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.
- 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
Students will choose two 3-credit courses for a total of 6 credits.
- 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
Late June - Mid July
||Arrival at Ninoy Aquino Int’l Airport, Manila
Airport pick-up to UCCP Shalom Center
||Buy cellphone, gadgets, lunch (own expense)
Visit Cultural-Historical Sites
||Visit the American Cemetery and Monumental Orientation about WW2 and the Philippine-American relations
Presentation and discussion Re. Experiential Learning and final review of program of activities
||Orientation: National Situationer: Philippine Politics, Governance and Filipino Culture
Orientation: Urban Poor: Smokey Mountain, BASECO, Hapilan
Ocular Visit (Urban Poor)
||Initial Orientation and Ocular Visit Re. Human Trafficking in the Philippines c/o Visayan Forum
||** Departure for Davao City
Viewing/Shopping indigenous products produced by local communities .
||-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:
||Community integration with Tambayan children and youth (In solidarity).
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
||Community/field visits affected by Aerial Spraying by Del Monte and DOLE plantations/companies.
(lunch in the community)
||Rice planting (wear rugged clothes; bring towel and extra shirt)
Visit and learn about Organic/Diversified Farming/ride a water buffalo at Imulayan.
||Hangout with Tambayan kids and youth (whole day)
||Departure for Panglao Island, Bohol (morning flight)
||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
||Unwind/Exploring the beach
||At the beach (am)
Meet families who were beneficiaries of the housing project of batch 2013.
||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
Continuation of Workshop on Human Trafficking in Dumaguete and the Philippines.
||Continuation of Human Trafficking Workshop
Visit and Dinner at Casa Esperanza (safe house)
||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)
||Orientation: Community Service Learning
Start of the Service-Learning experience
(students will go to their respective host families and assigned local communities)
||Service-Learning: Students with host families and communities (homestay)
||Return to Bethel Guest House AFTER breakfast
Debriefing of S-L experience
Cultural Solidarity (students invite their host families and friends from the community).
||Departure for Manila
(Optional): Mall of Asia
||Return to Bethel Guest House, Debriefing of S-L experience Cultural Solidarity (students invite host families and friends from the community).
||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.
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.
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."
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:
March 1, 2019
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.