Our programs are one-of-a-kind, and the benefits of studying with SFS last a lifetime.
Our goal is for students to gain a global perspective that informs and challenges their opinions about the world around them as they experience a culture completely different from their own.
Learning about other cultures can assist students in better understanding their own origins, cultural values, and biases. This will influence their interactions with people from different cultures while abroad and long after they have returned to the U.S. During SFS programs, students live in tight-knit communities with their peers, SFS staff, and local residents, while engaging frequently in various community interaction and service activities. Many students have informed us that their study abroad experience helped them build teamwork skills and learn from each other’s differences, resulting in increased maturity and self-confidence.
For more than three decades, SFS has been teaching students about environmental issues in local contexts around the world.
During SFS programs, much of the classroom is found in the world outside. The interdisciplinary academic schedule consists of field trips, field work, field lectures, and classroom lectures. Working with our permanent, full-time faculty team, students gain a deeper, more nuanced understanding of complex environmental issues. Learn more about the environmental issues studied at each Center.
“I came to understand the fundamentals of research, and developed a profound appreciation for the mental and sometimes physical rigor that goes into conducting a field study or experiment.”
– Ben Goldfarb, Australia Fall ’07
“The benefits that my daughter gained from her experience at SFS Peru would not fit on this page. She experienced the jungle and the mountains in way that she could never have done through independent travel or normal school work. Spending months with expert biologists in the field was exceptionally valuable to her education, her feeling of independence and helping her find her mission in life.”Deb Rzucidlo
SFS offers unique opportunities for students to learn important field skills and techniques, and enables them to pursue their own research projects focused on critical environmental issues.
Many SFS students express an interest in field-based careers, and SFS gives them the chance to experience life in the field first-hand. This often gives them a better clarity of future goals. SFS programs can also ignite a career path that a student may not have even considered before their experience abroad. Potential employers are also often impressed by an applicant with international field experience, proving he or she has learned skills such as commitment, flexibility, and self-motivation.
“Without a doubt, I would not be where I am today if it was not for SFS and my experiences in Turks and Caicos.”
– Aubrey Ellertson, Turks & Caicos Spring ’09