Frequently Asked Questions
Every student has lots of questions, so here are a few answers!
The Application Process
Decide which course(s) you are interested in and then simply fill in our online application form. We will then review your application within three days and email you with the outcome, usually a place offer.
We need to check that there is a place available on your chosen course and that we have a suitable place for you in our accommodation too. Since students share apartments (but usually have their own bedroom), we need to know your gender and age so that we can match you up with suitable roommates.
That is not a problem. The submission of an application form places no obligations on you to book a course – it is really just an expression of interest.
All students must be at least 18 years old on the day they begin their course. We do not set academic entry requirements (GPA etc.) and we accept non-students, as we believe that all our students, whether they are currently enrolled in formal education or not, deserve a chance to broaden their horizons through field-school participation.
The Booking Process
When you have submitted an application form and received a ‘green light’ reply from us, you are ready to book your course. Email us when you are ready to book your course and we will then send you an invoice for your course deposit by email – when you pay your course deposit, your place on the course is secured.
We hope that the COVID-19 pandemic will be under control by Summer 2021, but it is currently impossible to predict how it could impact our plans. While we normally encourage students to book as soon as possible, we are currently advising students to apply right now but to delay booking their spot until February or March 2021 at the earliest. Check out our latest COVID-19 updates here.
When you receive our email requesting payment of the course deposit, you will need to arrange this payment with your bank. Our invoice will include all the details you will need to arrange a wire transfer to our bank. We also allow students to pay course fees via PayPal, but this is a more expensive option.
The deposit required for all bookings is 50% of the course fee.
The balance of the fee is due six weeks before the course commencement date. An email containing an invoice for the balance will be sent to you after you pay your deposit.
If a student cancels a booking more than six weeks before the course commences, their deposit will be returned to them after the deduction of a 10% administration charge. Fees for courses cancelled at less than six-weeks’ notice cannot be refunded.
If we have to cancel a course due to COVID-19, we will offer 100% refunds to students booked on the course.
The courses run by the Galway Archaeological Field School (GAFS) are recognised by the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) and so students undertaking courses at GAFS can be awarded academic credit from NUIG. An Academic Credit Application Form is sent to all students when they book their course and the completed form should be returned to the Galway Archaeological Field School as soon as possible.
Yes – our 2-week courses come with 3 semester credits (or 6 ECTS) and our 4-week courses come with 6 semester credits (or 12 ECTS) and students undertaking two courses can receive credit for both subject to the agreement of the student’s home university. Some universities place limits of the amount of credit students can earn elsewhere, so please discuss your plans with the Study Abroad team at your home university at soon as possible to allow them time to contact us to discuss the course syllabus, the assessment process, the accommodation arrangements etc. – don’t expect them to approve your plans overnight!
Each student will be required to keep a daily student diary to record field activities and these will carry a 50% weighting for the course assessment. The students’ on-site participation and engagement with the course will also be assessed by the Course Director and this assessment will carry a 30% weighting. A short 10-question multi-choice exam will be held on each Friday of the course and these will carry a combined weighting of 20%.
Accommodation, Transport & other practicalities
We provide all students with comfortable, secure accommodation on a self-catering basis. Students will be accommodated in Gort na Coiribe – a superb complex of purpose-built student apartments in Galway city with single rooms, bi-weekly housekeeping service, free WiFi and TV, overnight on-site security and easy access to local shopping and entertainment facilities. All students will be required to purchase and cook their own food – meals are not included in our course fees. We provide bed linen, though students should bring their own towel. Students are responsible, as a group, for the general upkeep of the student house (washing dishes, keeping the house tidy etc.). We offer accommodation to students from the Saturday before their course commences to the Saturday after it ends. If you sign up for two or more consecutive courses, we provide accommodation for the full period from the Saturday before the commencement of the first course to the Saturday after the end of the last course.
We provide all students with local transportation, which will take them from the student house to the excavation site (or to the other sites to be visited on non-excavation courses) and back again every day. We also endeavour to collect every student on their arrival in Galway and bring them to the student house – some arrive by train from Dublin and some by bus from Shannon, but we try to co-ordinate student arrival times and welcome everyone on their arrival. We do not arrange, or pay for, student transportation to Galway or for non-course travel (e.g. weekend trips) – we just collect you when you first arrive in Galway and then provide course-related transportation during your stay.
It is the responsibility of each student to arrange their own transportation to Galway, but we recommend that students do not book flights until they have first booked their course. Most of our students will arrive in Ireland via Dublin Airport or Shannon Airport and we suggest that they should, if possible, arrive early on the Saturday before their course commences. This will allow them adequate time to get to Galway (via bus or train from Dublin, via bus from Shannon), where we can collect them and bring them to their accommodation. Dublin Airport receives direct flights from many European and North American cities and a very efficient bus service connects the airport to Galway city centre for as little as €18.Though Shannon is a much smaller airport with fewer connections, it does receive direct flights from Europe and the USA, may have cheaper airfares and also involves a shorter bus journey to Galway.
A full list of required and recommended items will be sent to you when you book your course, but we always advise students to bring waterproof clothing (jacket and trousers), boots, warm clothing, a good hat, sun cream, a camera and a credit card. You might also need to check with your mobile phone or cell phone service provider to ensure that you can use your phone at reasonable rates during your stay. Don’t forget, if coming from outside Ireland or the UK, that you will need a plug converter in order to charge your phone too!
Citizens of EU/EEA countries and Swiss citizens can travel to Ireland without a visa. Citizens of the USA, Canada and Australia coming to Ireland for less than three months to study do not need a visa, but they must pay for their course in full before they travel (link). Citizens of other countries should check their status here.
If government restrictions dictate that incoming students must self-isolate for 14 days on their arrival in Ireland, GAFS will endeavor to offer students accommodation in the student apartment complex at a reasonable rate. Isolating students will be grouped in small pods with other students waiting to participate in the same course and will be given advice on arranging food deliveries etc. Check out our latest COVID-19 updates here.