Field School Application Guidelines

Applications for 2022 programs are now closed. If you’d like to be contacted on updates for 2023 Field School programs, please fill out this short form

See the process on how to apply to a field school below. If you need support at any point throughout, please contact us at fieldschools@sfu.ca

If you are a visiting, non-SFU student, please first confirm on the Field School webpage that the program you are applying for will be accepting visiting students.

Step 1: Academic Reference

Firstly, please check your program page(s) of interest for specific requirements. Some programs do not require a reference. 

If your field school requires or you choose to submit a reference

1. Choose your referee(s). They can be either a(n):

  1. SFU professor/instructor;
  2. SFU graduate-level TA/SFU lab instructor;
  3. Professor from another university or college (for visiting or transfer students only).

We recommend selecting a professor from a class you have done fairly well in. Also consider how well the professor knows you. For example, did you speak in class? Was it a large lecture, or small class size? Did you attend their office hours? How long ago was the class? How many classes have you had with them? Are they an advocate of study abroad or international research?

Your referee will be asked the following:

  • How long they have known you and in what capacity;
  • The relevance of the field school to your career;
  • Areas of weakness;
  • Adaptability to new cultures;
  • An overall rating (potential, motivation, adaptability, maturity) of your suitability for a field school.

2. Contact your referee to request permission to send them an online reference request. This should be requested as soon as possible to meet the application deadline.

When asking your referee to complete the online form, we suggest providing your prospective reference with the following documents:

  • Current transcript
  • Resume
  • Brief statement about why you want to go on the field school 

See 'How to ask for a reference letter'. 

3. Once the referee agrees to be your academic reference, you can send them the online form through your application in the Study Abroad system.

4. Your referee will receive the online form via email. You will receive an email once they have submitted their reference form, and the Study Abroad System will indicate that their reference is complete. While you can submit your application before your referee has submitted their reference, your application will not be considered complete until the reference has been submitted. The reference must be submitted by the application deadline.

If your field school does NOT require a reference

Applicants to programs not requiring a reference can bypass this step by entering the following into the Study Abroad System application fields:

  • Referee’s Email: fieldschools@sfu.ca
  • Referee’s First Name: Field
  • Referee’s Last Name: Schools

Step 2: Submit Academic and Program Documents

1. Transcript

for current SFU Students

Upload a pdf document containing your most recent SFU advising transcript (using “Term view”). Steps on how to download an SFU advising transcript are here.

Please note:

  • SFU co-op, official, and unofficial transcripts are not accepted. 
  • For Summer 2022 applications, your transcript must contain your Fall courses and grades (if applying prior to receiving Fall grades, please update when you have received them).
  • If you have transferred credits from another post-secondary institution, it is recommended that you include an unofficial transcript from your previous institution(s). 
    • If needed, files can be merged using PDF software such as Adobe Editor or an online PDF merger. Zip files will not be accepted.

for visiting undergraduate Students

If you are applying as a Visiting Undegraduate Student, please upload a current official transcript from your home institution (please scan and upload the front and back pages of the transcript). If you are unable to obtain an official transcript email fieldschools@sfu.ca.

for visiting graduate Students

If you are applying as a Visiting Graduate Student, please scan, merge into one file, and upload the following in PDF format:

  1. A current official transcript from your home institution (scan and upload the front and back pages of the transcript), plus 
  2. Your official transcript from your undergraduate degree is recommended (scan and upload the front and back pages of the transcript)
  3. If you have transferred credits from another post-secondary institution for either your undergraduate or graduate degree, it is recommended that you include an unofficial transcript from your previous institution(s).

Files can be merged using PDF software such as Adobe Editor or an online PDF merger. Zip files will not be accepted.

2. Field School Student Acknowledgment and Refund Forms

The Field School Student Acknowledgment Form and Field School Program Fee Refund Policy Form are legal documents, which outline the terms of your participation in the program.

Please make sure each of your forms follow these points to be considered complete:

  • Read
  • Sign by hand or esignature (if using e-signature, complete the "SFU Field School Student Acknowledgment Form Signature Date" field in the Study Abroad System application)
  • Scanned (if signing a hard copy)
  • ALL pages are merged into ONE PDF (Zip files are not accepted)
  • If you are under the age of 19 at the time of signing, your parent or guardian has also signed

Download and save the following documents before reading and completing:

Keep the original for your records. Contact fieldschools@sfu.ca if you have questions about the document.

3. Field School Student Waiver and Release Form

The SFU Field School Student Waiver and Release form is a legal document, which must be submitted in original hard copy to International Services for Students, MBC 1200, SFU Burnaby (Monday - Friday 9am - 12pm & 1pm - 4pm; closed between 12PM - 1PM for lunch hour). The deadline to submit your hard copy form is Tuesday, February 15, 2022, or to send by mail ASAP.

The form must be:

  • An original hard copy; 
  • Printed in full colour, signed in ink; 
  • Printed on letter-sized paper (8.5x11" or A4), double-sided (preferred) or two pages stapled;
  • Have all sections completed (i.e. your legal name; current full address; all initial boxes complete; the witness was signed by a legal adult who saw you complete the form).
    • If you are applying as a Visiting Field School Student, please enter "n/a" in the box for your SFU student number.

