Field School and Study Abroad: Learning Outside the Classroom

WIU Archaeological Field School

The WIU Archaeological Field School focuses on survey and excavations at the Orendorf and Rice Lake Terrace prehistoric archaeological sites along the Illinois River in Fulton County, Illinois.

Many of our students supplement their classroom experiences by participating on short study abroad programs to Puerto Rico, Germany, and India. We also offer an archaeological field school that focuses on excavations at the Mississippian Orendorf village site and the adjacent, multi-component Rice Lake Terrace site. WIU also has special relationships with the Field Museum of Natural History, the Dickson Mounds Museum, and the Hensen and Niabi Zoos. Current study abroad opportunities with funding from a Title VI Department Education grant can be found here.

Study Abroad

Puerto Rico

This course is a once in a lifetime experience. Learning about disasters is often best done in a hands-on way. As a result of the devastation caused by hurricane Maria, students have the opportunity to participate in a field school in Ponce, Puerto Rico where they will gain on-the-ground experience learning about the complicated work of disaster recovery while helping affected communities in a meaningful way.


This course is a two-week long exploration of contemporary German culture.  This program focuses on the use of anthropological field methods to provide students with a perspective of Germany that is unavailable to them in the classroom. We spend a week in two cities:  Berlin, the modern capital of reunified Germany, and Celle, a medieval walled city located in a rural setting.


India is your classroom!  This short-term study abroad course is located in the city of Dharamsala - a Tibetan enclave in northern India. We explore what it means to be an exile forced to live in a culture that is not your own. From an anthropological perspective, it will be difficult to separate your in-class experience from your day-to-day living during the course, as you too are living in a culture that is not your own. But so is the life of an anthropologist in the field!