Center for Global Education
Johnson Center, Room 235
George Mason University
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030-4444
We are located on the second
in Room 235 in the Johnson Center above the food court.
The Center for Global Education at George Mason University serves as the premier clearinghouse for global exchanges and international education. The Center for Global Education offers a full range of professional services, including short-term, semester and yearlong, honors study abroad, internationally themed internships, and intensive language programs.
The Center for Global Education at George Mason University provides a wide array of study abroad opportunities for George Mason students, students from other institutions, and the general public. The Center for Global Education offers short-term study programs, international internships, honors study abroad, semester and yearlong programs, and intensive language programs.
All students are eligible to study abroad. When you choose to study abroad will depend on your academic program requirements and your education abroad goals. Most students study abroad during their junior year. However, more sophomores and seniors are taking advantage of the experience. Some complete general education requirements abroad before the requirements of their major take hold of their schedule. Others complete major credits or electives.
The Center for Global Education's short-term study programs offered during the winter, spring, and summer breaks are open to George Mason University students, staff, faculty, and alumni, as well as to other university students and the general public. Participants must have at least a 2.25 overall GPA prior to departure to participate in a program for academic credit. Some short-term programs allow you to fulfill your general education language requirement. It's a great way to earn 1 to 12 George Mason credits quickly while seeing the world!
You must have earned at least 45 semester credits (George Mason University or Transfer) to participate in a semester/yearlong program. If you are concerned about participating in graduation or graduating on time, it is preferable not to study abroad during the last semester before graduation.
GPA requirements are as follows:
- 2.25 or above cumulative GPA for most CGE short-term study tours,
- 2.50 or above cumulative GPA for most direct exchanges, semester, and internship programs,
- 3.50 or above cumulative GPA for undergraduates,
- 3.80 or above cumulative GPA for graduate students,
- and 3.30 or above cumulative GPA for Oxford Honors Program participants.
To check eligibility requirements for a specific program, check the program page Study Abroad Programs.
The world is within your reach! Mason offers a wide array of study abroad programs worldwide, both short-term semester and yearlong. You should first attend a “Study Abroad 101” information session at the Center for Global Education to find out about your options. If you have an academic need not addressed by the Center's programs, you can join any properly accredited study abroad program.
The earlier the better! You should definitely start researching two semesters before you plan to go, and you must have picked a program well before the specific application deadlines. In other words, if you plan to go for the fall semester, you should start researching programs the previous fall. If you are interested in our short-term study tours, pick up the flier and application form at least a month before the application deadline and submit your material before the application deadline to secure your spot.
You should first attend a Center for Global Education Study Abroad 101 information session to get an overview on your study abroad options and application procedures. Sessions are offered at the Center a couple of times a week at various times. If you are considering a program that is not a Mason program, you can use our Center for Global Education Resource Library and look through the informational binders and study abroad resource guides, in particular the Peterson's Guide for Study Abroad and the Academic Year Abroad. Another option is to visit IIEPassport.org or StudyAbroad.com, which is the largest database of study abroad programs offered through US institutions.
You should consider the following in thinking about choosing a study abroad program:
- Type of Program: Study program? Internship?
- Language: Full immersion? Some foreign language? Mostly in English?
- Housing: Home stay? Residence Halls? Apartments?
- Independence: How much does the sponsoring institution provide? Do they arrange everything? Is there a contact here? How much am I going to be on my own?
- Cost: What can I afford? What services do I want them to provide?
- Credits: Will the program offer credits that I can apply towards my degree (major, minor, emphasis or concentration, general education) requirements? If a non-Mason program, is the program/university accredited, and will I receive an official transcript upon completion of the program?
- Sponsoring Institutions: Do I want to go through a U.S. university program or do I want to apply directly to a foreign university?
- Instruction Type: Taught in a foreign language or in English? With primarily U.S. students? With foreign students? By U.S. professors? Host country professors?
