Field Schools

Faculty of Arts Field Schools

A photo of student Charles Jackson, in Italy working at the Villa of Titus field school. He is seated on a stone wall, writing in a notebook.

“Contributing to an actual Roman excavation has given me a deeper connection to my studies," says Ancient Studies student Charles Jackson, seen here at the Villa of Titus excavation site in Italy in spring 2022.

If you're thinking about a field study course, explore the funding and award options for international learning opportunities.  

ANCS 3610/3611 Field Study in Roman Archaeology; Laboratory Methods in Roman Archaeology 
Villa of Titus Archaeological Field School 
This field course takes place in the village of Castel Sant'Angelo, roughly 70 km northeast of Rome in the Apennine Mountains of central Italy. You’ll learn archaeological field techniques and artifact analysis skills while helping to excavate the "Villa of Titus", a 2,200-year-old rural complex that may once have been a residence of the Flavian Emperor Titus. For more details, see the Villa di Titus Expression of Interest Form (fillable PDF) or contact Dr. Myles McCallum. Dates for the next course are May 22 to June 23, 2023. 

ANTH 3275 Archaeological Remote Sensing 
The archaeologist’s toolkit is changing rapidly as new technologies allow us to map sites and features without digging. In this course, students engage in hands-on learning with terrestrial and aerial remote sensing technologies including ground penetrating radar, electromagnetic induction and LiDAR. Our 2023 season runs from April 27 to May 10 with Parks Canada, and Les Amis de Grand-Pré will engage us in mapping two unmarked 18th century cemeteries at Windsor and Falmouth, Nova Scotia. Prerequisite: ANTH1271 Introduction to Archaeology (or equivalent). For more information, contact Dr. Jonathan Fowler
ANTH 3373/3374/4464 Fieldwork in Archaeology 
This course offers detailed instruction in archaeological field techniques working off-campus at an archaeological site. It is normally a 3000-level credit but students returning to the project for a second season, or coming to the project having previously completed an archaeological field school for university credit, may be granted permission to enrol at the 4000-level and be assigned additional duties. In 2023, we will offer several courses:

  • Cuba Archaeological Field School: Students will assist with the excavation of El Convento Santa Clara, a seventeenth-century church and convent in Old Havana, Cuba (May 14-June 11, 2023; instructor is Dr. Aaron Taylor; apply by April 7).
  • Coastal Archaeological Field School: Students will assist with the excavation of an Indigenous site in the intertidal zone in Nova Scotia's Minas Basin (July 3-28, 2023).
  • France (DPAA) Archaeological Field School: Students will assist with the excavation of a WWII aircraft crash site in France (July 1-31, 2023; instructor: Dr. Aaron Taylor)  

Each of these options offers a unique opportunity to learn archaeological field methods while contributing to real research projects. Prerequisite: ANTH 1271 Introduction to Archaeology (or equivalent) and permission of instructor. For more information about the options above, contact

ANTH 3374/4465 Archaeology Laboratory 
The course offers training in the laboratory analysis of material cultural evidence recovered from an archaeological site. Like the fieldwork course, this course may be taken at either the 3000 or 4000 level. Typically, the laboratory course is offered in tandem with the fieldwork course, which is its prerequisite. In the lab, students clean, sort, catalogue, and interpret finds, and help to assemble excavation records leading to the production of a site report. For more information, contact


