President's Blog

Top 10 reasons to study abroad

As we prepare for tomorrow’s official opening of Mason Global Center, I thought it would be timely to share my top 10 reasons why every college student should try to study abroad if at all possible:

  1. You will learn to appreciate what makes people around the world different
  2. You will learn to appreciate what makes people around the world the same
  3. Learning and using a new language is good for your brain (and for you)
  4. Your employer of choice either does business internationally or is likely to do so soon (Career Services offers a workshop on how to market your study-abroad experience effectively)
  5. You will dismantle some of your craziest beliefs about others and about yourself
  6. You will make your country stronger
  7. You will come back with a bunch of good stories to tell
  8. Many world leaders strongly recommend it, including First Lady Michelle Obama and even the King of Spain (who himself was a grad student in the U.S. years ago)
  9. You’ll make life-long friendships and professional relationships that may come in handy in the future
  10. If you happen to be a Mason student, our Center for Global Education makes it very easy to do, with more than 90 study abroad programs for you to choose fromIIE_Sept_22_14-11

Still unconvinced, watch IIE‘s #generationstudyabroad video.

One very good way to dip your toes abroad is to spend a semester in Mason Korea.  Seoul offers a unique window into Asia through one of the most creative and innovative spots today.  In addition to discovering the genius behind Samsung electronics and Korean industrial renaissance, or hopping on a short flight to experience Tokyo, Beijing or Shanghai, your Gangnam Style dance will never be the same!  You will take classes in a state-of-the-art campus in the brand-new city of Songdo-Incheon and can be in downtown Seoul (or posh Gangnam) in a simple metro ride.

If you can’t arrange for a semester-long program, the Center for Global Education offers two-week winter break programs that earn three credits. These are group-study tours led by a Mason faculty member.  There are also month-long, six-credit summer programs as well as a few summer school programs.

Students with 45 credits or more can participate in international internship programs in the summer (six to nine credits) or during a full semester (12 to 16 credits). Internship placements are arranged to match students’ career and academic objectives as well as possible.

Of course, if you can, go for a longer program. Students with 45 credits or more can go abroad for a semester or a year to one of Mason’s partner universities: more than 40 of them in 23 countries. If Mason options do not meet a student’s academic or geographic goals, that student can enroll in an accredited program offered by third parties and receive transfer credit.

For more information, go to or http://globaled.Gmu.Edu/ (email or call 703-993-2154).