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Q – Can I apply to more than one program?

Programs A, B & C run simultaneously (Session 1), as do Programs D, E and F (Session 2). The schedule therefore does not allow students to enroll in both A and B, nor in both D and E, however, it is possible to apply to one program in Session 1 as well as one program in Session 2. The intersession field trip in Italy is open to all students who attend programs A, B, C, D, E or F.

Q – What are the costs for participating in the program?

The costs are listed on the website at the following tuition link: Tuition

Although there is a statement on the website that the final costs won’t be set until March 15, it is very unlikely that these amounts will change. Our budget is determined on the Euro conversion with the US Dollar and any large fluctuations in either currency could affect our ability to run the program. However, we have never had to change the published fees in past years. There may be an extra fee if you apply to obtain credit. which is determined by your home university.

 Q – How much experience is necessary to be accepted to the program? Is it appropriate for me to apply to this program?

SGPS accepts students of varying levels of experience and from a wide range of disciplines. The application form is to give us an idea of your level of experience and your interests. It is very rare that a student applies who is not appropriate to the program. However, we do sometimes have to put students on a waiting list if we get too many applications, which is why it is important to get the application fee and program deposit sent as soon as possible.

Q – Should I apply at College Level, Graduate Level or Audit?

All participants in SGPS programs receive a graded evaluation and a certificate of completion upon request. College level is the general level of the courses. If, however, a participant requests a graduate level participation, they will need discuss the extra work with the faculty (usually involving an extra written assignment). Graduate level is for participants who have some experience with restoration and may, for example, be part of a master program in conservation. If a participant applies to audit the program, they can receive a certificate of completion but not a graded evaluation.

 Q – What if I apply but miss paying the program deposit by March 15?

The program deposit must arrive by March 15 in order for your application to be valid. We cannot confirm the program unless we have sufficient serious applicants, which cannot be determined without the payment of the program deposit. Also, some courses reach maximum capacity and you may have to be placed on a waiting list and miss the opportunity to participate this year.

Q – How can I send in the required documentation?

You can send scanned documents by email to pwithers@iirpsemail.org. Otherwise by mail to: Polly Withers, San Gemini Preservation Studies Program, 203 7th Avenue, 5A, Brooklyn, New York 11215. The letter of recommendation needs to come directly from your professor or employer, either by email or mail. We will send you an email confirmation upon receipt.

 Q – When will I find out if I have been accepted to the program?

As soon as we receive your application form we will let you know if we have any questions or concerns and will continue the application process. Official acceptances to the program will be issued soon after March 15th. We cannot give an official acceptance without receiving the 3 required documents (proof of age, letter of recommendation and transcript, if appropriate). See our application instructions for further details.

 Q – What about deposit refunds?

Before March 15th you will be notified of the final cost of the program and you will have an opportunity to withdraw your application if the costs have gone up at all. On March 16th we will establish if we have the enrollment required for the program to go ahead. Should the program be cancelled due to low enrollment, or any other SGSP decision, applicants will be fully refunded. If an applicant withdraws their application before the March 15th deadline, they will be refunded the $450 deposit but not the $50 application fee. Those students that withdraw their application after March 15 will not receive a refund of either the application fee or the deposit.

 Q – Do I have to arrange for my own accommodation?

Housing is included in the cost of the program and is arranged by SGPS. There is more information on our accommodations page.

 Q – Travel Logistics and booking my flight

Do not book your flight until we have confirmed that you have been accepted to the program and that the program is going ahead (after March 15). Once the program has been confirmed, SGPS will send you a travel logistics document that gives detailed directions for traveling to San Gemini along with other suggestions regarding travel money, luggage, etc. Students will be able to contact each other to arrange traveling together either through our Facebook page or directly via email.

 Q – Do I pay for my airfare?

Students are responsible for arranging and paying for their arrival to and from San Gemini. This is not covered in the program fees. We provide detailed directions and many students arrange beforehand to travel together. You can contact each other through our Facebook page or via email once we confirm the program.

 Q – Travel safety advice. Is it safe to travel in Italy?

We advise everyone to exercise normal safety precautions in Italy. The US Department of State issues travel alerts daily. There are currently no travel alerts for Italy. You can also read more about safety and security if you click and scroll down their page here.

 Q – What is the required insurance?

SGPS coordinates the required insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). This is not required for Italian or other EU citizens who would be covered by the EU health coverage agreement. You can contact pwithers@iirpsemail.org for a copy of the CISI flyer, which details the plan. The cost of the plan for participants of all ages is $53 per month (you would need to purchase two months if you are planning to participate in the Intersession Field Trip, and three months if you are participating in both sessions). West Virginia University applicants will pay WVU directly for their insurance. All other applicants should pay their insurance fee directly to IIRPS. Please contact Polly Withers at pwithers@iirpsemail.org for further information.

 Q – How can I get credit for taking the program? Will SGPS help me get a job in conservation?

SGPS is not an accredited university. Our courses are rated by units (equivalent to credit units). Participants receive a letter-graded evaluation and, if requested, an official certificate of completion ($20 fee to cover postage). Participants that want to receive accredited college or university credit must apply to our program through West Virginia University (see below instructions). Many students are able to get independent study credit through their home universities and participants should consult their student advisers to see if that option is available to them.

West Virginia University

In 2018, SGPS established relations with West Virginia University through which students participating in some of our courses can receive accreditation through the WVU Art History Department. You can apply online at their WVU Abroad page: SGPS Session 1 and SGPS Session 2. The cost is $4,550 per program (not including airfare), which covers the cost of the WVU Course Credits, Lodging, Programmatic Academic Excursions and Comprehensive International Travel and Health Insurance.

