A successful education abroad experience starts with thoughtful research, planning, and preparation. While at first the process may seem overwhelming, it is really quite simple. Follow these step-by-step procedures and soon you'll be studying abroad! Remember, The Center for Global Education staff is here to help. Please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions or concerns.

Step 1

Familiarize yourself with your study abroad options by attending an Information Session or consulting with a study abroad Program Officer at the Center for Global Education. Program Officers are here to guide you through the process of researching and applying to a program. They can also help you determine the appropriateness of a particular program by helping you review eligibility requirements, application deadlines and procedures that apply to your chosen program. Information Sessions are a great first step because they address how to select a program and review the complete study abroad process alongside other interested students.

When selecting a program you should be thinking about your goals for studying abroad, languages you already speak or wish to speak, major coursework you need to complete while abroad, and how much time you can be away from campus. All of these considerations will help you select the program that is best for you.

Step 2
Determine Eligibility

Before you begin the application process you should make sure you meet your program's eligibility requirements. Many Center for Global Education programs are open to Mason students, other college or university students, staff, faculty, and alumni, as well as to the general public. Always consult the program specific section of this website for details on specific program eligibility requirements.

To enroll in most summer or winter short-term program applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.25 to earn academic credit. No minimum credit hours required.

For semester or academic- year-long programs undergraduate students are eligible for study abroad once they have completed at least 45 credit hours and have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher*. Completed credit hours includes transfered credit hours.

*Some semester and yearlong programs and direct exchanges require a higher minimum GPA or have language or subject background pre-requisites. Please consult the program specific section of this website for details on specific program eligibility requirements.

Step 3
Consult With Advisors

You should always consult with your ACADEMIC advisor to ensure the program you have chosen and the credits available in the program fit your academic plan. If you plan on seeking financial aid to help pay for your experience, request a cost breakdown from the Center for Global Education. Take the breakdown to your meeting with your FINANCIAL AID COUNSELOR at your home university. Your financial aid counselor exists to help you determine your aid eligibility. Here are some important financial due dates to help you plan:

Registration and Processing Fee

All programs

due with application

Post Acceptance Deposits

Winter Programs


Summer Programs


Semester Programs


Direct Exchange Programs

no deposit; pay Mason tuition

Keep those involved in your financial decisions, such as your parents, informed of program fees and actual cost- of-attendance (the program fee plus the items not included in the program fee such as personal expenses, visa and passport fees, meals not covered by the program fee and international airfare.) Estimates of these costs are included in the Center for Global Education estimated costs of attendance sheets available to students.

See Financing Your Study Abroad for more information

Step 4
Apply Online Right Now

When you begin the on-line application you will have to create a four-digit PIN number which will allow you to save your application and continue working on it at a later time. To complete the online application you will also need:

  • G# for Mason students.

  • Current contact information.

  • Academic information such as GPA, major if declared, class year.

  • Medical Insurance Information.

  • Upon submitting the on-line application you will be redirected to a secure payment portal in order for you to pay your non-refundable registration and processing fee:

Program Type Mason non-Mason

Mason winter and summer short-term programs



Mason semester and academic year programs, direct exchanges, and semester internship programs.



Oxford Semester Program



Once payment has been made, your online application will be submitted to the Center for Global Education.

For students attending a study abroad program administered by another institution (an External Program) you will be charged an administrative fee of $175 for a summer or winter short-term program (up to six-credits); $300 for a semester abroad, or $500 for an academic year program.

Once you have successfully submitted your application your study abroad advisor will review your application and contact you regarding your next steps. If you encounter any problems while completing the application please call our office.

Application Deadlines

Submit your complete application (on-line application and additional materials) no later than the following application deadlines:

Short-Term and Semester and Internship Programs

Winter Break Programs

1st Friday in October

Summer Programs

1st Friday after Spring Break

Direct Exchanges

Semester Programs


DEADLINES VARY and exchanges fill up quickly.

Many students apply a full year to a semester in advance so you should apply early! Check your program's specific webpage and with your Program Officer for deadlines.

Non-Mason Programs

Winter and Spring Semester

December 1

Fall and Academic Year

August 1


June 1

Check your program web page as some programs have earlier deadlines.

Applications may sometimes be accepted after the published deadline on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Program Officer responsible for the program of your choice for more information.

Step 5
Supplementary Materials

Collect your application materials. In addition to the on-line application a complete application contains the following items:

At least one passport-size photograph on photo paper

Please note that some programs require more than one photo. Refer to your program officer for details.

ID photos can be taken at your local drug store, Wal-mart or CVS. Or try

One photocopy of the photo page of your passport (black and white copies are acceptable)

If you do not currently have a passport your application will still be considered. Please apply for a passport immediately and inform your Program Officer that you have done so. Each student is responsible for obtaining his/her passport. The Center for Global Education CANNOT facilitate student passport applications. If you do not get a passport before the departure of the program, you risk not being able to participate on the program. Failure to secure a valid passport does not constitute grounds for a refund of the program fee or deposit.

