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Program Selection and Application

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 Global Education Office (GEO) staff is here to help. Please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions or concerns.

Step 1: Talk to Your Study Abroad Coordinator

Your application process begins at your home institution. Contact your study abroad or international education office and tell them about your interest in becoming an exchange student. Once your home institution nominates you, you will start working with George Mason University's Global Education Office (GEO).

Step 2: Determine Eligibility

Please consult with the study abroad office at your home university to determine your eligibility and application requirements. You must be at least in your second year of your bachelor’s degree program and have the equivalent of a 2.50 cumulative GPA or higher.

"...Mason has a high standard of English proficiency for admission. Mason requires applicants to meet that English proficiency standard. Students who have completed a full high school degree/diploma program from a regionally accredited university in the United States, Canada (excluding province of Quebec), United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand are considered to have met that standard. All other applicants are required to show further evidence of English proficiency..."

Source: Mason Office of Admissions


Step 3: Submit Your Application

Submit the MasonAbroad Online Application. Click on "Apply Now" to apply. You will need to create a profile and follow the instructions given by the application system. Note that you will be asked to upload a copy of valid passport(s) and any required visa documentation including:

  • Official TOEFL, IBT, or IELTS score report. Electronic copy of TOEFL to be sent to testing code is 5827
  • Certificate of Financial Responsibility (click on the green link in the middle of the page to access the form). Please note: exchange students come on a J-1 visa and will request form DS-2019.
  • Proof of funding documents (see here for acceptable documentation)
  • Official academic transcripts in English from all higher education institutions you have attended (your study abroad coordinator at your home institution can email these to your program officer at Mason GEO).

Once these documents have been received and reviewed by the Global Education Office (GEO), instructions will be sent to you regarding your next steps.

Step 4: After Acceptance

If accepted, both you and your study abroad office will be notified by email. Once your DS-2019 is ready, you will be issued an official acceptance packet by postal mail which will include the appropriate documents to support your application for a J-1 visiting student visa at your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

It is your responsibility to log on to the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) website, pay your SEVIS fee to the Department of Homeland Security, and schedule your visa interview as soon as you learn that you are accepted.

You are advised to wait until after receiving your visa to purchase your airfare.

After being accepted to study abroad at Mason, you will need to fill out the Immunization Record Form and select your housing and dining options.

Requesting an Extension

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, you MUST contact your Program Officer. The program extension form is available at Mason's Office of International Programs and Services.

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.