Residence Life

students hanging out at duke university


Outside the rigorous classroom atmosphere, you need time to decompress and make new friends in a variety of social and recreational settings. This opportunity to socialize and form bonds strengthens the Duke TIP community both in and out of the classroom and results in lifelong friendships.

Residential programming

All programming efforts and community-building activities cater to the varying personalities and abilities of our students. Field Studies staff are encouraged to use the TIPstar programming model, focusing on five broad areas:

  • Diversity: Understanding and embracing the differences within ourselves and the world around us (sample activities: community mural; history of hip-hop and freestyling; capoeira and Brazilian culture; “salsa and salsa,” i.e., both making the food and learning the dance)
  • Service: Supporting the people within our own and surrounding communities through volunteerism and compassion (sample activities: cards for the troops, neighborhood cleanup, tree planting)
  • Leadership: Helping students grow to become stronger people while exploring and defining their own values, ethics, and identity. (Sample activities: college expo, public speaking, debates, research opportunities)
  • Health and Wellness: Intentionally creating an atmosphere in which residents are exposed to information that will enable them to make healthy lifestyle choices (sample activities: dancing, yoga, boot camp, sampling tropical fruits, Ultimate Frisbee, hiking, basketball, fishing trip)
  • Fine Arts: Fostering the opportunity for students to share their originality through performing arts, creative arts, visual arts, media, and entertainment (sample activities: karaoke, jam sessions, six-word poetry slam, improvisation, friendship bracelet construction, TIPSync, dance, talent show)

Evening and weekend activities

Students are supervised and take part in preplanned social activities such as talent shows, museum trips, special guest lectures, community service projects, city and campus tours, bowling nights, dances, and outdoor games. Because of varying program schedules, and the travel time required when some field studies must travel from one site to the next, academic activities may also take place on the weekend.

Free time

Students need downtime after a day of challenging academics, so we ensure they receive free time each day to relax, read quietly, or spend time with their friends. Some sites also offer a few voluntary activities to provide more structured options.

Religious services

Free time during the weekends allows students to attend services, if they wish. The availability of services for particular religions or denominations varies by program location, but we will accommodate student transportation requests to attend religious services within a ten-mile radius of each site, to the extent that staff supervision and drivers can be provided.

If there are any questions or special considerations that Duke TIP should be aware of to allow students to practice their religion, please contact the Dean of Students at or (919) 668-9100.

A group of students and teachers walking along a beach with fishing nets


Field Studies students will live with a roommate in a dorm or residence hall. The living arrangements are part of TIP’s goal of giving students the opportunity to meet people from many walks of life. Sharing a residence hall space with someone new can be exciting and create the opportunity to build lifelong friendships. 

Students are only allowed to have their assigned roommates in their room.

Duke University and New College of Florida sites

On campus-based sites students live in college residence halls with one or two roommates as part of a twelve-to-sixteen-student residential group. They may live on floors with members of another sex, but all halls have adult staff supervision and same-sex bathroom facilities. Where possible, students will have access to a single-occupancy all-gender restroom if needed.

Non-campus-based sites

Housing at non-campus-based sites varies depending on location. At all locations, students will live with roommates, generally sleeping in bunk beds with shared bathroom facilities. Duke TIP staff supervise the students and assist with any necessary bathroom schedules.

Roommate requests

Duke TIP is unable to accommodate roommate requests. To the extent that housing constraints allow, Duke TIP staff members make residential group assignments based on the gender, age, and interests of the students, as stated in their online forms.

Transgender or gender nonconforming students who have specific housing needs based upon their gender identity or gender expression should contact the Dean of Students at or (919) 668-9100.

Dietary allergies and restrictions

Students who choose to eat the regularly prepared meals and do not require any specially ordered meals do not need to make any special arrangements. However, students who have severe or life-threatening allergies or dietary restrictions must make prior arrangements.

Duke TIP provides student meals for the duration of the program. We offer a variety of á la carte options at each meal, including a meat and meatless entrée, salad bar, and other assorted items. Menus are designed to accommodate vegetarian, gluten-free, and lactose-free diets, as well as many common food allergies.

Not all Field Studies sites can accommodate all diets. At some sites, students with a vegan or severely limited diet may want to bring food items to complement meals during the program.

Kosher meals are not available, but students are able to eat “kosher-style” by selectively choosing items from the regular dining hall offerings.

Students with special dietary needs or severe allergies must contact the Coordinator of Accommodations at or (919) 668-9100 by April 13 to discuss meal options.

A group of students cheering as one completes a front flip

Athletic facilities and training programs

Students may arrange recreational and athletic activities, such as basketball, soccer, and Frisbee, depending on the schedule and available facilities. TIP staff may lead supervised group runs if there are appropriate facilities and interested students, but we cannot accommodate specific training needs. TIP students are not allowed access to campus weight rooms, swimming pools, or other athletic department facilities or equipment, nor to swim recreationally.

Mail service

Domestic sites

Students at all domestic sites can send and receive mail, but mail will take longer than normal to reach students. Since these programs are only two weeks long, it is unlikely that mail sent during the second week will reach students in time. Specific information regarding mailing addresses will be provided to enrolled students in May.

International sites

International mail service often takes longer than the two weeks students will be away, so students should not plan on receiving mail during Field Studies. They will be able to send mail home if necessary (and should bring money for postage if they plan to do so).

A large group of students on a beach at sunset


Program fees for each Field Studies program include housing, admission to excursion sites, most meals, and transportation during the program. Program fees do not include transportation to and from the site. Students will need to bring their own money for laundry, personal items, meals outside of those provided, optional activities, snacks, phone cards, and souvenirs. Students traveling with Duke TIP will also need to pay for their checked baggage at departure. 

Students will be able to access ATMs to obtain cash. A widely accepted debit card or credit card is the most reliable and recommended means to access money. 

Important things to remember while planning: 

  • Contact your bank or crediting agency to notify them of your travel plans. On occasion, if a bank or credit card company is unaware of travel plans, they may suspect someone else is using the account and suspend service. Although this service is for fraud protection, it does cause a delay in accessing your money. 
  • For students traveling abroad, talk to your bank or crediting agency to assure that your card and PIN will function in your destination country. Also inquire about international currency conversion fees and other fees associated with banking and international travel, if applicable.
  • Do not bring a debit or credit card issued in a parent’s name. Students should have a card issued in their name. 
  • Cash can also be used for small purchases and should be carried during travel to and from the program. Students should plan to bring a portion of their spending money in the form of cash (in small bill denominations) in case they are not able to visit an ATM immediately upon arrival. 
  • Please do not bring large sums of cash.
  • Consider bringing along a money belt to carry cash and passports more safely.

During the program students will be unable to cash personal checks or receive money by wire, and Duke TIP staff members are not authorized to make loans to individuals. Traveler’s checks are no longer widely accepted and are discouraged.

During the program, students must assume responsibility for the safekeeping of their own belongings at all times. Neither Duke TIP nor the program sites will assume responsibility for any lost or stolen items. 

Respecting the host country and culture

Students traveling to foreign countries with Duke TIP will be expected to demonstrate intercultural competence by remaining respectful of the traditions, customs, cultures, and people they encounter through their international field study. Students traveling overseas with Duke TIP should be prepared for new and different experiences, and will be expected to practice sound behavioral judgment and remain considerate to individuals from their host country. Students should remember that they are there to observe and learn, not change the culture. 


These two-week residential programs for students in ninth through twelfth grade take place at Duke University, New College of Florida, or one of several unique field study locations. Courses take place during the summer and cover a variety of different academic disciplines.