ANCS 3610/3611 Metaponto Archaeological Field School 
This field school is located in Basilicata, on the 'instep of the boot' of southern Italy. It will carry out archaeological excavations at the Iron Age Indigenous site of Incoronata “greca” (Pisticci), which was eventually incorporated into the territory of the Greek city of Metaponto. Students will gain skills in excavation as well as sorting/cataloguing of finds and archaeological data management. It will be delivered under “Colonialism and Migration: Ancient and Modern,” a dual stream field school in partnership with the Migrant Justice Field School (MJFS; see below). 
Dates: May 15 - June 10, 2023 (May 15-19: remote delivery; May 21-June 10: in the field in Italy). For complete details, see the Metaponto Expression of Interest Form or contact Dr. Sveva Savelli. Read more: SMU classes explore ancient colonial dynamics in Italy.         
SJCS Special Topics 3810/4810 Migrant Justice Field School 
The Migrant Justice Field School (MJFS) offers students a 6.0 credit course (3000 or 4000 level), through student-instructor-community collaborative work—in Halifax, and field work in the Pisticci region of Italy—on global to local colonial, racial and capitalist inequities, and resistance, that shape migration, border and citizenship policing, and the exclusion and labour exploitation of migrants. With unique opportunities to develop community-engaged local to transnational understandings, alliances and advocacy on migrant well-being and rights, and related intersectional inequities, the MJFS will be delivered under the dual field school umbrella, “Colonialism and Migration: Ancient and Modern,” in partnership with the Metaponto Archaeological Field School.
Dates: May 8-June 19 (May 8-19 Hybrid Synchronous; May 21-June 4 Italy field work). Prerequisites: SJCS 1211, 2000, and 2100 or permission of instructor. Apply for the MJFS here. For more details, contact Dr. Val Marie Johnson.  

GEOG 4100 Geography International Field School: The Gambia 
Every other year, the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies offers a field school in The Gambia during the reading week of the fall semester. Students meet on Fridays all semester to prepare for and debrief the experience. You’ll learn about the history, culture and geography of The Gambia. For more information, contact Dr. Cathy Conrad. See this article about the lasting impact from the 2018 class.

GERM 1101/1102/ 2201/2202/3301/3302 Canadian Summer School in Germany (CSSG) 
This German immersion study abroad program offers one full-year university course in six and a half weeks, as well as living with a host family and a full cultural program. You'll have unforgettable experiences like visiting Berlin, watching a Bundesliga soccer match, and touring the city of Kassel with your German tandem partner! This course normally takes place in May-June every year. You must have at least one semester of university German to apply. See 

POLI 4402/4826 Model United Nations
The Model United Nations course trains a delegation of students to compete at the National Model United Nations (NMUN) simulation held in New York City at the end of each winter term. Students represent a UN member country, conduct in-depth research on pressing global issues, draft position papers, negotiate resolutions and learn how UN diplomacy functions in simulated real-world scenarios. This year's Model UN class will in New York from April 1 to 7, with the SMU delegation representing Saint Kitts and Nevis.

RELS 3000/4000 Sacred Space: Rome, from Ancient to Modern (Special Topics course)
The city of Rome offers an extraordinary opportunity to experience and investigate the shape and magnitude of sacred space from ancient to modern times. Students will investigate the variety and shifts in conceptions of sacred space across the religious landscape from Roman times to the present day. Sites chosen to visit will include the Roman Forum, the archaeological site at Ostia Antica, the Catacombs of Priscilla, the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, St. Peter’s Basilica, and many others. 
Dates: Field experience in Rome, May 13 to May 21, 2023; also includes online course components. Costs: Tuition and fees, 3 credits, airfare, and approx. $500 program fee. Limit of 10 students. For more information, contact the instructor, Dr. Margaret MacDonald, and see the Sacred Space Field Course Information and Application Form

SPAN 3777/4400 Post-Conflict, Peace and Development in Colombia 
This field school is 6 credit hours, with classes at Saint Mary's from May 22 to 26 and the rest taking place in Bogotá, Montes de María and Medellín (Colombia) from May 28 to June 10, 2023. Taught in English, it will be a combination of lectures, community projects and other experiential learning opportunities, in partnership with award-winning NGO Sembrando Paz (Montes de María) and the think tank Instituto de Estudios Regionales (INER) at Universidad de Antioquia. Students will develop a deeper understanding of how grassroots organizations work with historical memory, reconciliation and peace projects in Colombia. You'll participate in community projects in some of the areas most affected by the conflict, and learn from top scholars in Colombia working with reconciliation projects, armed conflict, peace studies and development. Students will also visit public institutions such as Museo de Historia Nacional de Colombia, Museo de Memoria de Colombia and Casa Museo de la Memoria in Medellín. 

You must have at least 6 credits in Spanish taken at the university level or a level A2 in Spanish to apply. For more details, see the Colombia Field School Expression of Interest Form or contact Dr. Andrés Arteaga.

Faculty of Arts
Mailing address:
Saint Mary’s University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 3C3