This program consists of formal coursework at Simon Fraser University and the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Republic of Fiji, followed by field training on an archaeological excavation project at Nukuleka, the earliest site in Polynesia, on the island of Tongatapu, Kingdom of Tonga. Participants will have the opportunity to tour other archaeological sites in Fiji and Tonga as well as experience the diverse cultures of these South Pacific island nations. SFU instructors will deliver the program supplemented by guest lectures from faculty at the University of South Pacific.

Field School Director: Dr. David Burley <>


The program consists of three courses totalling 12 SFU units. Arrangements can be made for students who have taken one or more of these courses to receive credit for other suitable courses. All instruction will be in English.

ARCH 331-3: Select Regions in Archaeology II
This course examines various topics related to Fijian and Tongan culture and heritage as well as associated areas in Fijian/West Polynesian environment and geography. The majority of this course will be taught on the University of South Pacific campus with guest lectures by appropriate USP faculty.

ARCH 434-3: Archaeological Field Methods
This course provides an introduction to archaeological field methods focusing on the preparation of maps, field data gathering and documentation. Much of this course will be completed at SFU Burnaby prior to departure for Fiji.

ARCH 435-6: Field Work Practicum
This course involves the practical application of archaeological field methods through participation on an excavation project at the Nukuleka site in the Kingdom of Tonga. Students will be active members of the research team and acquire practical experiences related to field archaeology.


The program begins with around three weeks at SFU, followed by seven weeks of coursework and field trips in Fiji and Tonga. Upon formal close of the field school, participants are encouraged to travel independently.

The field school dates: May 5 - July 12, 2014

March 8
Pre-departure orientation 
May 5 - 21  Course work at SFU Burnaby
May 22 Departure for Fiji
May 24 – June 7 Study at the University of South Pacific (Suva)  
June 8 – 15 Field Trip, Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park, Viti Levu   
June 16 Departure for Tonga
June 17 – July 12    Practicum participation, Nukuleka Excavation Project, Tonga   

*These dates are provided as guidelines and are subject to change.

Cost and Financial Aid


*Tuition (12 units) $6,759.24
Program fees $4,713.24
Total cost (estimated)   $7,009.24

* Differential tuition fees are charged for international students.

Program fees include:

   International airfare           Shared accommodation
   Some meals           In-country transportation  
      Field trips
           Pre-departure orientation, in-field/re-entry support  

Program fees do not include the cost of meals, independent travel or inoculations. Program costs quoted in Canadian dollars are approximate, and may vary subject to exchange rates, travel, and accommodation cost quotations.

Students must pay tuition directly to SFU Student Services by the due date as outlined in the SFU Calendar.

The cost of the program is estimated and subject to change.

Students participating in SFU field schools are eligible to apply for student loans. SFU students may also apply for bursaries, scholarships, awards, and International Exchange/Field School Bursaries.


South Pacific Archaeology applicants must meet the following requirements to participate:

  • Must be 19 years of age or older prior to departure
  • Have completed a minimum of 45 units of university courses prior to field school departure
  • Completed one ARCH course, or receive permission from one of the field school instructors
  • Have a minimum 2.5 CGPA
  • Consent of the Field School Director

Note: The program will be open to students in all areas, but selection priority will be given to Archaeology majors. Students from other institutions are also encouraged to apply.

For more information on eligibility for non-SFU students, please see the Application page.

Information Sessions

No further sessions scheduled.


Application Status: Closed
Application Deadline: Thursday, January 9, 2014

Note: For people with (physical or mental) medical conditions, international travel can present severe challenges. Because SFU field schools take place in international locations where emergency services, and/or mental or physical support services may be limited, or non-existent, some field school placements will not be appropriate for everyone. Please speak with the program's Field School Director for information on specific conditions for this field school.

If you have a medical condition that poses limitations on your ability to function in certain environments, we strongly advise that you register with the SFU Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD). CSD staff will ask that you provide documentation from a duly-qualified medical specialist, which contains a diagnosis and a treatment plan.

Where appropriate, CSD staff will communicate with field school staff with regard to accommodation in the field. Please note that, while CSD staff indicate to field school staff that a prospective participant requires accommodation for a medical condition, they do not disclose the nature of the medical condition.

Because overseas arrangements can be complicated, we recommend that you contact the CSD at least three months prior to the commencement of the field school in which you wish to participate. Please note that failure to make proper arrangements in advance of travel could result in termination from the field school with costs and academic credit forfeited.