Documents that do not meet ALL the above requirements cannot be accepted and will need resubmission. We strongly recommend reviewing each requirement is met.

if you cannot submit in-person

If you cannot submit a hard copy of the document in person (e.g. you are outside of the Vancouver area), you may print off the Field School Student Waiver and Release Form. Please scan a copy to fieldschools@sfu.ca first for review, and then upon confirmation, send the original hard copy to us at the following address by January 31st:

International Services for Students
Simon Fraser University
MBC 1200, 8888 University Drive,
Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6 CANADA
778.782.4232

We recognize international mail may be delayed. Please ensure you send the hard copy by January 31st so it will be received in a timely manner.

Step 3: Upload Personal Documents and Information

1. Resume

Upload your standard 1-2 page resume (including education, employment history, volunteer experience and interests).

If you do not have a resume (or have one you’d like to update), we suggest you attend a workshop or connect with an advisor from SFU Career Services and then upload it for your field school application.

if you are applying to the Indonesia field School

  • Environmental and Ecological Education Field School applicants are required to submit a letter of intent (1-2 pages) in addition to their resume. The letter should address your interest in/background in education and the environment/sustainability. Please upload as one merged PDF document.

2. Passport Scan

Upload a scanned copy of the photo page of your valid passport. Your passport must be valid for the time period covering the Field School AND for the subsequent six months. It is your responsibility to ensure that your passport is valid for the appropriate duration.

If your Passport is about to expire or already expired

Upload a copy of the receipt you received when you applied for your renewal, or upload your expired/expiring passport and a document stating your name, student number, and details on when you will be applying for your renewal.

if you don't have a passport

Upload a copy of the receipt you received when you applied for your passport, or upload a document stating your name, student number, and details on when you will be applying for your passport.

if you are applying to NATO field school

Due to security clearance requirements in receiving both military and diplomatic briefings, students are required to have Canadian citizenship or be a citizen of a NATO member country. See the list of countries here.

3. Photograph

Upload a passport-style photo of yourself. Selfies are accepted as long as they meet the criteria listed (see image below). Supported file formats: .jpeg, .gif, .png, or similar photo file (please do not submit a .pdf or .doc file)

4. Medical Insurance

1. Confirmation of primary medical insurance. You are required to indicate you have and will maintain primary medical insurance for the full duration of the field school, such as BC's Medical Services Plan (MSP)

2. Confirmation of secondary medical insurance. If you are a visiting student or an SFU student that has already opted out of the SFSS Undergraduate Health / Dental or the GSS Benefit Plan within the current academic year (September 1st - August 31st), you will need to print, sign, scan and upload a copy of the Field Schools: Confirmation of Alternate Travel Medical Coverage form.

5. Emergency Contact & Consent to Disclose Information

You will need to submit emergency contact information for someone that could be reached for the duration of the field school in case of an emergency. An English speaking contact is preferred.

Additionally, if you anticipate that a family member, friend or representative will be inquiring on your behalf about your field school program and you wish that person(s) to have access to that information, ISS will require your permission before any personal information is released. We recommend that at least one person you identify will be located in the Vancouver area during the time that you are away on your field school. Please note this is separate from the Designate from in the SFU Student Information System.

If you need to change any of the above after the application deadline, please email fieldschools@sfu.ca

Step 4: Statement of Interest 

Statement of Interest

In your application, you will be asked to respond to the following questions. Your answer will be typed directly into the Study Abroad System; no additional document is needed.

1. Why have you decided to apply for this field school program?

  • Include how this experience would benefit your degree and support your future academic, career and/or personal goals. (Up to 250 words)

2. How do you prepare for, and adapt to, new and challenging situations?

  • If you have had experiences that you think are relevant to your participation in the field school program—either internationally or locally—include these as examples. 

Step 5: Referral Information

referral information

On the online application, you will be required to input referral information about how you heard about the Field School program. You will also be asked whether or not you have attended any Study Abroad advising and information sessions.

Step 6: Funding Options 

Funding Options

Full time Canadian students (enrolled in a term of 9+ units) participating in SFU field schools are eligible to apply for student loans.

Full time degree-seeking SFU students may also apply for bursaries, scholarships, awards, and International Exchange/Field School Bursaries.

All students should enquire with their home institution and/or SFU Financial Aid and Awards for other funding options.

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

Suite of Study Abroad Awards (current sfu students only)

Degree-seeking SFU students applying for a full-time field school program may apply to the Suite of Study Abroad Awards. Students will submit one application in order to be considered for the full suite of awards, but only a maximum of one International Mobility Award (IMA) will be awarded per student. IMA applications will first be considered for the highest value IMA eligible. Each award has its own eligibility and selection criteria, which are detailed on the application.

Visiting Students for the purposes of participating in a field school are not eligible for these awards. Please continue to the next step.

Step 7: Visiting Students Only: Visiting Field School Student Application

Visiting Student Application (non-degree seeking students only)

If you are NOT a current SFU student, you will need to apply to SFU as a Visiting Field School Student in addition to the above application.

Complete the application that is applicable to you. Your Visiting Field School Student application will be due the same day as your SFU Field School application.

Please do not apply to SFU through the regular visiting student application process. Contact International Services for Students at fieldschools@sfu.ca if you have any questions.

Current degree-seeking SFU students do not need to complete this application.

Study Abroad Application System

1) Register for a Study Abroad System account.

2) Log in as a student.

3) Research and select a field school to begin your application. Eligibility requirements are listed on each field school page. 

4) Review application instructions and complete them in any order.

Apply >


NOTE: The committee reserves the right to request an interview with applicants.