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The Amazon Interdisciplinary Field School

Bring to your studies renewed depth, purpose and global awareness.

Program Details

Visit Colombia's Amazon Rainforest and experience its rich biological and cultural diversity. After a cultural tour of Bogota, you will travel south to the Calanoa Natural Reserve where you will engage in creative activities, trek and canoe into the forest, and learn indigenous knowledge from local guides and shamans. This 6-credit course and field school uses an interdisciplinary approach to explore themes of sustainability, conservation, community development, and indigenous perspectives.


  • Learn about Colombia's history, culture, and current issues from local experts.
  • Visit Bogota's museums, local markets, gardens, historical and iconic architectural sites, and more.
  • Trek through the tropical rainforest and boat down the Amazon River.
  • Search for river dolphins by the Peruvian shore.
  • Tour indigenous villages and meet with shamans, local artisans, and master craftpeople.
  • Engage in creative workshops including pottery making, drawing, photography, and so much more.




Most of the trip will be spent at the Calanoa Natural Reserve, an artistic, ecological, and community-focused learning center located on the shore of the Amazon River. Calanoa offers an unforgettable experience of the rainforest through workshops that support a creative dialogue with local communities and the environment.


Classes at KPU: Pre-departure orientations and classroom sessions before and after the field experience
Arriving in Bogota: May 4th, 2018*
Return to Vancouver: May 20th, 2018*
*Travel dates subject to minor adjustments pending final reservations, but will occur around the dates mentioned.

Tentative Itinerary

More detailed information:

Program Cost

$2975 - includes all travel within Colombia, including transportation in Bogotá, flights from Bogotá to Leticia, and land and boat transportation in the Amazon; lodging in Bogotá (bed & breakfast), as well as lodging in Leticia and Calanoa, and includes a majority of your meals. local instructors, lecturers and guides; entrance fees to museums and local attractions.
Note that the flight to Colombia, personal expenses, tuition, additional meals and alcohol, and fees are not included. Bringing $200-$500 extra for personal expenses should be sufficient for incidentals (e.g. additional meals, souvenirs, extra outings, etc.).

Payment Due Dates

Non-refundable Deposit: January 19st, 2018 - $300
Note: The deposit goes towards the program fee.

Second Payment: February 1th, 2018- $1,375

Third Payment: March 15th, 2018 - $1,300

Total Fee: $2,975

(Applicants are welcome to pay the full amount up-front if it's more convenient, otherwise the smaller installments are due by the due dates posted above.)

When applying, participants are required to make a non-refundable $300 deposit by cheque. However, they may also bring the cheque after submitting their application, as long as you do so before the due date of january 19th, 2018.

Field school scholarships are available for applicants.Amazon Field School-LKing Click here for information on scholarships and other financial assistance options. The Amazon Field School also accepts applications from college and university students outside of KPU. Please contact for more information.

Classes Offered

DESN 3000 or ARTS 3000 Interdisciplinary Amazon Field School (6-credits)

Classes begin in January and are co-taught by Lucie Gagné (Design) and Farhad Dastur (Arts). To enhance their experience in Colombia, students are encouraged to take introductory Spanish in the Spring term.
Exact day/time for classes TBA.


30 credits of 1100-level or higher courses. Students must be nineteen years or older at the start of the course.


Photos by Lisa King (2015 Alumni)

The Amazon Interdisciplinary Field School 2018 Information Sessions

Drop in for an information session to learn about the Amazon Interdisciplinary Field School, where you'll get a chance to hear from and speak with the Field School Faculty Leaders, Lucie and Farhad.

Richmond Information Sessions

Date: Monday, January 15th
Time: 1-2PM
Location: Richmond 1300B (Public space near the KPU Bookstore)

Date: Tuesday, January 16th
Time: 11:30AM-12:30PM
Location: KPU Richmond 1300B (Public space near the KPU Bookstore)

Surrey Information Sessions

Date: Monday, January 15th
Time: 11:30AM-12:30PM
Location: Surrey Main Atrium (Public space near Student Enrolment Services)

Date: Monday, January 15th
Time: 1PM-2PM
Location: KPU Surrey Main Atrium (Public space near Student Enrolment Services)

Langley Information Session

Date: Tuesday, January 16th
Time: 10AM-11AM
Location: KPU Langley West Lobby 1020, West Building (Public space near Student Enrolment Services)

Ready to Apply?

Apply to join us on the Amazon Interdisciplinary Field School in three easy steps:

Step 1: Start your online application here.

Step 2: Submit your completed application.

Step 3: Pay your $300 deposit by cheque (made out to Kwantlen Polytechnic University) to the International Office at the KPU Surrey (Cedar 1145) or Richmond campus (RM 1400) by January 19th, 2018.

Apply now!

Help us spread the word! Download promotional poster and handout to show your friends!

PDF icon INTL_Field-School_Amazon_poster.pdf

PDF icon INTL-Field-School_Amazon-2018_handout.pdf

Contact Information

KPU International
Richmond Campus: R1400
Surrey Campus: Cedar 1145

Joseph Watson-MacKay - Richmond Campus

Faculty Leaders:

Lucie Gagné

Farhad Dastur