Field Schools and Field Trips


VIU Field Schools offer a variety of short term Education Abroad programs led by faculty that range from exploring the cuisine of Italy to discovering international business practices in China. By taking part in one of our short term programs you will gain valuable in-the-field experience while exposing yourself to new ideas, people, cultures and adventure. Field schools offered by VIU range from 10 days and 6 weeks abroad, and are led by VIU faculty members.

The list below will change throughout the year, as field school programs are developed and promoted.

2019 - 2020 Field Schools




Dates: January 4 - 19, 2020 (dates subject to change)
Destinations: Belgium, France

Join us as we set out on our fifth field school to explore the world of chocolate, pastry, and bread in Belgium and France. Both culinary and baking aficionados will enjoy the dizzying array of hands-on workshops, tours of chocolate and baking factories, Belgian chocolate shops, and the very best of Parisian pastry, bread, and chocolate. Cheer on Canada at the Baking Coupe du Monde (World Cup) Competition at Europain in Paris. This is one of the world's largest baking related trade shows and it is jam-packed with vendors selling everything from gigantic revolving ovens to the very latest pastry gadgets. You will also have two free days in Paris to explore the city of take a day trip to nearby historical sites such as Versailles, Fontainebleu, Chantilly and many more!


Dates: May 1 - 21 (dates subject to change)
Destinations: Germany, Austria, Slovenia & Croatia


Information Sessions:

Building 250, Room 120
Tuesday, September 17
Tuesday, September 24
Tuesday, October 1

This 9 credit field school will visit Croatia, Slovenia, Austria and Germany. Participants can expect to take part in industry tours of breweries, the BMW plant near Munich, meeting a representative of a EU agency, visiting a Croatian Telecom company and other businesses, such as bakeries and a 3D Printing company. There will be castles to see, a cruise on the Adriatic, 3 and 4 star hotels, one of which will be beachfront , and the ability to enjoy Europe with your classmates - all while studying at the same time.

Process to Apply

1. Explore Your Options

Find out what is happening in your Faculty or Program area!  Many programs start to promote their upcoming field schools a semester or more in advance, through posters, presentations and through the Education Abroad website.  If you're unsure, ask us or connect with your Program Chair.

2. Express Your Interest 

For most field schools, the field school leaders will gather Expression of Interest Forms from interested participants.  These forms can be found in the individual field school websites or can be obtained from the field school leaders directly.  An interview may follow, and references may be required.  If you are accepted, the Education Abroad office will be in touch about the timing of the next steps.

3. Secure Your Seat with a Deposit

Once accepted, students will receive a welcome message from VIU Education Abroad with instructions to pay the deposit and complete the waiver form.  All field school deposits & subsequent payments are made through the VIU Student Record System.  Charges will appear under "My Fees - Field School Fees."  Students can make their payments through their record, using online or telephone banking.  Note: VIU does not accept credit cards for field school payments.

An initial non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to secure a seat in most programs.  Please review the Cancellation & Refund Procedures.


Education Abroad Office
Faculty of International Education
Building 255 
Phone: 250-753-3245 x2494


VIU Adventures in Mind to England 2019

July 12 - August 2, 2019

The Cathedrals of England Adventure provides a stimulating yet relaxed exploration of the styles of architecture which have formed the tradition of church-building in the British Isles, and of the styles of music which has been written specifically for church performance.

This is not a religious studies program, as it is concerned only with the secular subjects of art history and music history. We will visit several cathedrals, listen to live and recorded music, and learn about the historical transitions through which music and architecture have passed in the last thousand years. Of central interest will be the myriad connections between these two art-forms.

Under expert guidance, a group of 6-10 participants will encounter the architecture and music of cathedrals through tours, concerts, lectures and seminar discussions, with ample free time for independent activity. Participants are encouraged to share their background knowledge and developing understanding with others, so that all benefit in their learning.

VIU Adventures in Mind to Italy 2019

May 7 - 30, 2019

This Adventure provides a stimulating interdisciplinary exploration of one of the most dynamic and significant periods in the history of European culture. The setting is perfect because of the immense contribution of Florence to the Renaissance, the 14th-16th century blossoming of humanistic learning and artistic endeavour.

