few Web sites worth visiting are:
For information about health and safety abroad, we recommend that you visit the following sites:
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:
a. jostle you;
b. ask you for directions or the time;
c. point to something spilled on your clothing;
d. or 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.
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.
Maintaining good health is imperative when traveling and studying overseas. It is important that students actively maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to maximize their experience abroad. Below are some tips on how to remain healthy while traveling.
Information about local health services will be provided after arrival at your study site. Please keep the Director of your field school aware of any and all medical issues that arise during your program.
Prescriptions, Vitamins, and Other Medicines
Students who regularly take any medication should take an adequate supply of it to last for the entire period abroad. If medications are perishable and your accommodations do not include a refrigerator, let your field school director know. Students should label all medications and keep them in their original containers that clearly show the prescription.
Students with Special Needs
If students have any disability or other chronic systemic condition for which they will be seeking accommodation abroad, they must advise IFR immediately so staff can advise students as to whether necessary resources are reasonably available on their program.
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.
Important Information to Consider
Archaeological field work can be physically demanding. You should be prepared to work outdoors for extended periods. Note that field program sites are often located in remote places without the standard conveniences of an urban setting. To prepare for these 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 supplies that will help you to prepare for conditions on site.
Always travel light: Limit yourself to one checked bag and one carry-on. You can move more quickly and will be more likely to have a free hand. You will also be less tired and less likely to set your luggage down, leaving it unattended.
Prescription medications: Remember to bring any prescription medication with you in your carry-on bag. Bring enough to last the duration of your trip. Keep medicines in their original, labeled containers. Bring copies of your prescriptions and the generic names for the drugs. If a medication is unusual or contains narcotics, carry a letter from your doctor attesting to your need to take the drug. If you have any doubt about the legality of carrying a certain drug into a country, consult the embassy or consulate of that country first.
Money: Bring ATM cards, one or two major credit cards, and at least $100 in $20 dollar bills. You may want to bring a few traveler’s checks for emergency back-up.
Passport: Pack an extra set of passport photos along with a photocopy of your passport information page to make replacement of your passport easier in the event it is lost or stolen. Leave extra copies of these items with someone at home.
Airline tickets and travel itinerary: Make sure your itinerary is in order and that the name on your airline ticket matches the name on your passport. Leave a copy of your itinerary with family or friends at home in case they need to contact you in an emergency. Remember to send your Travel Information Sheet to the IFR. If your field school has airport pickup, you we will be met at the airport only of the program staff knows when your flight arrives.
Calling cards: Consider getting a telephone calling card. It is a convenient way of keeping in touch. If you have one, verify that you can use it from overseas locations (you may need to sign up for an international plan in order to get the lowest rates possible). 1-800 numbers do not work overseas, so find out the local toll-free access number for your calling card before you go.
Cell phones: Contact your cell phone provider and inquire if your cell phone will work in the country to which you are traveling. Most cell phone service providers will need to “unlock” your phone before you leave the U.S. Contact your cell phone provider for details on using your U.S. SIM card while abroad. It is fairly cheap and easy to buy a local prepaid SIM card for your unlocked phone in most countries around the world. This gives you a local telephone number while using the SIM card. If you do not have a GSM phone, many companies have world phones available for rent. Rental services are becoming more common in international airports, and it is usually less expensive to rent a phone in-country.
Security: Put your name, address and telephone numbers on the inside and outside of each piece of luggage. If possible, lock your luggage, although be sure to consult the airline about their locked luggage policy. Don’t bring anything you would hate to lose. Leave at home:
1. valuable or expensive-looking jewelry;
2. irreplaceable family objects;
3. all unnecessary credit cards;
4. Social Security card, library cards, and similar items you may routinely carry in your wallet.
If you lose your passport while traveling abroad, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance (www.usembassy.gov). Please guard your passport well!