NATO Field School and Simulation Program

NATO Field School and Simulation Program

NATO Field School and Simulation Program

Coming soon: how you can apply to the 2022 NATO Field School and Simulation Program!

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

Field school undergraduate students take POL 484, worth 12 SFU units. Graduate students take POL 880, worth 6 SFU units.

Field School Days: Mornings are lectures and seminars, and afternoons are devoted to presentations and reading discussions. Simulation training takes place on Fridays.

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


2021 Field School Poster

2019 Stakeholder Report

What you'll do

A description of the 2021 Virtual NATO Field School and Simulation Program: 

In 2021, the NFS ran as a Virtual Field School and Simulation Program. In this all-virtual format, students conducted virtual site visits in North America and Europe and engaged in real-time Q & A sessions with officials and practitioners. Experts and officials trained the students in a real-time format and mentored the simulations in both real-time and asynchronous formats.

Throughout the entirely remote summer course, individual and panel video conferencing from decision-makers in Ottawa, NATO, and the EU brought students and professionals together to learn about key, current international issues. Students were immersed in diplomatic, military, and international organizations' decision tasks through our NATO-designed online simulations.

The Virtual NATO Field School and Simulation Program (VNFS) offered a virtual classroom experience combining seminars, simulation training, policy brief training, and individual and panel video conferencing.

Students had the opportunity to engage virtually with senior, high-level military and government officials from the Canadian government, Canadian Armed Forces, NATO HQ, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, EU Military Staff HQ and European External Action Services, Task Force Latvia, NATO's Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, and many more.

We look forward to offering another exciting program in 2022!

What it costs

Program fees

 $665.00 - $995.00

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


  • $2,350.56 (undergraduate, 12 units)
  • $1,946.94 (graduate, 6 units)

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.

*These program fees reflect the costs for the 2021 Virtual NATO Field School and Simulation Program. 





  • Must be 19 years of age or older prior to departure
  • Canadian citizen or NATO-nation passport holder
  • Have completed a minimum of 60/120 units or equivalent unit load (eg. 50%) of post-secondary (university, institution, college) courses by the end of Fall 2020.
  • Must have a minimum 3.0 CGPA on a 4.33 scale or equivalent. (eg. 73% average with a 50% passing grade)


  • Have completed a minimum of 70/120 units or equivalent unit load (e.g. 58%) of post-secondary courses by end of Fall 2019 term. Examples: 104/180 ECTS (3 year degree), 139/240 ECTS (4 year degree).
  • Recommended: 3.33 CGPA on a 4.33 scale or equivalent. (e.g. 77% 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 2020
  • 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, but must first gain admission into SFU as visiting students. Visiting students must arrange for transfer credit with their home institution. Please contact International Services for Students at to inquire about the application procedure for visiting students.

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

Contact us

Field School Director
Prof. Alex Moens

Program Coordinator
Hannah Christensen


2021 Field School Flyer

2019 Stakeholder Report