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Parents' Frequently Asked Questions

  • How safe are your programs?  

    Risks are a typical component of study abroad, and are inherent in the countries where The School for Field Studies (SFS) operates. However, SFS is committed to student safety, and we have taken steps to minimize risk of injury or illness.

    SFS employs a full-time safety and student life team to oversee the safety of each program, which involves identifying potential hazards associated with each planned activity and implementing measures to reduce those hazards. SFS makes it a priority to ensure that each program, with student cooperation and involvement, operates within a culture that fosters personal and group safety.
  • How do I know whether my son/daughter arrived safely to the program?  

    Usually within a few hours of students arriving to their SFS program, SFS headquarters staff will receive a confirmation phone call or email. You may contact our admissions counselors.

    Students are typically not able to make phone calls home immediately upon their arrival as they are usually focused on settling in and participating in the program orientation.
  • How do I communicate with my son/daughter while he/she is in the field? 

    Each field station has a mailing address that parents can use to keep in touch with their son/daughter while on an SFS program.

    Please refer to the specific country information in the parents section of this website for individual addresses. Except in Kenya, students have access to a telephone to make outgoing calls and may call home as time allows.

    Emergency contact should be with the SFS headquarters office in Beverly, Massachusetts. Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (EST), emergency calls should be made to the SFS main line at 978-741-3544. At all other times emergency calls should be made to 978-741-3567. Individuals should press 2 to leave a message that will activate the 24-hour emergency beeper while programs are in session. While the headquarters staff will know the whereabouts of the student group at all times, it may require 24 hours or more to get in touch with staff in some cases.

  • Can I send care packages to my son/daughter while he/she is in the field?  

    SFS does not recommend sending packages to SFS field stations. In most cases, the logistics of picking up the packages, combined with the cost of duty as well as the amount of time it takes for packages to arrive to the field stations make it a very difficult process for students.

    Most items students might get through the mail can often be purchased in the country or perhaps shared with other students. Students should plan to pack and carry with them everything they will need for the duration of the program.
  • Can I send money to my son/daughter while he/she is in the field?  

    Students should make every effort to budget their money in advance, according to the "Finances" section of the students' Field Preparation Guide.

    Please also see the Guide for advice on the most convenient ways for students to bring money with them; credit cards, ATM cards, traveler's checks, etc. work well depending on the country. In an emergency, money may be sent via SFS headquarters for a fee.
  • Can I visit my son or daughter at the field station? 

    Aside from visiting professionals and guest lecturers, SFS does not allow visitors on site during the program because it is disruptive to the program schedule and the dynamics of the group.

    To minimize the impact on the program, SFS requests that all guests of students visit on the same day. The mid-semester break is an opportunity for students to visit with friends and family off-site. Typically, Visitors’ Day is the day after the mid-semester break, but this date is scheduled each session on a field station-by-field station basis so please be sure to check with your Admissions Counselor to confirm the date. Make sure your friends and relatives are aware that all visits to the field station must be scheduled in advance. Those interested in visiting should contact SFS headquarters at 978-741-3544 after the start of the program. Overnight housing at the field stations are not available, but there may be accessible accommodations nearby. For security reasons, no local visitors are allowed on field station property without prior consent from the director. This policy increases students’ and staff’s safety, security, and sense of privacy. NOTE: There is no Visitors’ Day during summer programs because they are too short and too tightly scheduled.

  • If my son or daughter arrives early in-country or stays late, can he or she stay at the center? 

    Students may plan to travel on their own before the program starts or after the program ends, but they will not be provided with transportation, room, board, or storage before the start date of the program or after the end date.