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Student Guide

Student guide for Archaeology field schools.

Welcome to UCLA Archaeology Field Program!

As you look forward to your Field Program opportunity this summer, please read this guide to help organize your pre-departure arrangements.  These pages contain important details on student conduct and safety abroad that will better prepare you for your travels. Please read all sections carefully to make this summer a truly wonderful experience.  For more program-specific details visit and be sure to check your e-mail regularly for information from the UCLA International Education Office.

You have a lot to look forward to. You’ll be joining a group of professional archaeologists who are working on sites with great potential for scientific discovery. You’ll enjoy the teamwork that comes with a group project of this type and you’ll learn many practical archaeological skills that will help you evaluate future opportunities in the field.

Student Guide

Courses and Grading 
URSA Online 
Application Retrieval 
Financial Aid 
Final Payment 
Cancellations and Refunds 
Accommodations and Meals 
Money Management 
Student Conduct 
Avoiding Legal Difficulties 
Safety Advice 
Health Advice 
Packing Tips 


Courses and Grading

Required Courses

Each program has a required course cur­riculum. Students are automatically enrolled in this curriculum by the International Education Office.  These courses are manda­tory and cannot be dropped without ter­minating your participation in the program. You may review your course enrollments beginning in March at

Grading Basis
UCLA Archaeology Field Programs are of a serious academic nature. Grades transfer au­tomatically for all UC students and become part of your permanent academic record.

All programs must be taken for a letter grade. Auditing and pass/no pass are not al­lowed for Archaeology Field Programs.

Grades and Transcript Information
For summer programs, grades should be available via URSA ( after October 1.
UCLA Students:  Summer grades are usually posted to your regular transcript when fall grades are processed.
Other UC Students: Transcripts are available after October 15.
Non-UC Students:  Official hard copy tran­scripts are usually available after October 1.
To request an official transcript, visit:


URSA Online
URSA OnLine is UCLA’s online student records system. As an Archaeology Field Program student, you now have access to URSA OnLine.  For first-time users of URSA OnLine, you will need your UCLA ID number to create a logon ID and password. Your UCLA ID number is included in your confirmation e-mail.

Use URSA OnLine to pay your balance by the final payment deadline. Use URSA to order transcripts.

If you forget your URSA OnLine logon ID or password, you can look up your logon ID and reset your password at the URSA OnLine Web site.


Application Retrieval 
As a registered program participant, you can access your online application to research important program details and update some of your personal information.
You will need to enter your name, program and date of birth. Your registration number, which was sent to you in your confirmation e-mail, is also required. For assistance with a lost registration number please e-mail our office at:

You can do the following via the retrieve function:

  • Read the Faculty Director’s
  • Welcome Letter
  • Learn the date, time, and location of your pre-departure orientation
  • Upload a digital photo and copy of your passport
  • Switch from one program to another
  • Add or drop optional courses
  • Select a roommate
  • Update your passport information
  • Update your health history
  • Cancel your participation


Financial Aid

Please note that ALL students applying for financial aid assume full responsibility for all program fees. Any decision to cancel your participation in a program must be made by the cancellation deadline. Students who cancel after the applicable deadline will be charged the full program fee.

Quarter Abroad Egypt (Winter Quarter)

UCLA Students
Financial aid is available to qualified continu­ing UCLA students.  To apply for financial aid, students must:

  • pay the $300 nonrefundable deposit to secure a spot in the program;
  • submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 2, 2010. The application is available online beginning January 1, 2010 at ;
  • submit the Online Financial Aid application for Archaeology Field Programs to the UCLA Financial Aid Office by October 1, 2010.

Visiting Students
If you are not a UCLA student, you should consult with your home institution about financial aid.  Visiting students must submit a signed Non-UCLA Student Financial Aid Agreement form to the International Education Office by October 1, 2010.


Final Payment  
Final payment for your program is due October 1, 2010. You will not receive a paper billing statement in the mail. E-mail reminders will be sent to you.

