NATO Field School and Simulation Program

NATO Field School and Simulation Program

Stay tuned! Applications for the 2023 NATO Field School will open soon...

The NATO Field School and Simulation Program is an intensive political science experience that combines coursework with experiential learning.

The program is open to university students across all NATO member-states and provides the opportunity for students to observe professionals and experts in their working environment and by student immersion in the decision tasks that political, diplomatic and military personnel face. This includes visiting embedded experts from the Department of National Defence, Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian Armed Forces, NATO and academia, as well as high-level briefings at NATO HQ, SHAPE, EU Military Staff HQ, European External Action Services and NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence and the Canadian Delegation to the European Union. Like a dynamic practicum or apprenticeship, the NATO Field School prepares you for entry-level employment in foreign affairs, defence policy and various national and international security sectors, as well as international NGO sectors.

What you'll study

The NATO Field School is a full-time academic program. Field school undergraduate students take POL 484, worth 12 SFU units. Graduate students take POL 880, worth 6 SFU units.

Students will learn:

  • Policy making and policy implementation in defence, international security and peace operations from the academic, military and policy maker’s perspective
  • How Canadian Armed Forces, foreign and defence policy makers, diplomats and communicators define and execute their work
  • How officers, international civil servants and organizational staff conduct simulation exercises to generate and improve skills
  • How sovereign states pursue their interests, as well as international cooperation in complex and diversified settings like NATO.
  • How to work in teams inside a multilateral framework
  • The Whole-of-Government and the Comprehensive approach in crisis resolution
  • How to prepare decision documents for senior political decision makers
  • How to prepare a press statement and conduct a press conference

Contact us

Field School Director
Prof. Alex Moens

Program Coordinator
Hannah Christensen


2022 NATO Field School Poster

NFS Newsletter

2021 Virtual NATO Field School Syllabus

2022 Itinerary

Location: Riga, Latvia

Dates: May 10-May 31, 2022

Students will stay in Riga, Latvia, as a base from which to explore the Baltic Region. During this time we will cover some introductory classroom learning, simulation training as well as guest speakers and lecturers. In Latvia, students will visit sites such as the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, the Baltic Air Policing Mission, Canadian-led Enhanced Forward Presence at Camp Adazi, and the KGB and Occupation Museum.

Location: Brussels, Belgium
Dates: June 1-11, 2022

The program continues in Brussels with briefings at NATO HQ, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), the European Union Military Staff HQ (EUMS) and European External Action Services (EEAS) in Belgium as well as a visit to the Ramstein Air Base.

Location: Rome and Naples, Italy
Dates: June 11-25, 2022

In Italy we will visit sites such as the Monte Casino and Commonwealth Cemetary and JFC Naples. In Rome, the cohort will do an intensive, professionally run NATO-simulation, (Negotiation Mediation Decision-Making Exercise - NMDX), at the NATO Defense College, with NDC mentors and Senior Course curriculum.

What it costs

Program fees


Final program costs are based on the total number of students and subject to change. 


  • Undergraduate (domestic): $2,397.60
  • Undergraduate (international): differential rates, between $10,728.96 - $12,220.92
  • Graduate: rates vary

Not including student fees. Differential tution fees are charged for international undergraduate students. Visiting graduate students will pay an additional graduate application fee. Non-SFU graduate students should refer to International Services for Students.

Financial aid

Full-time students participating in SFU field schools are eligible to apply for student loans. Full-time SFU students may also apply for bursaries, scholarships, awards and international exchange/field school bursaries. Full time degree-seeking SFU students may also apply for bursaries, scholarships, awards, and International Exchange/Field School Bursaries, including the Suite of Study Abroad awards (valued: $1,000-$2,000) embedded in the program application.

For more information on funding your trip, please visit the SFU Study Abroad's Financial Aid page.

What's included

  • Shared accommodation in all locations
  • Field trips & Entrance fees
  • Some meals (most breakfasts and some group meals)
  • In-field transportation (air travel and ground transportation in Europe)
  • Acceptance session, pre-departure orientation, in-field and re-entry support

What's not included*

  • International airfare to Riga, and from Rome to home (or additional personal travel)
  • Most meals 
  • Communication costs (ie cellphone, tourist sim card)
  • Mandatory health insurance
  • Additional personal costs (travel, dress code)
  • Any testing or documentation required for travel
  • Visa**

* This list is not comprehensive. You may have additional or varying needs.

**Only required if you have Turkish citizenship or if students plan to remain within the Schengen Area for over 90 days.




  • Must be 19 years of age or older prior to departure
  • Canadian citizen or NATO-nation passport holder
  • SFU Students: be in Good Academic Standing at the time of application


  • Have completed a minimum of 60/120 units or equivalent unit load (e.g. 50%) of post-secondary courses at the time of application.
  • Have a minimum 3.0 CGPA on a 4.33 scale (~73% average with a 50% passing grade)


  • Must be 19 years of age or older prior to departure
  • Canadian citizen or NATO-nation passport holder
  • Must be enrolled or accepted to be enrolled in a graduate program in Fall 2022
  • Must either have a minimum 3.33 CGPA within a currently enrolled graduate program OR if currently applying for a graduate program, then undergraduate student eligibility requirements will be considered (see undergraduate student eligibility requirements above, including the submission of an undergraduate transcript). Proof of program acceptance and/or application will be required as an additional document.

How to apply as a non-SFU student

  • Qualified students from institutions other than SFU are eligible to participate. Visiting students must arrange for transfer credit with their home institution. In addition to the NATO Field School application, you will need to complete a Visiting Student for Field School Application, which is embedded within the program application. Both applications must be complete and submitted by January 31. If you have any questions about the application procedure for visiting students, please contact International Services for Students at 

Selection criteria

  • Academic Standing
  • Priority will be given to declared or intended majors/minors in political science or related disciplines in international studies, international relations, criminology, history, public policy, philosophy, linguistics, business and communications
  • A portion of spots will be reserved for SFU degree-seeking students
  • Demonstrated preparedness and maturity (cognitive and social) for this intensive and demanding program
  • The committee reserves the right to request an interview as part of the selection process
  • Final consent of the field school director