A current official academic transcript

Required for Mason students partcipating on a Direct Exchange or ONLY (this is no longer required for most internship, short-term, faculty-led winter or summer programs).

If you do not attend George Mason University

If you do not attend GMU, you must submit the Non-Degree Contract Course Enrollment and Application for In-State Tuition Rates Forms. You can download the forms here. You must fill out the Application for In-State Tuition Rates Form whether you live in Virginia or not.  If you are a permanent resident of Virginia, please fill out the entire form, if you do not live in Virginia, fill out the top portion only of the first page, sign the top of the second page, and write "Not Applicable" on the rest of the form.

Program Specific Application Requirements

Winter or Summer Short-Term Programs

  • Applicants to the Chinese Language Summer Program need to submit a total of five passport-size photos.

  • Applicants to Paris, Montreal, King's College London and Milan are required to submit a total of 2 passport-size photos.

  • No additional materials required for all other winter or summer short-term programs.

Internship Programs

(Specific requirements may vary depending on program. Check on the program-specific page for each program's requirements)

Semester or Academic Year Programs

  • Two recommendation letters from recent faculty.

  • One-page typed autobiographical essay and statement of academic objectives while abroad

Direct Exchange Semester Programs

  • Two recommendation letters from recent faculty. Note: Please request your references to print their letters on Mason letterhead, sign them, and give them to you in sealed envelopes or deliver to the CGE via campus mail to Mail Stop #2B8. Emailed letters will not be accepted.

  • One-page typed statement of purpose, detailing your motivations for studying abroad and your academic objectives on the program.

  • Language Proficiency Form (if required)

  • Additional Host University Forms (See your program officer for specific forms and details.)

Non-Mason Programs

  • You do not have to submit photos to the Center for Global Education.

  • Apply directly to the hosting institution, organization or school.

  • Once accepted by program submit a copy of the Host University Acceptance Letter and proof of accreditation

  • Submit your Petition for Transfer of Credits Form (also known as the Green Form.)

  • Upon completion of the study abroad program have an official transcript sent to:

Center for Global Education
George Mason University
4400 University Drive, MS 2B8
Fairfax, Virginia 22030

Now your application is ready for review. Once the Program Officer responsible for your first choice program has reviewed your application, they will inform you via email of the acceptance decision. Program specific post-acceptance instructions will be included in the email.

Upon Acceptance

Congratulations. You have been accepted to study abroad. Now what? Once you have been accepted into your study abroad program you will receive an acceptance email with information on post-acceptance materials that must be submitted to organize your experience and guarantee your place in the program.

All Mason-program participants are required to submit a non-refundable deposit to George Mason University, $1500 for summer or winter short-term programs or $2500 for semester or year-long programs.

Students make payments to the George Mason University Cash Office by cash or check. Mason students may pay by credit card (American Express, MasterCard, Discover, and VISA only) online via Patriotweb. You will currently pay a 2.75 % convenience fee to pay by credit card. The convenience fee is non-refundedable. Participants who are not Mason students cannot access Patriotweb to make payments. Mail your payment to GMU Cash Office, MSN 2E1, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030. Make sure your GMU ID# is submitted with your payment. Participants who are not Mason students are charged an additional $50 administrative fee to their program fee.

Students participating in a Direct Exchange program submit an administrative fee directly to the Center for Global Education instead of a deposit: $300 for a semester or $500 for academic year. Payment is accepted by cash, check or credit card (Visa or Mastercard).

George Mason students applying for financial aid must request a cost breakdown and a Financial Aid Profile Sheet from the Center for Global Education. Bring your cost breakdown and Profile Sheet to your Financial Aid Counselor for completion. You must meet with your Financial Aid Counselor. Students who do not attend George Mason must process financial aid requests through their home university. Students from other institutions are required to pay the program deposit regardless of their financial aid award.

Attend the mandatory pre-departure orientation. Participants from outside the metro-D.C. ar

ea are encouraged to attend although it is not required. An orientation by phone will be arranged for students from outside the metro-D.C. area.

Each program will also have additional documents for you to submit such as a housing questionnaire or Petition for Transfer of Credits Form. Your acceptance information will include this information as well as whether you need a visa to study on the program and what materials you would need to submit for your visa. Please read through your acceptance materials carefully.

Extending Your Semester

Many students go abroad with the intention of staying one semester, but end up so excited with their program that they want to stay another semester. If you wish to extend your semester or exchange program abroad, please download the instructions for Requesting an Extension of Study Abroad Status (pdf). Direct exchange students, please note circumstances such as other competitive applications and exchange program balances must be considered before your application can be approved, consult with your Program Officer immediately.

Refund and Cancellation Policy

Participants canceling their program participation up to 45 days before departure will be refunded the total amount minus the non-refundable deposit. Participants canceling less than 45 days before the program or during the program will not be refunded any portion of the program fee. For invoice questions, please contact Joanne Cabe or call (703) 993-4048.