You may review your balance at URSA OnLine.  You will need your UCLA ID Number to access URSA for the first time (please see the section on URSA OnLine above).
Financial aid recipients who have submitted all financial aid documents by the appropriate deadlines are exempt from the final payment deadline.

UCLA financial aid will disburse directly to the students’ billing account.  Visiting financial aid recipients must pay their program balance in full at least 10 days prior to the program start date.


Cancellations and Refunds

Cancellation Policy for Fall Programs

  • The $300 deposit is not refundable under any circumstance
  • Paid program fees (minus the $300 deposit) are refundable until April 2, 2010
  • No refunds are available after April 2, 2010.

Failure to cancel by April 2, 2010 will result in a bill for the full program fee.

Students will forfeit any refund if they decide for any reason to terminate their participation in the program after it has begun.

In the event that UCLA must cancel a program, all registered students will be notified immediately and given a full refund of program fees (including the $300 deposit).

Cancellation Policy for Winter Program

  • The $300 deposit is not refundable under any circumstance
  • Paid program fees (minus the $300 deposit) are refundable until October 1, 2010
  • No refunds are available after October 1, 2010;

Failure to cancel by October 1, 2010 will result in a bill for the full program fee.

Students will forfeit any refund if they decide for any reason to terminate their participation in the program after it has begun.

In the event that UCLA must cancel a program, all registered students will be notified immediately and given a full refund of program fees (including the $300 deposit).



All students on international programs are required to have a valid passport. Your pass­port should be valid for at least six months beyond the date you expect to return to the United States. Allow approximately three to six weeks for your passport application to be processed if you do not currently have a valid passport.

For information on obtaining a passport, visit

Participants in these programs will receive information about obtaining their visas from the Travel Information page. Please wait for instructions before applying for a visa. If you are not a U.S. citizen, a tourist visa may be required.  Please visit the consular Web sites for the countries you will be visiting for instructions on obtaining your tourist visa. Do not apply for a student visa.

Travel Arrangements
You are responsible for making your own travel arrangements to and from your program destination. Some programs may require you to arrange transportation during the program. Be sure to follow flight instructions for your program carefully.

We recommend shopping around for airfares as soon as possible. If you need assistance
with air travel, STA Travel can assist you. They have locations around the U.S. including
Westwood: STA Travel

There are also a variety of Web sites designed for booking air travel. You might compare flight prices on some of the following sites:

Withdrawals after a program has begun
Successful academic achievement on field programs requires the full participation of all students, and we expect students are prepared to complete the program. UCLA strongly discourages students from withdrawing after a program has begun.

However, we recognize that, due to unforeseen circumstances, some students may need to leave a program early. In these rare instances, students must meet with their program director and complete the petition-to-withdraw form obtained from the International Education Office. If approved, students must vacate the program housing within 72 hours and are not permitted to attend classes or any program-related excursions.



Accomodations and Meals

Program accommodations are typically based on double or triple occupancy. You may request another program participant as your roommate anytime before May 31. Otherwise, a roommate will be selected for you. Please note that UCLA cannot accommodate requests for roommates of the opposite sex. If you did not indicate a roommate request at the time of registration, you may retrieve your application to make your request up until May 31. Both participants must request each other.

Vegetarian and Other Diets
When possible, we will try to provide vegetar­ian options at group meals. Please keep in mind that in many countries vegetarianism will not always be understood. Also note that the diversity of food options available at home may not exist abroad. If vegetarian options exist in the country you are visiting, they may be quite limited. If you have other dietary restrictions, please be aware that the program may not be able to accommodate your needs. Be sure to notify the International Education Office of any dietary requirements you may have. We will do our best to accommodate you.

Safety in Housing

  • Keep your door locked at all times.
  • Meet visitors in the lobby.
  • Do not leave money and other valuables in your room while you are out.
  • If you are staying in a hotel, use the hotel safe.
  • Let someone know when you expect to return if you are out late at night or leave town.
  • If you are alone, do not get on an elevator if there is a suspicious-looking person inside.
  • Know how to report a fire. Be sure you know where the nearest fire exits and alternate exits are located.


