About 1,000 George Mason University students study abroad each school year, a number the university wants to quadruple by the year 2024.
As part of that ambitious goal, the Center for Global Education has been rebranded as Mason Study Abroad. With it comes the Mason Abroad Travel Registration System, a resource portal for students participating in university-sponsored or related travel.
Mason Study Abroad, though, should be the first stop for students to learn about the more than 90 programs George Mason offers for study outside the country.
“It clarifies our goals,” said Marie alice Arnold, general manager of Mason Study Abroad. “It clarifies our mission.”
“We also hope that our broader efforts to … cultivate the global mindset among all members of our faculty and staff will stand out against the new name for our study abroad function,” said Solon Simmons, vice president of the Office of Global Strategy.
The mission to have as many as 4,000 Mason students study abroad annually by 2024 is part of a national agenda to which Mason has signed on, and which is being pushed by the Institute of International Education: to double the number of American students studying abroad to 600,000.
That is essential, Arnold said, because the world is so interconnected.
“You can’t apply the same type of response to a problem in the U.S. as a problem in another part of the world, necessarily,” she said. “That’s very important for our students going forward because more and more they are going to be working in groups and with people who are not even located in the same place, much less from the same place.”
“Every student I’ve ever talked with, I don’t think a single one has regretted the decision to study abroad,” Arnold added. “That doesn’t mean the experience was all fun; a lot of times the experience can be challenging. But it’s getting through that challenge that makes it such a transformative experience.”