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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.25 Language of Instruction: English
Housing: Hotel Number of Credits Offered: 3
Eligible Population: 01 Freshman, 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior, Graduate Type of Program: Faculty-led
Click here for a definition of this term Area of Study: Art History, Honors, Government and International Policy, History Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Host: Global Education Office
Minimum GPA (Graduate): 3.0 Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:

Monumental Politics in Athens & Rome

Greece & Italy, Winter 2020

Athens and Rome ruins
When people fight over the ‘sacred ground’ of the 9/11 memorial, grieve for people who resisted economic austerity, or regulate the size and design of funerary memorials, they demonstrate the political stakes and importance of public monuments. Monuments highlight the affective and aesthetic dynamics of politics--particularly around the production of a democratic, tragic, or tyrannical political body through death and sacrifice. This class compares the political significance of monuments in ancient democratic Athens, Imperial Rome, and the contemporary United States. What lives are worthy of commemoration? How should those lives and actions be remembered? We will also examine contemporary monumental practices in Greece in response to the recent austerity and immigrant crises. Looking at different ways that democracies, republics, and empires have attempted to memorialize, glorify, and mourn the ‘public’ dead improves our understanding of political life. 

Program Highlights

  • Compares the political significance of monuments in ancient democratic Athens, Imperial Rome, and the U.S., looking at different ways that democracies, republics, and empires have attempted to memorialize, glorify, and mourn the ‘public’ dead.
  • Students will also examine contemporary monumental practices in Greece in response to the recent austerity and immigrant crises.


This program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students, including students who do not attend George Mason University. 

Undergraduate students must have a minimum GPA of 2.25.


Students will choose one 3-credit course during the application process.

Course Options

  • Art History - ARTH 398: Study Abroad in the History of Art
  • Government - GOVT 329: Issues in Political Theories and Values
  • History - HIST 388: Topics in European History
  • Honors - HNRS 130: Conceptions of Self
  • Graduate credit may be possible.

Program Dates*

Early - Mid January 


Sample Itinerary 

Pre-Meeting (TBD) Lecture and tour of DC Monuments
Day 1 Arrival in Athens. Walking tour and lecture around the Acropolis.
Day 2 Visit and lecture: Acropolis and Acropolis Museum.
Day 3 Day trip to Delphi with on-site lecture.
Day 4 Free day in Athens, followed by evening lecture. 
Day 5 Visit Exarcheia neighborhood with on-site lecuture.
Day 6 Free day in Athens, followed by evening lecture.
Day 7 All day trip to islands of Aegina, Poros, and Hydra.
Day 8 Depart for Rome.
Day 9 Visit Villa Borghese followed by afternoon lecture. 
Day 10 Visit to the Domus Aurea, Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill followed by an evening lecture.
Day 11 Morning visit to the Galleria Colonna with an evening trip to the Vatican and St. Peter's Basillica. 
Day 12 Visit the Pantheon and Piazza Navona with student presentations on site.
Day 13 Guided tour of Monte Testaccio with student presentations on site. 
Day 14 Students depart for the U.S.
Post-Meeting (TBD) Film assignment and group dinner

* Dates and itinerary subject to change. The Global Education Office reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, and/or any other unforeseen circumstances.

Program Cost

Winter 2020: $4,203

Included: Tuition for 3 credits, hotel accommodations, all breakfasts and some additional group meals, guided tours and excursions as described in itinerary, transportation to all program sites, flight from Athens to Rome, international emergency medical insurance.

Not included: Airfare*, passport and visa fees, some meals, personal spending, required textbooks and/or course materials. *Note: Participants must arrange their own airfare once instructed to do so by the Mason Global Education Office.

Program Payments

Students on MasonGEO programs must pay the advertised program cost in order to participate. This cost will be made in three payments (Deposit + First Payment + Final Payment). Students using financial aid can provide additional paperwork in lieu of deposit and final balance payments.

Application Deposit: A non-refundable program deposit $200 must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee.

First Payment: A non-refundable payment of $1000 must be received by October 20, 2019. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee. Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

In the event that a student’s financial aid or VA Benefits is estimated to cover the entire costs of the study abroad program, the entire charge will be posted to their student account, since that is where the aid will be applied. In this case students do not pay their first payment through MasonAbroad. However students must submit their “Intent to Use Financial Aid” form by the first deposit deadline.

Final Payment: The final balance payment is due by November 10, 2019. This is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $1200 you've already paid (Deposit + First Payment). Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

Financial Aid and VA Benefits: Students who intend to use financial aid or VA benefits to fund their program fees (partially or in full) must have the "Intent to Use Financial Aid" or "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form" completed and on file with the Global Education Office by the First Payment deadline. The "Intent to Use Financial Aid" form is available in the MasonAbroad application system once you have started your application for this program. If you are using VA Benefits please contact your program officer to request the "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form."

Withdrawal and Refund Policy: All participants are bound by the Mason GEO Withdrawal and Refund Policy.

Payment Instructions

For more information on payments, financial aid, and information for non-Mason students:



GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students on this program are welcome to apply:


Application Opens:

May 2019


Application Deadline:

Sunday, October 20, 2019


Application requirements:*

Program Deposit: $200 for all applicants.

Course Selection Questionnaire: You will choose the course(s) you would like to be receive credit for on this program. Check the "Academics" tab to see what courses are offered on this program. If you need help selecting your course, check with your academic advisor.

Passport Status Questionnaire: You do not need a passport to complete this questionnaire or the application. However, if you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now. The Global Education Office offers Passport Grants to help.

Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents regarding the acknowledgement of risk, the pre-departure orientation, and your financial responsibility.

Intent to Use Financial Aid Form: For Mason students only. If you use financial aid, this form must be completed by your financial aid counselor and submitted by the 1st payment deadline.

Additional requirements for non-Mason applicants:

Official transcript: To be mailed or emailed to the Global Education Office at George Mason University.

Non-degree Contract Course/Admission Form: Please complete the form and upload it into the questionnaire.

* Additional application requirements may apply to individual programs. Once you open your application, you will see all application requirements.

Application instructions:

Academic Director

  Char Miller
Name Dr. Char Miller
Phone 703-993-1407

GEO Program Officer

Name Andrew Miller
Phone 703-993-5013

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter Break 2020 10/06/2019 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.