Money Management

Careful planning of your finances is important. Adjusting to a new currency and to the prices in a new country can produce some anxiety. As you prepare for your trip:

  • Remember that how much you spend on your program ultimately depends on the choices you make about travel, food, shopping, entertainment, etc.
  • With regard to spending money, make it last the duration of you trip. Always over estimate your spending. Budget your extra food money first.  When buying gifts or souvenirs think about how you will transport them home.
  • The exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and foreign currencies are not fixed.
    The rates change daily.  Visit to get a sense of how rates change.
  • Exchange about $100 before you depart. You will need some cash in local currency when you arrive at your destination.  This will also give you an opportunity to become familiar with the currency.
  • It is best to take a combination of ATM cards, credit cards, and traveler’s checks. Keep an accurate record of credit card, ATM card, and traveler’s check numbers separate from the cards and checks themselves. Make a list of phone numbers to report lost or stolen cards and checks. Remember, 1-800 numbers do not work overseas.
  • Keep in mind that your bank may charge an ATM transaction fee for each withdrawal. Check with your bank before you go and include those fees in your budget.

Handling Money and Documents Safely

  • Visit ATMs or change your traveler’s checks only as you need currency.  Countersign traveler’s checks only in front of the person who will cash them.
  • Do not flash large amounts of money when paying a bill. Make sure your credit card is returned to you after each transaction.
  • Deal only with authorized agents when you exchange money, buy airline tickets, or purchase souvenirs. Do not change money on the black market.
  • If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police. Keep a copy of the police report for insurance claims. Ask the police to provide you with an English translation of the police report (if necessary).
  • After reporting missing items to the police, report the loss or theft of:
    • traveler’s checks to the nearest agent of the issuing company;
    • credit cards to the issuing company;
    • airline tickets to the airline or travel agent;
    • passport to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.


Student Conduct 
Your participation in a UCLA Archaeology Field Program makes you a representative of UCLA. Therefore, you must adhere to the UCLA Student Code of Conduct. Students are subject to disciplinary action for several types of misconduct or attempted misconduct, including but not limited to:

  • Dishonesty, such as cheating, multiple submission, plagiarism, or knowingly furnishing false information to the University;
  • Forgery, alteration, or misuse of University documents, keys, or identification;
  • Theft of, damage to, or destruction of any property of the University or property of others while on University premises, as well as on the premises of all property provided by the program;
  • Failure to pay bills for extra services or incidentals associated with the program;
  • Unauthorized entry to or use of University properties, equipment, or resources, including those abroad;
  • Disruption of teaching, research, administration, or other University activities;
  • Physical abuse, threats of violence, rape, or other forms of sexual assault, or conduct      that threatens the health or safety of any person on University property or in connection with official University functions, including those activities taking place abroad;
  • Disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, or failure to comply with the directions of a University employee acting in his/her official capacity;
  • Use, possession, sale, distribution, or manufacture of alcohol on University properties or at official University functions;
  • Unlawful use, possession, sale, distribution, or manufacture of controlled substances, identified in federal and state laws or regulations, on University properties or at official University functions.

Students in violation of the code of conduct will be expelled from the program at the instructor’s discretion. In the event a student is expelled, the student is not eligible to receive a refund of any of the fees paid to UCLA.

Expelled students will not be permitted to par­ticipate in any program activity or be entitled to any program benefits including, but not limited to, travel, meals, and housing. Furthermore, the student will be responsible for any additional costs incurred for lodging and transportation once expelled.


Drinking alcohol while socializing is common in many parts of the world. The attitude in some countries toward alcohol may be much different than in the United States. Drinking in some countries is part of the social experience, but not the focus of it. Excessive drinking or drunken behavior is not acceptable. Public drunkenness is illegal in many countries. If your consumption of alcohol becomes disruptive
to your program, it is cause for immediate expulsion. If you choose to drink, please be responsible.

Avoiding Legal Difficulties

When you are in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws and are under its jurisdiction NOT the protection of the U.S. Constitution. You can be arrested overseas for actions that may be either legal or considered minor infrac­tions in the United States. Be aware of what is considered criminal in the country where you are.

