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Links and Resources

Airfares

The plethora of Internet search engines and frequent flyer miles has made it more common for students to prefer to book their own travel arrangements to their study abroad destinations. As such, international airfare is not included.

Make sure you understand all the restrictions and costs that apply to your fare. Many tickets are non-refundable or you cannot change your return date. Often additional taxes and fuel surcharges apply.

Culture Shock and Re-entry

What is culture shock?

Culture shock refers to the anxiety a person feels when moved to a completely new environment. The anxiety manifests as a physical and emotional discomfort. Culture shock is a process that evolves over a period of time, and its stages affect people differently. It covers the progression from not knowing what to do, how to do things, or what is appropriate in a new environment to a sense of understanding. Although one can experience real pain, culture shock is also an opportunity for redefining one's self and learning and acquiring new perspectives. Culture shock can make one develop a better understanding of one's self and stimulate personal creativity. Most feelings of culture shock are normal and many often don't realize they're experiencing it in the moment. Everyone experiences culture shock differently but symptoms include, but are not limited to, homesickness, isolation, mild depression, hyper-irritability, change in sleep or eating patterns, excessive reactions to host culture, etc. Although extremely rare, you should seek medical or psychiatric help immediately if your symptoms become worse.

What does re-entry mean?

Students who have spent time abroad often experience a similar process upon their return home, which is known as reverse culture shock or re-entry.

External Study Abroad

Once you have explored the various Mason study abroad programs, you may find that you have an academic need that is not met by our programming. Mason will allow students to participate in any accredited program and bring back transfer credits (see External Study Abroad).

Library

The Global Education Office (GEO) invites students to browse through our resource library, which is open to students and the general public Monday through Friday from 9:30 am - 5 pm. We have a large selection of study abroad materials, college and university guides, and a variety of travel literature and videos available for students thinking about studying abroad. Flyers and applications for our short-term programs are always on display at the office. The Resource Library is located in the Global Education Office (GEO), Johnson Center, Room 235.

Traveling Abroad

Traveling and Living Abroad

The following resources are a great way to get a quick overview of a country's political and social structure (CIA World Factbook) as well as useful information on health, safety, U.S. consulates and embassies abroad, and tips on how to prepare for your trip.

Passport and Visa Services

If you do not have a passport, apply for one as soon as you have decided to study abroad. Many countries also require a visa for entry. A visa is a document issued by a country allowing an individual to enter the country for a specific purpose during a specific period of time. It can be stamped inside a passport or issued as a separate piece of paper. You will need your passport to apply for a visa. Contact the Embassy or Consulate of the country where you are planning to study abroad for specific information regarding visa requirements and how to obtain one if required.

Currency Converter

A currency converter can help you figure out local currency costs in US dollars.