Mason Family Flash

Family perspective on study abroad

The Pulitzer Prize winning poet Wallace Stevens once said, “The most beautiful in the world is, of course, the world itself.”

George Mason University’s study abroad program, through its Global Education Office (GEO), certainly proves that. Mason offers more than 200 study abroad programs in about 60 countries. Has your student considered one?

My daughter Wren, a junior, just returned from Oxford University in the U.K. She met students from all over the globe — Germany, France, India, Nepal, Pakistan and more. As a parent, one of the things I appreciated most was how experiential the program was. I knew she’d have access to high quality education, and I valued that the program also provided opportunities for her to visit London, Cambridge, Bath, Winchester and Wales during the semester — all as part of the cost of the program. From a safety standpoint, I appreciated that she had access to a Mason professor and an Oxford study abroad office.

Each program is different, but in Oxford, we paid a fee to Mason for her studies, room and board. We then purchased her plane ticket, and she paid for her food and incidentals.

Halfway through the semester, I flew over to join her for a few days. I stayed at a hotel near her apartment and enjoyed meeting her new friends, hearing about her experiences, and seeing the beautiful campuses and sites for myself.

Here are a few tips:

  • Don’t let cost get in your way of considering a program. Mason offers many scholarships. Some of the programs aren’t much more than regular tuition and room and board.
  • Encourage them to use the campus resources. Check out the introductory Mason presentation to learn the basics. Then, suggest they visit the GEO office (Johnson Center, Room 235) or attend the Study Abroad Fair on Thursday, Feb. 13 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall for an introduction to various programs and an explanation of application deadlines.
  • If you haven’t already, be sure to join the George Mason Family Facebook group where you’ll find support and answers to your questions from other Mason parents and family members.

Julie Puckett
Parent and Family Council 

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