If you are arrested on a drug or criminal charge, it is important that you know what can and cannot be done. Always use your one phone call to contact the nearest United States embassy or consulate.

The U.S. Consular Officer CAN:

  • visit you in jail after being notified of your arrest;
  • give you a list of local attorneys;
  • intercede with local authorities to make sure your rights under local law are fully observed and that you are treated humanely;
  • protest mistreatment or abuse  to the appropriate authorities.

The U.S. Consular Officer CANNOT:

  • demand your immediate release or get you out of jail;
  • represent you at trial or give legal counsel;
  • pay legal fees or fines with U.S. government funds.


Safety Advice

Please remember that no place on earth is perfectly safe. Any travel carries with it certain inherent risks.  In most instances, many of the trials and tribulations of travel abroad can be avoided by taking certain precautions. Please read the following safety tips before you depart for your program. We hope you will have a safe and healthy stay abroad.

Do your Research
Take the time to research the countries you will be visiting.  Buy an up-to-date travel guide and use the Web. A few Web sites worth visiting are:
For information about health and safety abroad, we recommend that you visit the following sites:   

Stay in Contact
Make arrangements to contact your family periodically.  Check in when you arrive to let your family know you have arrived safely. If you leave town to sightsee during free time and weekends, please let the Program Director or Teaching Assistant (TA) know where you are going.  If you go out with people who are not part of the program, please let the Program Director or TA know the names of those people.

Safety on the Street
Use the same common sense traveling over­seas that you would at home. Be especially cautious in crowded subways, train stations, elevators, tourist sites, marketplaces, festivals, and avoid peripheral areas of cities.

  • Always remain aware of your surroundings;
  • Don’t use shortcuts, narrow alleys, or poorly-lit streets;
  • Avoid traveling alone;
  • Avoid public demonstrations and other civil disturbances;
  • Keep a low profile and avoid loud conversations or arguments. Do not discuss travel plans or other personal matters with strangers;
  • Avoid scam artists. Beware of strangers who approach you offering bargains or offering to be your guide;
  • Beware of pickpockets. They often have an accomplice who will:
    • jostle you;
    • ask you for directions or the time;
    • point to something spilled on your clothing;
    • or distract you by creating a disturbance;
  • Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest and walk with the bag away from the curb to avoid drive-by purse snatchers;
  • Try to seem purposeful when you move about. Even if you are lost, act as if you know where you are going.  When possible, ask directions only from individuals in authority;
  • Know how to use a pay telephone and have the proper change or token on hand;
  • Learn a few phrases in the local language so you can signal your need for help, the police, or a doctor. Make a note of emergency telephone numbers you may need: police, fire, your hotel, and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate;
  • If you are confronted, don’t fight back. Give up your valuables.

Safety on Public Transportation

Taxis: Only take taxis clearly identified with official markings.  Beware of unmarked cabs.
Make sure the meter is running.

Buses/Trains: Be vigilant when taking public transit.

  • If you see your way being blocked by a stranger and another person is very close to you from behind, move away. This can happen in the corridor of the train or on the platform or station.
  • Do not accept food or drinks from strangers.
  • When taking overnight trains, lock your compartment. If it cannot be locked securely, or if you are sharing a compartment with other travelers, tie down your luggage, strap your valuables to you, and sleep on top of them as much as possible.
  • Do not be afraid to alert authorities if you feel threatened in any way.


Health Advice

Maintaining good health is imperative when traveling and studying overseas. It is more important that students actively maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to maximize their experience abroad. Below are some tips on how to remain healthy while traveling.

Medical Services
Information about local health services will be provided after arrival at your study site. Please keep the Director of your program aware of any and all medical issues that arise during your program.

Prescriptions, Vitamins, and Other Medicines
Students who regularly take any medication should take an adequate supply of it to last for the entire period abroad. If medications are perishable and your accommodations do not include a refrigerator, let your Program Director know. Students should label all medications and keep them in their original containers that clearly show the prescription.