Our Adventure will cover art, architecture and literature through the works of such figures as Dante, Giotto, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Masaccio, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Gentileschi. Activities include lecture/presentations, seminar discussions and visits to museums, galleries and other sites, in Florence and elsewhere. Optional preparatory sessions will be available in Nanaimo in late April.

 VIU Anthropology and Geography Field School to China

May 7 - 24, 2019

Living on Vancouver Island, many are not so aware of the impact of Asia (the East) upon North America (the West), except perhaps in the context of the large international student contingent from East Asia.  There has been contact between the continents over centuries through people, trade, and ideas.  By visiting locales closer to home (Vancouver, Richmond), students will be introduced to some of these connections evident in the landscape, the people, and food culture.  When in China, whether China proper or its special administrative regions (SAR), i.e., Macau and Hong Kong, those associations found in Canada will become even more apparent and vice versa.  If not for the East, where would our tea drinking habit be or even the colonisation of North America by ‘explorers’ seeking a trade route to Asia?  Through travel, students have a unique opportunity to study by direct experience; in addition to learning through the usual complementary written resources.

VIU Management Field School to Europe (Croatia, Slovenia, Austria and Germany) 2019

May 1 - 21, 2019

This 9 credit field school will visit Croatia, Slovenia, Austria and Germany. Participants can expect to take part in industry tours of breweries, the BMW plant near Munich, meeting a representative of a Russian bank,  visiting Croatian national parks, a salt mine,   a Unesco site, conference attendance that will allow the student to meet researchers from all over the world.

 VIU Baking and Culinary Field School to Italy 

February 23 - March 10, 2019

Baking students and alumni are invited to join the biannual field trip. This year the program will be based in Florence, Italy.

 VIU Management Field School to France

May 1 - 18, 2019

This 9 credit program takes you to France to increase your knowledge, skills and abilities in the subject of wine business and marketing by exploring the French wine industry. We will use a combination of academic study and experiential learning to understand the cultural, media, legal and marketing mix influences on the Wine Supply Chain, from grower to consumer. 


VIU English and Geography Field School to Trieste, Italy

May 16 - June 1, 2019

Trieste, with its historical links to Italian, Germanic, and Slavic cultures, and located between the Adriatic Sea and Karst mountains, provides an excellent case study of a cultural contact zone. As author Jan Morris notes, “in this city, the lines between fact and fiction, past and present, the explicit and the enigmatic, let alone between one ethnicity and another, always seem to be uncertain.”

We will explore the uncertain space of Trieste by studying the city’s literature, history, geography, art, and architecture. We will try to answer the following questions: What happens when borders shift, populations migrate, and cultures collide? Are cultural values maintained, recreated, or at risk? Are there opportunities for collaboration and cooperation? How does geography shape culture, and vice versa?


VIU Tourism and Recreation Field School to Ghana

May 1 - June 3, 2019

This 12 credit directed studies field school to Ghana will visit Accra, Atsiekpoe, Kumasi, Wechiau, Mole National Park, and Cape Cost. The field school travels through rural and remote Ghana. They will work with Joliako Eco-Tours, the Wechia Community Hippo Sanctuary, and KNUST in Kumasi. Minimum enrollment is 7 students and the maximum is 9. 


 VIU Marketing Field School to Taiwan and China

May 1 - 21, 2019

This international field school is headed to Taiwan and China. They will visit Taipei, Shanghai and Hangzhou. Research & Consumer Insights, Chinese Consumer Behavior, and Marketing to China are the different 3 credit courses offered through this sessional field school. Some activities may include visiting the Shilin Night Market and other cultural activities along with meeting different Marketing and Global Directors.

VIU Engineering Field School to Vietnam

May 13 - June 3, 2019

Students will head to Vietnam and visit Tra Vinh University located in the Tra Vinh Province. They will be completing a 3 credit course during their directed studies. Some activities will include electrical maintenance projects, an introduction to playground equipment, visits to Ba Om Pond, Hang Pagoda, museums and a Tra Vinh City tour.



VIU Baking & Pastry Field School to Belgium & France
January 27 - February 11, 2018

In addition to learning about french culinary and baking culture in France, the program will also include travel to  Belgium to visit the Callebaut chocolate factory and the Puratos Bakery Ingredient Innovation Centre. In France, participants will visit the Lesaffre Yeast Company and attend Europain - A world bakery, pastry, ice cream, chocolate and confectionery trade show & exhibition in Paris.


