Thank you for supporting your student in their pursuit of international environmental education.
With The School for Field Studies (SFS), your student is setting out on a journey of discovery, adventure, and personal and professional growth. This journey begins with preparation. SFS asks students to take responsibility for, and be fully involved in, the planning and logistics of their study abroad experience. We provide them with the necessary tools and expect that they use these tools–and call or email SFS if they have additional questions. Taking an active role in all aspects of the program leads to greater learning and development, and a better experience for everyone.
As a parent or family member of an SFS student, we know that you have questions of your own. This section is designed to help you find out what’s going on and connect you to the SFS community.
The Importance of Family Support
If your student decides to study abroad with SFS, your support will play an invaluable role in their success. Students often count on parents and guardians to assist them as needed with some of their pre-program planning, especially on issues such as travel, financial aid and billing, and health and safety. We also recognize that the best-prepared students in the field are those who committed to being actively involved in their preparation prior to departure.
We understand that many students are inexperienced with international travel and all of the logistics involved. It is our intention to make the preparation process as straightforward as possible. Accepted students are provided with thorough materials to get them started in their preparations. In addition, each student is assigned an SFS Admissions Counselor, who is available to provide guidance and answers to any questions that are not addressed in the acceptance materials or subsequent mailings. Please encourage your student to take an active role in preparing for his or her program, as it is an important part of journey.
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All students who attend SFS programs are legal adults. Therefore, our communication will be primarily directed toward our students. We do strongly encourage students to share important information regarding program logistics, academics, and any health matters or concerns, with their parents or guardians.
In certain circumstances, such as medical emergencies or critical issues in the field, SFS will make every effort to contact parents or guardians or place them in direct communication with their student.
In the event that you need to share urgent information, or reach your student while on-program, please contact SFS Headquarters in Beverly, Massachusetts, at 978.741.3544. Office hours are 8:30am to 5:00pm EST, Monday through Friday.
SFS maintains a 24-hour emergency message system while students are in the field. This system is for reporting family emergencies that require immediate contact with a student in the field, or to report a problem with a student in transit to or from one of the SFS field stations.
To leave a message, which will page a staff member, call 978.741.3544; once prompted, press 2 for the emergency system.
NOTE: Issues or emergencies that arise in the field are reported directly to the SFS Safety Department. SFS will then contact appropriate parties as necessary.
As a parent, guardian, or family member of an SFS student, we know that you have questions of your own. The SFS Field Preparation Guides and Program Manuals contain important information about academics, policies, procedures, packing lists, and logistics. Please use these documents, which you can find on the program pages for each SFS Center, for guidance and information on issues such as travel and contact information while your student is in the field.
To learn more about the steps students take to enroll in an SFS program through their departure, check out our After Acceptance page. To learn more about health insurance during the program, please visit our Health Insurance page.