If you are applying for a Mason program, you can click on the top, right-most tab above, "Apply Now" and complete the online application. To enter the online application, type in your e-mail address, and give yourself a 4-digit PIN. Once you have submitted the online application and paid your application fee, your Program Officer will e-mail you with further instructions as to what additional forms you need to submit to CGE.
If you are applying for a program administered by another institution, you will need to make an appointment with the Program Officer responsible for the Non-Mason Program process. Please see the program page for more information.
The cost to study abroad varies greatly depending on the type of program, the length of program, and where the program is located. Some programs will be comparable to studying on campus for a semester. Others will be more expensive. Students should look carefully at the elements included in the program and where the program is and not just the published program fee.
See our section entitled Keys to Financing Study Abroad for more information.
Yes. Most financial aid can be applied to programs sponsored by U.S. accredited institutions, including Mason's programs. Make sure you speak with a Financial Aid counselor early in the application process to give yourself enough time for the aid to be processed. See our Keys to Financing Study Abroad page for other hints.
Yes. While there are limited scholarships through Mason for study abroad, there are outside sources for scholarships that we encourage you to research. The key is to start looking early! A list of Center for Global Education scholarships can be found on our Keys to Financing Study Abroad page.
The Center for Global Education charges an administrative fee which enables the self-supporting Center to run its operation and provide quality study abroad opportunities. The admin fee covers the costs of time and labor associated with administering study abroad programs across the board (i.e., study abroad mailings, advising, publications, marketing, staffing, study abroad special registration, transfer of study abroad credits, foreign transcript evaluation, coordination with numerous Mason units, orientations, program development, and many other related administrative costs).
Yes, but within the following guidelines:
Yes and no. Grades only transfer if you are going on a Center for Global Education program with a Faculty Director who serves as the "Instructor of Record". The short-term summer, spring break, and winter programs all provide this kind of credit called "resident credit". A few semester programs, including the Oxford Honors Program, also offer resident credit.
In the case of Direct Exchange Semester programs without a George Mason faculty director or non-Mason programs —the answer is no. Grades will show up on your host university transcript but will not be averaged into your Mason GPA. You will receive credit hours toward your graduation, and you still need to receive a “C” or higher to transfer undergraduate credits or a “B” or higher to transfer graduate credits. This is referred to as transfer credit.
While you are overseas on your study abroad program, it is your responsibility to check the Mason web for the upcoming schedule of classes and register for your next semester back by either using patriotweb from overseas or having a friend or family member register you from the United States. If you do not have access to the Internet while overseas, please make arrangements to have a friend or family member register you for classes.
The Center for Global Education will register for your semester(s) abroad. Do not sign up for classes during the period you are going to be studying overseas.
It is YOUR responsibility to contact the Mason on-campus housing office before you study abroad to inform them you will be out of the country for a semester or two. They might have some forms you will need to fill out to reserve your space upon your return. Refer to their website.
See the cancellation policy page.
Yes, students must be fully covered with comprehensive health insurance in order to study abroad. Students are responsible for checking with their health insurance provider to see if their coverage is adequate for overseas travel. If not, students are responsible for getting travel insurance valid for the duration of their study abroad program. See the Additional Resources page for information on purchasing insurance.
The Center for Global Education does not discriminate against students who are currently under medical or psychiatric care. Students under medical or psychiatric care are required to disclose their medical condition on the online application and provide their Program Officer with a Student Medical Evaluation completed by their physician or mental health care provider. This information will remain confidential. The document is used as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of the student and the group.
Due to the major liability that this entails, we ask that participants on all programs refrain from driving any motorized vehicle while abroad. All participants sign the Motorized Vehicle Agreement form at pre-departure orientation.
The Center for Global Education cannot facilitate a dispute regarding grades posted by Faculty Directors. To appeal a grade for a study abroad program with a Mason faculty member, follow the procedures from the Mason Academic Policies website.
To be on the safe side while traveling on any program, you should make sure you have a passport with a minimum validity of six months from your return date to the US. Some countries will not issue visas or stamp passports if they expire before six months.