When you think of study abroad you may imagine students wandering through the Louvre in Paris or visiting the Colosseum in Rome. While students are able to engage in tourist activities, they represent only a small portion of a student’s experience.
In addition to tourism, study abroad is an integrated classroom experience that can include volunteering, internships, and directed travel, as long as learning goals drives these activities. Mason students have engaged in a variety of activities while studying abroad such as studying primate behavior at an active research station in Peru, interning with a member of the British Parliament, and accelerating their language learning by being immersed in the target language.
Study abroad opportunities are available for many different majors and programs of study. For example, Mason’s bioengineering program has mapped a curricular match with the University Carlos III of Madrid – with courses taught in English. The biology department has faculty leading students to undertake transect surveys to evaluate the health of coral reefs, and students in the School of Business attend KEDGE Business School, an institution in the top 10 circle for the Grand Ecole system in France.
Although you and your student may think that study abroad is out of reach due to financial burdens, many programs have equivalent costs to the cost-of-attendance at Mason, and for out-of-state students sometime less. Financial aid and scholarships can be applied toward the expense of study abroad, and there are additional scholarships available.
If you and your student are worried about safety, we want to assure you that Mason study abroad is a great way to be independent in the world without being alone. Protocols are in place to vet programs with experts before they go. Your student will be prepared with information on how to stay as safe as possible while abroad. Emergency medical insurance is purchased to cover emergency medical care and evacuation in the case of medical concerns, natural disasters or other crises. Many programs are faculty-led, so a trusted advisor is there to guide students.
You and your student can visit Mason Study Abroad online at studyabroad.gmu.edu for more information, or reach out to us via email at GoAbroad@gmu.edu for any questions or to schedule a time to stop by our office!
Marie Alice Arnold
Mason Study Abroad