Students with Special Needs
If students have any disability or other chronic systemic condition for which they will be seeking accommodation abroad, they must advise the International Education Office immediately so staff can advise students whether necessary resources are reasonably available on their program.

Mental Health-Related Issues while on Archaeology Field Programs
Traveling and studying in another country are demanding activities that often compound or exacerbate both physical and emotional issues. In particular, if students are concerned about their use of alcohol and other controlled drugs or if they have an emotional or physical health concern, they should address it honestly before making plans to travel and study abroad.

Important Information to Consider
Archaeology field work can be physically demanding. You should be prepared to work outdoors for extended periods. Also, the field program sites are often located in remote places without the standard conveniences of an urban setting. To prepare for these conditions, it is wise to consider the geographical characteristics of your location, such as climate, altitude, and population. Each program will provide a list of supplies you’ll need which will help to prepare for conditions on site.

Student Participation Agreement
As part of the registration process, you agreed to stipulations in a comprehensive participation agreement and waiver of liability. Click to download a pdf copy of the Archaeology Waiver Agreement.


Packing Tips

Always travel light: Limit yourself to one checked bag and one carry-on. You can move more quickly and will be more likely to have a free hand. You will also be less tired and less likely to set your luggage down, leaving it unattended.

Prescription medications: Remember to bring any prescription medication with you in your carry-on bag.  Bring enough to last the duration of your trip. Keep medicines in their original, labeled containers. Bring copies of your prescriptions and the generic names for the drugs. If a medication is unusual or contains narcotics, carry a letter from your doctor attesting to your need to take the drug. If you have any doubt about the legality of carry­ing a certain drug into a country, consult the embassy or consulate of that country first.

Money:  Bring ATM cards, one or two major credit cards, and $100 in the local currency. You may want to bring a few traveler’s checks for emergency back-up.
Passport:  Pack an extra set of passport pho­tos along with a photocopy of your passport information page to make replacement of your passport easier in the event it is lost or stolen.  Leave extra copies of these items with someone at home.

Airline tickets and travel itinerary:  Make sure your itinerary is in order and the name on your airline ticket matches the name on your passport.  Leave a copy of your itinerary with family or friends at home in case they need to contact you in an emergency.

Calling cards: Consider getting a telephone calling card. It is a convenient way of keeping in touch. If you have one, verify that you can use it from overseas locations (you may need to sign up for an international plan in order to get the lowest rates possible). 1-800 numbers do not work overseas, so find out the local toll-free access number for your calling card before you go.

Cell phones:  If you have a dual or triband GSM (global system for mobile communications) cell phone, you may be able to use your phone internationally. To do this, have your cell service provider “unlock” your phone before you leave the U.S. Contact your cell phone provider for details on using your U.S. SIM card while abroad. In Europe and Asia, it is fairly easy and cheap to buy a local prepaid SIM card for your unlocked phone (this gives you a local telephone number while using the SIM card). If you do not have a GSM phone, many companies have world phones available for rent. Rental services are becoming more common in international airports, and it is usually less expensive to rent a phone in-country.

Security:  Put your name, address and telephone numbers inside and outside each piece of luggage. If possible, lock your luggage (consult the airline about their locked luggage policy). Don’t bring anything you would hate to lose. Leave at home:

  • valuable or expensive-looking jewelry; irreplaceable family objects;
  • all unnecessary credit cards;
  • Social Security card, library cards, and similar items you may routinely carry in your wallet.

If you lose your passport while traveling abroad, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance (

Please guard your passport well!



URSA (University Records System Access)
Final Payment, Enrollment Status, Grades and Transcripts

Financial Aid Office
A129 Murphy Hall
(UCLA Students Only) 310-206-0400

Bookstore Ackerman Student Union
Textbook Information: 310-206-0791

U.S. Passport Services

UC Health Insurance: 1-800-336-0627 (inside U.S.)
Global Health and Safety Resources: 1-302-476-6194 (outside U.S.)
(International programs only)

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

U.S. Department of State


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