Post-Acceptance Steps

After you've been accepted...

You will work closely with the SFS Admissions Department to prepare for your specific program. We have outlined the process below – use this information to guide your preparation for the field!

Medical Approval
Travel and Visas
Packing and Planning
Log Into your SFS Portal


Enrollment Forms

To confirm your enrollment in the program, you will complete a series of checklist items via your SFS portal. Your participation is contingent upon receipt and approval of the following forms:

  • Emergency Contacts
  • Passport Information Form
  • Passport Scan Upload
  • FERPA Notice & Consent Form
  • Enrollment Form

The due date for these items will be assigned by the SFS Admissions Department and will require immediate attention. Please refer to the due dates indicated on your checklist! If you require an extension, please contact SFS Admissions.


Once you have confirmed your enrollment in an SFS program, you will be assigned your enrollment contract and pay your program deposit.

  • If you are responsible for your deposit you will be asked to complete
    this payment by the due date assigned by the SFS Admissions Department and will require immediate action. Please refer to the due dates indicated on your checklist!
  • If your school is paying the deposit to SFS on your behalf, they will receive the invoice directly from SFS.

Program Commitment Deposit amounts are as follows:

  • $600 for semester programs
  • $300 for summer programs

Program-Specific Items

Depending on your program you may be required to submit additional items. You will receive instructions from the SFS Admissions Department.

Eligibility Requirements


All SFS students must be at least 18 years old by the start date of their program. Gap-year, post-grad, international, and other non-traditional students are welcome to apply.


SEMESTER: one semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental science/studies

SUMMER: no course prerequisite


Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8 for semester programs, or 2.6 for summer programs. Students with GPAs slightly below this are still encouraged to apply.

Medical Approval

Students enrolled in an SFS program are required to complete the SFS medical approval process. Read more about the Medical Approval Process

Medical Paperwork Deadlines

  • Fall Programs: June 1
  • Spring Programs: November 1
  • Summer I or Summer Combined: April 1
  • Summer II: May 1

NOTE that these are not application deadlines — if you apply for and are accepted to a program after the medical form submission deadline has passed, you will work closely with SFS to promptly submit the required forms. If you plan to apply close to the start of an SFS session, be aware that forms, information, and payment may be due immediately upon acceptance.

Travel and Visas

Booking your Travel

Students will work closely with the SFS Admissions Department to arrange travel and are responsible for the cost of these flights. You will receive specific travel instructions about 3-4 months prior to the start of your SFS program – do not book flights before receiving these instructions.

Arriving to your Program

SFS staff will meet students at the designated arrivals airport on the date and at the time specified in the airport letter sent to you 1-3 weeks before departure and will provide transportation to the Center. If you plan to arrive in country before the set arrival date for personal travel, please contact the SFS Admissions Department.

Travel Documents & Visas

VISA: You will receive specific instructions about the necessary visa process from the SFS Admissions Department well in advance of your program. DO NOT apply for a visa prior to receiving these instructions.

  • Non-US citizens may require an alternate visa process. Please contact your nearest Consulate to discuss.

PASSPORT: You must have a passport to enter all the countries where you plan to travel. Make certain that your passport is valid until six months after your intended departure. You must have your valid passport in-hand four months prior to the start of the program. If you will not be able to meet this timeline, please contact SFS Admissions.

Packing and Planning

What to Bring

Ready to pack your bags? You can find the packing list in the Field Guide for your program.

Non-Program Time

SFS programs may include non-program time such as weekends away or mid-semester breaks. These vary by program; dates and details will
be given to students upon arrival are not available in advance. During these times, the Center will be closed and students will be financially responsible for their accommodations.

Your Identity Abroad

We seek to cultivate a diverse student body and to create an inclusive environment to support every student from the time they apply, to when they return from the field, and beyond. Visit our Diversity & Inclusion page for some resources to help you think about your identity and how that will impact your experiences abroad.