Please contact Polly Withers, IIRPS recruiting and admissions, at pwithers@iirpsemail.org, or Amanda Morgan, Education Abroad Coordinator for WVU email Amanda.morgan@mail.wvu.edu or Tel: (304) 293-7228, with any questions.

University of Notre Dame

In 2018, we are beginning a new collaboration with the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture on a new research project: the architectural and structural survey of the excavation site of the baths at the ancient Roman city of Carsulae. For more information on this project please visit our page: Program F 2019. For further information about this collaboration with UND, please contact Polly Withers, IIRPS recruiting and admissions, at pwithers@iirpsemail.org.

SGPS was originally part of the university program at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee for many years and became an independent study program in 2010.

In the past eight years, many of our students have successfully arranged to get independent study credit through their universities. We can furnish your professor and university with any information they require about our courses in order to approve it as an independent course, or any other form of accreditation that you are considering, including internships. The number of units listed on our website, e.g. 6 units for Programs A, B, D, E and F and 1 unit for the Intersession Field Trip, is the equivalent credit level at which students were credited when SGPS was part of a university and what we currently recommend for independent study credit.

We can provide certification that you completed all the class work and field experience. This would be a good addition to your resume if applying for further education or a job in restoration. We can also provide a graded evaluation.

Many SGPS participants have gone on to study conservation and have told us that the experience confirmed their ambitions to continue their studies in the field. As there are few opportunities available for students to experience hands-on field work, conservation schools and professionals are aware of our programs and the excellence of our internationally renowned faculty. Our graded evaluations can be helpful in applications to master degree courses and to applications of employment.

 Q – How can I find out more about the excavation at Carsulae?

Prof. Jane Whitehead directs the excavation of the Roman public baths in the ancient city of Carsulae (just outside the town of San Gemini). This work experience is separate to the SGPS programs and you can get more information from her page at the American Institute of Archaeology  SGPS has collaborated closely with the excavation at Carsulae, especially within Program B (restoration of archaeological ceramics).

In 2018, SGPS introduced a new research project around the excavation of the baths. You can find out more information about the planned architectural survey at this link: Program F: Carsulae Roman Bath Excavation Survey.

 Q – Is there financial aid?

We wish we had scholarships available but unfortunately we don’t. However, we’d like to point out that we are one of the less expensive study abroad options out there. Check with your university as some students are able to get financial support to attend our program. Also, some students apply for a loan from a financial institution. We have also had participants fund their trip by Crowdfunding (Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via social media).

Here are a couple of funding search engines, where you may find opportunities for funding your trip: NAFSA, the Association of International Educators, has put together an extensive page with federal, state and private grants that support a variety of study abroad program types. The Institute for International Education created a searchable directory that features detailed descriptions of hundreds of study abroad scholarships, fellowships, grants, and paid internships for U.S. undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students, and professionals.

Other scholarships:

The Committee on Minority Scholarships of the American Philological Association (APA) invites applications from minority undergraduate students. The purpose of the scholarship is to further an undergraduate’s preparation for graduate work in classics or classical archaeology. Eligible proposals might include (but are not limited to) participation in classical summer programs or field schools in Italy, Greece, Egypt, etc., or language training at institutions in the U.S, Canada, or Europe. The maximum amount of the award will be $4,000.

Fund for Education Abroad Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents currently enrolled as undergraduates in US universities/colleges and who plan to study abroad for at least four weeks.  Awards are up to $10,000.  Look at the “Dedicated Scholarships” as well to see if you may be eligible to those specific awards.

 Q – Steel toed boots (and other requirements) for Program A

For program A students only, you are required to have certified safety shoes or boots with steel toes for the field work. You can buy safety boots in Italy if you do not want to carry them in your luggage. Also, we have many pairs of safety shoes, work gloves and safety glasses that have been left behind by students from past years that you may be able to use, however, we cannot confirm availability until your arrival in San Gemini since these items will be given out on a first-come-first-serve basis.

 Q – How many students participate?

On average we have 12 students with one to two lecturer/s or teacher/s per program. This number can vary from 8 to 18.

 Q – How can I meet other students who may want to travel together?

Once the program is confirmed, participants can contact each other via email. Many students meet up to travel together in groups. We also have a Facebook page.

 Q – Not taking the Intersession Field Trip?

The field trip was part of the program in past years. Now we run it as a separate, optional item that happens at the end of programs A, B and C and before programs D, E and F, in order to give students more flexibility in terms of money and time spent abroad. We do encourage students to stay on (or come early) and participate in the trip if they possibly can. The ten day trip to Sienna, Florence and Rome is a unique opportunity with guided visits of actual restoration centers and sites that are sometimes impossible to visit independently. However, you will also have an opportunity to travel independently at weekends during the program if you cannot come on the field trip.

 Q – The application deadline has passed, can I still apply for summer 2019?

If there is still space available in the program in which you wish to participate, you can apply after the deadline (March 15). If you are interested in applying after the deadline, you must contact Polly Withers at pwithers@iirpsemail.org as soon as possible. All payments on the schedule will be due and non-refundable at that point.

 Q – What are the coordinates for International Wire Transfers?

Please contact Polly Withers at pwithers@iirpsemail.org for this information.

 Q – What are the accommodations like?

You can find information on accommodations on this page of our website

San Gemini Preservation Studies
International Institute for Restoration and Preservation Studies

203 Seventh Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215, USA
tel. 718 768 3508