What is study abroad?
When you think of study abroad you may imagine students wandering through a European city, climbing mountains in South America, or eating street food in Asia. But study abroad is not like taking a vacation. While students are able to engage in tourist activities, these activities represent only a small portion of a student’s experience.
Instead, study abroad is an integrated classroom experience that can include volunteering, internships, and directed travel. Students at Mason have engaged in a variety of activities while studying abroad, such as studying primate behavior at an active research station in Peru, interning with international companies in Hong Kong, and accelerating their language learning through immersion programs.
How does your student get started?
- Decide which program is right for them.They need to think about goals for studying abroad, languages they wish to speak, or major coursework them need to complete while abroad.
- They can meet with a Peer Advisor in the study abroad office:They can give personal insight into a particular program and their own experience abroad, discuss the overview of the application process, or show your student how to navigate the website.
- You student may need to talk to an academic advisor or financial aid counselor:Your student can make an appointment with their Academic Advisor to find out how a study abroad experience will fit into their class schedule. If they plan on seeking financial aid to help pay for their experience, they should schedule a meeting with their Financial Aid Counselor. Financial aid and scholarships can be applied toward the expense of study abroad, and additional scholarships and travel grants are available.
- Your student will need to create a user profile in the MasonAbroad enrollment system.Once they create a profile and begin their application, additional instructions and required items will be made available to them.
Even first-year students at Mason can attend a specialized transition course in the fall semester before they are headed to five different institutions of higher learning around the globe. There, they spend one semester with local students, studying a tailored curriculum with pre-approved courses.
Where can I find out more information about my student’s study abroad program?
Each program offered has its own brochure page on the MasonAbroad. The program brochure contains a description of the location and/or university, and information regarding eligibility requirements, cost, accommodations, and more. Parents, guardians and family members can find more information for any program by searching our website.
What financial aid or scholarships are available for my student?
Financial aid (including loans, grants, and scholarships) can be applied to most GEO programs. Students who receive financial aid and are planning to study abroad need to contact the Financial Aid Office to determine their eligibility. GEO administers several scholarships including the Global Perspectives Scholarship, the Monroe “Chip” Whitton Scholarship, the Jacquemin Family Foundation Scholarship and the Diversity Grant. More details on each individual scholarship, eligibility and award amounts can be found here. All eligible students are encouraged to apply for these opportunities. The deadlines are typically in late September/ early October and early-late March. Additional outside scholarships and personal fundraising resources are also available.
Will my student be safe?
If you and your student are worried about safety, we want to assure you that studying 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 led by Mason faculty, so a trusted advisor is there to guide them.
Visit the Global Education Office (GEO) frequently asked questions (FAQs) online at masonabroad.gmu.edu or email GoAbroad@gmu.edu to answer any remaining questions you may have.
Senior Marketing and Outreach Specialist
Global Education Office
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