Old towers in Romania

Romania - Archaeology in the Field: Apulum Roman Villas Project

CNRS 335 or CNRS 535 | 3 credits

Apply by December 5, 2019

Applications are reviewed as they are received, so early applications are encouraged.  

  1. Log in to the Gateway online application program
  2. Select “Search Experiences” and type "GSP" to explore Global Seminars programs
  3. Upload the application form for your selected Global Seminar – see Application documents below

Please note that you can apply for up to a maximum of 2 Global Seminars.

Students are encouraged to meet with the Program Director at an orientation session or one-on-one to learn more about the program.


About the course

This program is being led by UBC faculty Matthew McCarty

This course focuses on the history of the Roman provinces by critically understanding and modelling the relationships between the edges of the Roman Empire and its center, as well as the way similar dynamics play out in a peripheral town in the modern EU.  This will be accomplished through more traditional afternoon lectures and guided visits to museums and archaeological sites in the afternoon.

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Articulate the process of doing archaeology in the field
  • Excavate a multi-phase site with precision, using a range of tools (trowel, hand-pick, spade, mattock, wheelbarrow)
  • Detect and articulate architectural features, artifacts, and changes in soil layers within a pre-defined trench
  • Sequence these features (e.g., through the use of a Harris matrix)
  • Do accurate primary recording of archaeological features and contexts (e.g., context sheets, photography, drawings of plans and sections, photogrammetric 3D modelling
  • Identify, collect, and classify artifacts (ceramic, metal, stone, glass) and ecofacts (bone, botanical assemblages, soil samples)
  • Interpret contextually these finds and develop a historical narrative for the site
  • Explain how field practices shape historical interpretations
  • Articulate the significance of the archaeological project for the historical or cultural study of the region, period, and/or society under investigation
  • Participate in an area-supervisor capacity on other excavations (that is, students will have competence and mastery in the complete suite of field techniques).

This archaeological dig will take place for four weeks in Alba Iulia, Romania.  CNRS 335/535 offers practical training in excavation techniques and interpretation, including basic survey techniques; drawing sections; possible training with GPS equipment, total stations, and levels; processing and study of pottery and other finds; keeping up a daily notebook; writing a post-excavation interpretative essay of not less than 3,000 words based on the results of the field experience.

To learn more about the history of the dig, visit Dr. McCarty's webpage

About the experience

A typical day includes field work in the morning and traditional afternoon lectures and guided visits to museums and archeological sites in the region.  

Regular work schedule:

M/T: 7am, depart for site; 12:30-2, break for lunch; 4:30, depart from site; 5-7, free time; 7, dinner at Steakhouse

W: 7am, depart for site; 12:30-2, break for lunch; 2, depart from site; 2:30, optional local cultural activity or free time (tour of Battyaneum library, St Michael’s Cathedral, the summer festivals at Alba); 7, dinner at Steakhouse

Th/F: 7am, depart for site; 12:30-2, break for lunch; 4:30, depart from site; 5-7, free time; 7, dinner at Steakhouse

Sa: 8am, depart for site; 12:30 break for lunch; afternoon free

Su: excursion

Notable environmental conditions

Weather (excessive heat, rain) affects the pace of work; in excessive heat and most afternoons, work is done on processing finds in the shade.

Sun and heat.  Students will be provided with frequent hydration breaks.  Freshwater will be provided on site. Shade tent will be set up over excavation area.  

Lots of physical activity (digging, crouching)  and use of a range of tools (trowel, hand-pick, spade, mattock, wheelbarrow)


The course will be based in Alba Iulia (RO), with accommodation in dormitories provided by the University of Alba Iulia. Breakfast will be on one’s own, using the nearby Kaufland or Dacia grocery stores (5-10 minute walk from accommodation) or the numerous cafes. Lunch will be catered on site by Steakhouse; dinner will be catered at Steakhouse. [Despite the restaurant name, Vlad prepares a wide variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes; we have worked with him for the past 5 years]

General timeline

The program will take place in Alba Iulia, Romania July 24 to August 21, 2019 (tentative)

Prior to your time in the field, you will be required to attend pre-departure sessions in Vancouver.  


To be accepted for this Global Seminar, you have to meet both program-specific requirements as well as Go Global’s general eligibility.

There are no pre-requisites required for this program.  

CNERS students can receive a maximum of 6 credits for CNERS 335.

CNERS MA students can receive a maxium of 3 credits for CNERS 535.  

Please contact the CNERS advising office if you are unsure whether or not you can receive credit for this Global Seminar.  

Global Seminars - general eligibility

You must have at least a 70% average in your most recent Winter Session of full-time studies prior to application

You need to be a UBC student in good standing (e.g. not be under academic or non-academic discipline) to participate in a Global Seminar

You should have full-time student status (as defined by your faculty) in the year prior to your Global Seminar

You must maintain 70% average prior to your Global Seminar departure

You must have completed or intend to complete the necessary (or equivalent) pre-requisite courses prior to Global Seminar start date

Unclassified students will be considered on a case-by-case basis

You will need to be accepted by the Program Director leading the Global Seminar

Program fees and costs

Approximately CAD 2,200 - 2,500 +  3 credit tuition and flight

The final fee depends on the number of students in the program. Students do not pay the Go Global fee when applying to a Global Seminar. The Go Global fee is built into the Program Fee and is payable upon acceptance to the program.

All qualifying students will receive a $1,000 Go Global Award.

Global Seminars refund policy

Adjustment on deposits

Students are eligible for an adjustment of their deposit under the following circumstances:

Withdrawal after you accept your spot in the program

  • You are eligible to have your Global Seminar deposit adjusted from $750 to $93.25 (ie: you receive a $656.75 credit)

Withdrawal after deposit posted on SSC

  • You are eligible to have your Global Seminar deposit adjusted from $750 to $321.75 (ie: you receive a $428.25 credit)

Withdrawal after deposit due date

  • The deposit and all remaining program fees are completely non-refundable. Exceptions may be determined at the discretion of Go Global. 

Any funds allocated to students through the ARA program must be returned in their entirety.

Students who decide to withdraw their application must submit a request in writing by email to the Global Seminar Advisor at go.global@ubc.ca.


If you are considering applying for a Go Global program and identify with having a disability or pre-existing health condition (mental or physical) which could impact your participation, or if you require academic accommodations, you can contact the following offices and meet with an Accessibility Advisor before the start of the program:

The Centre for Accessibility (Vancouver) 604 822-5844

Disability Resource Centre (Okanagan) 250 807-8053

Pre-departure policy

Safety Abroad

UBC is committed to preparing students for safe and successful international experiences. In order to achieve this, any student participating in a Go Global Program must complete the following:

  • All UBC Student Safety Abroad requirements
  • Go Global Program-specific pre-departure requirements (includes both online and in-person components)

Failure to successfully complete these and any other requirements may result in withdrawal from the Go Global Program.


Global Seminars Advisor

Student Advising

Drop in advising - Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 1:00-3:00pm

Please email go.global@ubc.ca with your student number in the subject line.

Global Seminars Advisor


Telephone: 604 822 0942

Fax: 604 822 9885

UBC Life Building
6138 Student Union Blvd
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1


9:00 am - 4:15 pm
9:00 am - 4:15 pm
9:00 am - 4:15 pm
9:00 am - 4:15 pm
9:00 am - 4:15 pm