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An interactive educational exhibition about the global refugee crisis, presented by Doctors Without Borders

School Field Trips to Forced From Home

A unique field trip opportunity for students grades 7–12

Forced From Home is a free, interactive, educational outdoor exhibition designed to raise public awareness about the global refugee crisis.  To review the information provided below in a shareable PDF, please click here.

Guided by Doctors Without Borders aid workers, students navigate through a variety of interactive, hands-on experiences in
which they consider the conditions faced by the world’s more than 65 million displaced people. Students
also learn about the medical humanitarian assistance provided to refugees and displaced people by Doctors Without Borders.

Exhibition Themes:

  • PUSH FACTORS: The issues that cause people to flee their homes, such as conflict, persecution, and natural disasters
  • ON THE MOVE: How people navigate their journeys and cope with their vulnerabilities to exploitation, disease, and other challenges
  • LEGAL STATUS: The rights of displaced people as they flee their homes and the obligations of the international community to assist them
  • BASIC NEEDS: How people find and cook food, obtain clean water, access technology, and maintain basic hygiene, and access to technology
  • HEALTH CARE: What are the medical needs of refugees and the challenges faced by humanitarian agencies in providing care
  • SHELTER: How displaced people find shelter and the difficulties they face in refugee camps, informal settlements, sites along the migration route, and at their destinations

Bringing the Refugee Story to Life

This immersive experience includes virtual reality and 360° videos produced by Doctors Without Borders. Upon arrival, visitors enter a 30-foot-diameter dome where they are surrounded by video footage of displaced people struggling to find safety in various contexts: in Greece, Iraq, Lebanon, Mexico, South Sudan, and Tanzania. At the conclusion of the tour, participants can use virtual reality headsets to experience short VR documentaries following the lives of some of those displaced individuals.

Students will interact with items used by refugees and aid workers to get a sense of what displaced people need to survive. For example, students will choose what personal items they would take if they were forced to flee, explore refugee shelters, and discover some of the tools that humanitarian agencies utilize.

Hearing Stories Directly from Doctors Without Borders Aid Workers

Roughly 1,200 people per day will be able to experience this unique opportunity to spend time with experienced Doctors Without Borders aid workers as they share their stories.

At the end of the tour, students participate in a dedicated question and answer session with their aid worker guide, during which they can ask questions about what they have learned in the exhibition, what life is like in the field, the pathway to joining Doctors Without Borders, and more.

Timing & Logistics

Tours run for approximately one hour. Groups should not be bigger than 15 students and should have a minimum of three chaperones per group. Larger school groups must be pre-grouped into smaller groups of 18 to ensure that tours begin successively.

The exhibition is centrally located in each tour city, and we will work with you to locate the nearest bus drop-off/pick-up locations.  Using public transportation is highly encouraged.

The exhibition is outdoors and will operate in all weather. The site will only close in the event of dangerous conditions.

School Tour Dates

  • Boulder, CO  – Tuesday, September 5 to Friday, September 8
  • Salt Lake City, UT – Monday, September 18 to Friday, September 22
  • Seattle, WA – Monday, October 2 to Friday, October 6
  • Portland, OR – Monday, October 16 to Friday, October 20
  • Oakland, CA – Monday, October 30 to Friday, November 3
  • Santa Monica, CA – Monday, November 13 to Friday, November 17

Tours for school groups are limited. Please note that the exhibition is also open to the public during the school tour dates (as well as the following Saturday and Sunday), but priority will be given to school groups that sign up. School groups will not be able to sign up for weekend tours. To ensure your students have access to this timely and topical exhibition, please notify us of your interest as soon as possible.

Register for a Tour

Pre-registration is mandatory for school groups. To arrange a guided tour for your school group, please email schools@newyork.msf.org, and include:

  • Which city of the exhibition you are interested in
  • Name of school
  • Grade(s) of students
  • Number of students
  • Number of chaperones
  • 3 dates and times you are interested in attending the exhibition (in order of priority)
  • Contact information for teacher or parent who is organizing the school trip (including name, phone number, and email address)

Teacher Resources

An Education Resource Toolkit is available for school groups interested in the exhibition. It includes background reading materials, worksheets and supplementary activities; information about what to expect on the day of attendance; and reflection materials and activities to help students process the themes explored in the exhibition after their visit. The Toolkit will be emailed to registered groups. You can also download the Forced From Home Education Resource Toolkit directly.

Additional Information

Share and download our PDF with all field trip information (including FAQs) here. Should you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us at schools@newyork.msf.org.