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  • Locations: Bohol, Philippines; Davao, Philippines; Dumaguete, Philippines; Manila, Philippines
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.25 Language of Instruction: English
Housing: Homestay, Hotel Number of Credits Offered: 6
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: Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Criminology, Law and Society, Geography, Global Affairs, Integrative Studies Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Host: Global Education Office
Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:

Human Trafficking & Community Engagement in the Philippines

Philippines, Summer 2020


Program Overview

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 human trafficking, poverty, resiliency, grassroots initiatives towards environmental change within the context of Filipino life and culture.  This global education program in the Philippines will expose students to the dynamic interplay between human population and socio-economic, political, and environmental issues affecting the country.
Sessions on Philippine history, culture, politics and governance will be conducted during the entire trip.The trip spans four major cities: Manila, Davao, Tagbilaran and Dumaguete. 

Program Highlights

  • Explore the complexity of human trafficking as one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world, particularly within the context of the Philippines vis-à-vis Southeast Asia.
  • Study the causes, effects, (the) push and pull factors, and the various forms/models of human trafficking towards exploitation particularly of children, youth, men, and women.
  • Visit four of the world’s largest landfills, and will also visit NGOs that promote organic and sustainable agriculture and diversified farming.
  • Interact with local population and grassroots community development workers.
  • Visit local communities that are being affected by aerial spraying conducted by DOLE (banana and pineapple plantations) plantation company and do actual rice planting.


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

Minimum GPA: 2.25


6 credits

Students will choose two 3-credit courses for a total of 6 credits.

Course Options


  • INTS 399: Study Abroad
  • CONF 385: International Field Experience
  • CONF 397: Study Abroad Special Topics
  • GGS 333: Issues in Regional Geography
  • GGS 399: Selected Topics in Global Change
  • GLOA 480: Study Abroad
  • CRIM 485: Study Abroad
  • CRIM 490: Special Topics


  • CONF 695: Selected Topics

Program Dates*

Late June - Mid July


Day 1 Arrival at Ninoy Aquino Int’l Airport,  Manila
Airport pick-up to UCCP Shalom Center
Day 2 Buy cellphone, gadgets, lunch (own expense)
Visit Cultural-Historical Sites
Cultural Dinner
Day 3 Visit the American Cemetery and Monumental Orientation about WW2 and the Philippine-American relations
Ayala (optional)
Presentation and discussion Re. Experiential Learning and final review of program of activities
Day 4 Orientation: National Situationer: Philippine Politics, Governance and Filipino Culture
Orientation: Urban Poor: Smokey Mountain, BASECO, Hapilan
Ocular Visit (Urban Poor)
Individual/Group Debriefing/Sharing
Day 5 Initial Orientation and Ocular Visit Re. Human Trafficking in the Philippines c/o Visayan Forum
Individual/Group Debriefing/Sharing
Day 6 ** Departure for Davao City
Viewing/Shopping indigenous products produced by local communities .
Day 7 -Peacebuilding and the Arts (Visit Kublai, Filipino peace artist and his gallery <Ponce Suite>
Meet and learn Re. stories and experiences of sexually and physically abused children and prostituted women /street children; many of whom are victims and survivors of sex trafficking:
Journaling/Individual processing
Day 8 Community integration with Tambayan children and youth (In solidarity).
Day 9 Journaling/Reading time
Indigenous and Pearl Shopping (Aldevenco and Victoria Plaza)
Orientation Re. Environmental Issues on Aerial Spraying: Visit Interface Development Intervention, Inc. (IDIS)
Dinner at Kublai and Maan’s residence
Day 10 Community/field visits affected by Aerial Spraying by Del Monte and DOLE plantations/companies.
(lunch in the community)
Day 11 Rice planting (wear rugged clothes; bring towel and extra shirt)
Visit and learn about Organic/Diversified Farming/ride a water buffalo at Imulayan.
Day 12 Journaling/Personal time
Group debriefing/processing
Day 13 Hangout with Tambayan kids and youth (whole day)
Day 14 Departure for Panglao Island, Bohol (morning flight)
Day 15 Guided Tour and visit to areas affected by earthquake (Geo-Science tour)
* Blood Compact Shrine (Friendship Treaty between Filipinos and  Spaniards 400 years ago)
* Baclayon Church and Museum (Ruins)
* Loay bolo making
* Loboc River Cruise
* Tarsier watching
* Bilar Man-made Mahogany Forest (drive thru)
* Chocolate Hills
* Souvenir Shopping
Optional Stop: Simply Butterflies
Day 16 Unwind/Exploring the beach
Day 17 At the beach (am)
Meet families who were beneficiaries of the housing project of batch 2013.
Day 18 Departure for Dumaguete City (ocean cruise)
Get ID for Silliman University with SU Buddies
Formal Welcome Dinner with officials from Dumaguete City and Silliman University
Orientation Re. Service-Learning
Day 19 Dolphin Watching/Sandbar
Continuation of Workshop on Human Trafficking in Dumaguete and the Philippines.
Day 20 Continuation of Human Trafficking Workshop
Visit and Dinner at Casa Esperanza (safe house)
Day 21 Dawn (optional): Pre-breakfast at the public market – sticky rice with mango and organic hot chocolate
(Optional) Attend church service at Silliman University Church
At Forrest Camp (Mountain resort)
Day 22 Orientation: Community Service Learning
 Start of the Service-Learning experience
(students will go to their respective host families and assigned local communities)
Day 23-25           Service-Learning: Students with host families and communities (homestay)
Day 26 Return to Bethel Guest House AFTER breakfast
Debriefing of S-L experience
 Cultural Solidarity (students invite their host families and friends from the community).
Day 27 Departure for Manila
 (Optional): Mall of Asia
Day 26 Return to Bethel Guest House, Debriefing of S-L experience Cultural Solidarity (students invite host families and friends from the community).
Day 27 Departure for the Manila -Journaling
FINAL DEBRIEFING and Review of Course requirements
Note: Sharing of a journal entry
Departure for the US
* 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

Summer 2019: $4,995

Included: Tuition for 6 credits, accommodations, most meals, transportation between sites in the Philippines, guided tours and field excursions, post-trip meeting, international emergency medical insurance.

Not included: Airfare*, passport and visa fees, some meals, other transportation,  personal spending, required textbooks and/or course materials.

*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 March 15, 2020 in order to confirm your enrollment in the program. Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

Final Payment: The final balance payment is due by April 12, 2020. 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 their 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."

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 are welcome to apply:

Application Deadline:

March 1, 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

Name Al Fuertes
Phone 703-993-9727

GEO Program Officer

  Denise Elles-Mdahuar Photo
Name Denis Elles-Mdahaur
Phone 703-993-2155
  Make an appointment



Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.