Global Field Study

Global Field Study Frequently Asked Questions


It is expected that all participants in university-sponsored domestic or international travel will be compliant with the University's Interim COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. Those who have not complied with the Policy will be ineligible to participate in such travel. Those who have complied with the Policy by securing an approved exemption from the vaccination requirement based on a medical condition or religious belief may face some limitations on travel based on factors such as, but not limited to, safety risk to unvaccinated travelers and/or restrictions on unvaccinated travelers at the travel destination, which may not allow for exemptions or which may impose additional requirements that are not the same as the University's. The specific circumstances of the travel will be evaluated by the Travel Advisory Committee. Before applying to participate in travel programs, individuals with questions related to vaccination status should contact

What are Global Field Study Courses?

Global Field Studies (GFS) are 4-credit semester-long courses with a global focus and planned travel component. They are open to juniors and seniors, and sometimes sophomores and graduate students. They can meet major requirements and carry AUC designations. Some courses have prerequisites or other eligibility requirements; see course descriptions for details. Graduate students earn 3 grad-level credits for GFS courses.

Who is eligible to participate in the GFS courses?

  • Full and part-time matriculated juniors and seniors. Some courses accept sophomores and graduate students. 
  • Transfer students who have completed at least one semester (a minimum of 12 credits) of coursework at Arcadia.
  • See course descriptions for details on prerequisites and additional eligibility requirements.

How do I apply for and enroll in a GFS course?

GFS courses are not open to direct registration and appear closed in Self-Service. This is because students must submit an application and meet other eligibility requirements. Most students wishing to apply for GFS courses will receive an emailed invitation to apply for GFS with a personalized application link. If you did not receive an invitation to apply, please contact for assistance. 

Enrollment in GFS courses is on a first-come, first-served basis, and in addition to the GFS application, all GFS applicants must submit a GFS deposit of $300 to finalize registration in their chosen course. This deposit will apply toward the total travel fee for the course and can be paid in person at the Office of Student Accounts or online through Self-Service. 

How are the Field Study topics and location focuses chosen?

Each semester, Global Engagement puts out a call to Arcadia faculty and staff for Global Field Study course proposals. The courses we offer are based on the research interests and expertise of our faculty and staff who lead them. We strive to offer a varied slate of courses, based in different academic disciplines and in different corners of the world, including North America.

What are GFS Travel Fees?

Global Field Study courses carry a travel fee, in addition to your regular tuition. The travel fee range for courses will be listed on the GFS Courses page. Payments can be made online via Self-Service/eBIll, or you may pay by cash or check at the Office of Student Accounts. Make checks payable to Arcadia University.

GFS travel fees vary by course and will be finalized early in the semester the course runs. Total fees depend on the location and the length of the field study. The travel fee typically includes:

  • Airfare
  • Accommodations
  • In-country ground transportation
  • All tours, lectures, and group activities

Travel fees can be paid in installments through any method you usually use to pay account charges. Other cost details specific to your field study location will be outlined by your faculty leader.

Do I need a passport or visa for a GFS course?


Passports are required for all international travel, and you will need to submit a copy to Global Engagement. We strongly recommend that students request expedited passport processing (additional fee applies) for new passport applications and renewals because regular processing time is approximately 3 months. If you currently have a passport, be sure the expiration date is at least 6 months after your return date.

Passport application available through the U.S. State Department website.

Please see this excerpt from the Global Field Study Enrollment Agreement on travel documentation, including valid US passports:

Proper Travel Documentation:

I understand that it is my responsibility to have all travel documents necessary for domestic and/or international program travel. For international travel, this includes a valid passport for the duration of my time abroad and for any required amount of time after I return as stipulated by the immigration policy of my host country.  I agree to obtain any and all visa and clearances prior to my time abroad and ensure I have obtained the proper authorization to study in my host country. I understand that Arcadia University is not responsible for any decisions made by foreign embassies or consulates regarding approval of visa documentation and/or immigration clearance. I understand that the failure to obtain appropriate travel documents may result in my removal from the program and that I will be responsible for the travel fee and any additional non-recoverable costs incurred by Arcadia University on my behalf. 


What if it's not possible to travel to the planned field study location? 

Sometimes, Arcadia needs to change travel plans in order to keep everyone as safe as possible. Please read this excerpt from the Global Field Study Enrollment Agreement with more information:

Arcadia University reserves the right to cancel, alter, suspend, or amend any part of any program or to increase fees should circumstances make these actions advisable or necessary. I understand that the program calendar dates posted on the Arcadia University website are tentative in nature, and can change at any time. Arcadia University will alert me of any such changes and will work to minimize any disruption to my planning. 

Can I drop a GFS Course?

The drop period for GFS courses ends one day (24 hours) after your first class meeting.  At that time, you will be responsible for the entire amount of the travel fee for your GFS course, even if you later withdraw. In most cases, students who drop a course before it begins will not be refunded their GFS deposit because the university will have incurred costs on the students' behalf. 

Please see this exerpt from the Global Field Study Enrollment Agreement pertaining to the drop policy for GFS courses:


I understand that the drop period for GFS courses ends one day (24 hours) after my first class meeting. After the 24-hour drop period, the travel fee for the GFS course will be placed on my student account and must be paid in full 2 weeks before the end of the semester in which the course travels. The travel fee will remain my responsibility to pay even if I withdraw from the GFS course at any point during the semester after the initial 24-hour drop period.  Withdrawals or dismissals from the program for academic or disciplinary reasons are subject to additional fees for non-recoverable expenses.


In the case of the total cancellation of your course, students will be refunded any monies paid toward the course. If a course continues but the field study portion is altered, students may be responsible to pay alternate programming costs necessary to meet the academic goals of the course, such as local excursions and guest speakers, etc. Students will be informed in a timely manner about these fees.