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Community Reciprocity



Community reciprocity is at the center of The School for Field Studies (SFS) organizational and educational model—a benchmark in the study abroad industry. Our faculty and students share a unique relationship with our network of stakeholders in the Australian, New Zealand, Bhutanese, Costa Rican, Kenyan, Tanzanian, Panamanian, and the Turks and Caicos Island communities in which we live and work.

Through a long-term commitment to community reciprocity and civic engagement, SFS has built strong partnerships that allow us to effectively work with a variety of organizations and their members from park rangers and women’s groups to healthcare workers and government ministers.

As an SFS student, you will face the real world complexities of issues affecting all of our stakeholders. Having navigated these challenges and working closely with them to identify solutions in natural resource management and sustainable development, you will gain a lifelong skillset. What you and SFS give back to these communities, however, helps us thrive and justifies our reason for existence as an organization.

There are three pillars to our community reciprocity model:

Economic Reciprocity

• We hire professional staff from the countries and regions where we live and work
• We provide jobs to local guides, field assistants, and support staff
• We provide host-country scholarships
• We contribute to the local economy

Behavioral Reciprocity

• Being “good neighbors”
• Engaging in community service, education, and outreach
• Hosting community dinners
• Adding to the social fabric of the community through participation in sporting events, festivals, church groups, etc.

Technical Reciprocity

• Engaging in community meetings, technical presentations, and formal reports
• Engaging in research collaborations, memoranda of understanding
• Providing research results of our Five Year Research Plans to stakeholders
• Providing grants and funding for research