Mabuhay! Known as the Pearl of the Orient, the Philippines has 7,107 islands and nearly 90 languages and dialects. This summer study abroad program will offer students direct contact with world issues like poverty and environmental change by granting them unique access to Filipino life and culture.

2010 participants

2010 Philippines Program Participants Upon Successful Completion of Their Service Learning Project at Smokey Mountain

Participants will attend the 2014 Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute, granting them the opportunity to actually DO some grassroots peacebuilding with local and international peace activists. Program participants will also visit local communities in different parts of the country and stay with local families. The richness of Filipino culture and the beauty and wonders of the Philippines's natural resources offer this program’s participants an abroad experience without comparison. Visits include the Taal Volcano and the Chocolate Hills, one of the known wonders of the world. The trip spans four major cities: Manila, Davao, Tagbilaran and Dumaguete.

At Mindanao 2008

2008 Philippines Program Participants at the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute

Itinerary - Summer 2014

Tuesday, May 20
Depart from the U.S. to Manila

Wednesday, May 21
Arrive at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila
Airport pick-up to UCCP Shalom Center

Thursday, May 22
Visit Cultural-Historical Sites: Intramuros-Spanish Fortress, San Agustin Church, Rizal Park

Friday, May 23
Visit the American Cemetary and Monument,Orientation about WWII and the Phillipine-American Relations

Saturday, May 24
Orientation: National Situationer, Philippine politics, governance and Filipino culture
Visit Smokey Mountain, BASECO and Hapilan

Sunday, May 25
Depart for Davao City

Monday, May 26 - Friday, May 30
Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute in Davao City

Saturday, May 31
Transfer to Tower Inn Hotel, Davao City

Sunday, June 1
Peacebuilding and the Arts with Kublai, a Filipino peace artist & Pearl Shopping

Monday, June 2
Visit to Tambayan & Interface Development Intervention, Inc. (IDIS) for orientation on environmental issues on aerial spraying

Tuesday, June 3
Field Visits to Communities affected by Aerial Spraying by Del Monte and Dole

Wednesday, June 4
Group reflection and processing

Thursday, June 5
Visit organic farm and participate in rice planting

Friday, June 6
Visit Cebu City on the way to Panglao Island, Bohol via morning flight and ocean cruise

Saturday, June 7
Explore the beach in Bohol

Sunday, June 8
Guided tour of areas affected by earthquake, guide tour of Blood Compact Shrine, Baclayon Church and Museum, Loboc River Cruise, Tarsier Watching, drive thru Bilar man-made mahogany forest and Chocolate Hills

Monday, June 9
Personal reflection at the beach, exploring the ruins of Bohol

Tuesday, June 10
Depart for Dumaguete City via ocean cruise, formal welcome dinner with officials from Dumaguete City and Silliman University, Orientation Re. Service Learning

Wednesday, June 11
Human Trafficking in Dumaguete & the Philippines, Visit to Casa Esperanza

Thursday, June 12
Continuation of Human Trafficking

Friday, June 13
Orientation on Community Service Learning
Students will be go to their host families and start their service learning experience

Saturday, June 14- Monday June 16
Students work on their community service project and stay with their host families

Tuesday, June 17
Return to Bethel Guest House
Cultural solidarity where students invite their host families and friends from the community

Wednesday, June 18
Departure for Manila & journaling

Thursday, June 19
Final debriefing

Friday, June 20
Depart Manila for the U.S.

2009 Philippines Program Participants

More Information:

The Philippines summer program Academic Director Al Fuertes was recently featured in the George Mason University News.

Jasper Hu, a student from the 2008 program, was published in the Washington Post Weekend Magazine and in the Manila Mail.

Click here for some quotes from the 2008 program participants.

Academic Director

Dr. Al Fuertes is a recipient of the 2008 GMU Teaching Excellence Award and the 2001 AT&T Asia-Pacific Leadership Award. Al specializes in community-based trauma healing as an integral component in peace building and conflict transformation. He travels extensively around the world, particularly in places affected by war, armed conflict, and natural disaster. Al works with government, religious, military, and community leaders, as well as NGO development workers, school administrators, teachers, youth, refugees, and internally displaced persons.

Dates: May 20 - June 20, 2014

You should plan to leave the United States on the first day of the program. You can schedule your return to the United States from the Philippines for the last day of the program or choose to travel independently.

Do not purchase international airfare until you are advised by your Program Officer.

Program Fee: $5,995

The Center for Global Education Program Fee includes:

  • Tuition
  • Welcome and Farewell meals
  • Housing - homestays and hotels
  • Most meals
  • Transportation between sites in the Philippines
  • Guided tours and field excursions
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • Post-trip meeting
  • Emergency medical insurance, including medical evacuation and repatriation


Scholarships are available to George Mason students through the Center for Global Education as well as through outside resources.

CGE Scholarships

Open to George Mason University students who participate in CGE Winter Break and Summer Programs. CGE Scholarship amounts range from approximately $250 to $1,000 and are both merit- and need-based. Students who are awarded a Global Scholarship may volunteer to assist CGE in the promotion of study abroad upon their return.

CGE Scholarships Information Page

Financial Aid

Mason students may also use financial aid (external link to FAFSA Student Aid) to cover a program's cost. If you are not a George Mason university student check with your study abroad office or office of financial aid to learn more about how to cover the cost of your study abroad.

How to Apply

Consult the How to Apply section for detailed instructions.

  1. Start by completing the online application.

  2. Pay the $150 registration and processing fee ($200 for non-Mason).

Note that all supplemental documents are required by the application deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Contact the Program Officer for further application forms and instructions specific to your program.

*CGE reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, or any other unforeseen circumstances.