VIU Sport, Health & Physical Education Field School to Belize
April 26 - May 6, 2018

Students will spend an interactive week at Holy Cross Anglican School in the San Mateo district of San Pedro, on Ambergris Caye in Belize.  At the school, the participants will plan and engage in various physical activity and sport programs with the students.  There may also be an opportunity to develop lessons combining numeracy, literacy and physical activity.  Non-school related activity will include exploration of the many aspects of life on Ambergris Caye, as the gateway to the World's second largest barrier reef.

VIU Recreation & Tourism Field School to Costa Rica (Heart of Gold Project)
May 1 - 20, 2018

This study tour provides students with opportunities to apply the skills and knowledge they have gained within the VIU Recreation and Tourism Program in a real-world setting and help enhance and further the Heart of Gold Project’s goals.  Students will engage in participant observation and may be engaged in  other qualitative research at the ‘Heart of Gold’ Project’s primary study site in the Los Santos Region during the 10 day.  ‘Students will also explore issues related to diversifying small-scale farming economies, eco- and agro-tourism development, and livelihood sustainability in the field.


VIU Management Wine Field School to France
May 1 - May 18, 2018 

This 9 credit program takes you to France to increase your knowledge, skills and abilities in the subject of wine business and marketing by exploring the French wine industry.  The program will begin their exploration in Champagne, followed by stop overs in Dijon and the Burgundy region, before moving south to Beaujolais and then onto the Northern Rhone wine region, and lastly spending a few days in Paris before departure.

VIU Business Field School to Mainland China and Taiwan
May 1 - May 25, 2018 

This field school will cover key areas involved in creating business in China.  Canadian and other international companies need to know how to break into the world’s second largest and fastest growing economy.  Students will gain insight into how to do that by meeting International and Chinese companies and organizations involved in market development and conducting business in China.  As leading business and finance centers in China, Shanghai and Taipei will be the focus of our investigation.

VIU Liberal Studies Field School to Italy, Florence (re-directs to Faculty page)
May 2 - June 3, 2018 

An interdisciplinary exploration of one of the most dynamic and significant periods in the history of European culture. The setting - the city of Florence - is perfect because of its immense contribution to the Renaissance, the 14th-16th century reawakening of humanistic learning and artistic endeavour.  Explore the art, architecture, literature, science and philosophy. Participants attend lectures, concerts and visits to museums, galleries and other artistic sites, in Florence and elsewhere, and meet in small seminars to discuss the writings of the period.  Contact with questions or to apply.

VIU Earth Science Field School to Yellowstone National Park, USA
August 18 - 29, 2018

Yellowstone is one of the world’s largest volcanic systems, which  straddles the boundaries between Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, USA. This park was the first National Park created in the United States, largely because of the impressive geological wonders that can be observed here.  On this field course students will travel by bus to Yellowstone to observe the unique volcanic and hydrothermal features. Participants will spend 10 days studying the geologic history of the region, learn about the methods used to monitor and understand the volcano, and consider the hazard that such a large volcanic system poses to humans.

VIU Recreation & Tourism Field School to Sao Paulo, Brazil
August 24 - September 1

The focus of the field school will explore Dark Tourism, which can be studied under various names; favela, slum, township, poverty tourism and poorism.  A community based response to the growing demand for tourism in the favela, and an organized response to the exploitation carried on by favela tours today has a far reaching leisure context that will be explored in Sao Paulo, Brazil. 



Field schools offered by VIU range from 10 days and 6 weeks abroad, and are led by VIU faculty members.

(*) indicates which programs are open to students from other institutions and/or members of the general public.




ITALY, Florence*

Liberal Studies


May 3 - June 4




 May 2 -14

EU - Finland, Estonia, Sweden



April 28 - May 21





May 1 - 22




May 25 - June 5


Early Childhood Education & Care (ECEC) – Practicum


April 17 – May 15


Adventures in Mind


Tentative Dates May 13 - June 4, 2017




May 1 – June 16

USA, Alaska

First Nations Studies


May 21 - 27

USA, Arizona

Sociology & Criminology


February 15 – 26

USA, New York

Art & Design

Contacts: &

February 18 - 26