What KPU’s 2020 Field Schools Have to Offer

There are three happening in the spring that students can apply for

Students and faculty take part in The Amazon Interdisciplinary Field School, shown here in 2018. (submitted)

Every year, KPU International offers various field schools that provide students with a great opportunity to travel to new places, experience different cultures, and learn new skills while earning credits.

Apart from the field schools, KPU also offers various exchange programs that provide students with the opportunity to travel, study, and work. These exchange programs have specific criteria for registering into the courses, while field schools are available to any KPU student over the age of 18 with the required number of credits.

There are three field schools coming this May: The Amazon Interdisciplinary Field School, the Canada by Design Field School, and the Berlin-Prague Design Field School.

The Amazon Interdisciplinary Field School, which will run every two years, is taking place for the sixth time starting May 2020. It functions as a six-credit course and field school that “uses an interdisciplinary approach to explore themes of sustainability, conservation, community development, and incorporation of Indigenous perspectives,” according to the Field School’s website.

“The idea of field schools is faculty lead short term cohort and international experience,” says Lucie Gagné, Field School Faculty Leader.

“Being a part of the Amazon field school has powerful experience on the students. The Amazon itself, it is one of the few rare places where you can experience nature and wild in such an omnipresent way.”

Visiting Colombia’s Amazon Rainforest in order to experience its wildlife and cultural diversity is the main point of the field school, and this year, the Amazon Field School will be spent at the Calanoa Natural Reserve, a learning center located on the shore of the Amazon River. There, students can learn about Colombia’s history and culture, from locals and teachers.

“The key objectives for the design field school is how context affect design. Context can be climate, geography, culture, which includes language, religion, food, all of that. Each location has particular lens,” says Gagné.

“The curriculum looks more at experiential learning outcomes, not discipline-specific,” she continues. “[It] puts a lot of freedom in each student to pursue their own interests, and so the key was how they can elaborate their experience, reflect on the experience gained and can communicate some outcome in terms of how they process that experience.”

Applying for these field schools is a step-by-step process. Students are expected to fill out an application with their general information and to answer questions about why they want to be a part of the school. This helps faculty leaders get an idea of what students are expecting, according to Gagné.

The Canada by Design Field school, which includes visits to Banff, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal, is also happening this year, where students will be given opportunities to expand their skills and network.

Another design field school happening this year is the Berlin-Prague Design Field School. This field school is destined to visit Prague, the Czech Republic, and Berlin, Germany, where students will check out significant sites, museums, galleries, top cultural attractions, and key sites of interest related to design.

The deadlines for applying to the Amazon Interdisciplinary Field School and Canada Design Field School have already passed, but students still  have the opportunity to grab their seats for the Berlin-Prague Design Field School. Both scholarships and fundraising opportunities are available to help students cover their expenses, available on KPU’s exchange website.