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  • Locations: Bohol, Philippines; Davao, Philippines; Dumaguete, Philippines; Manila, Philippines
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • Dates / Deadlines
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

June 23 – July 24, 2020


    Date                Event/Activity
          Time and Place
Tuesday, June 23  Departure for Manila  
Day 1
Wednesday, June 24
** Late night snacks (covered)
Arrival at Ninoy Aquino Int’l Airport,  Manila
- Airport pick-up to UCCP Shalom Center
 Shalom Hotel lobby
Day 2
Thursday, June 25
** Breakfast (covered)
-Buy cellphone, gadgets, lunch (own expense
- Visit Cultural-Historical Sites
-Presentation and discussion Re. Experiential Learning and final review of program of activities
7:30am-9:30am  3rd floor Shalom Center
Robinson’s Malate
(2pm- 5:30pm) Intramuros - Spanish Fortress, San Agustin Church, Rizal Park, Manila
7pm 2nd floor, Shalom Hotel
Day 3
Friday, June 26
** Breakfast/dinner (covered)
- Visit the American Cemetery and Monumental Orientation about WW2 and the Philippine-American relations
-Ayala (optional)
-Lunch (own expense)
-Cultural Dinner
7am-8:30am, 3rd floor Shalom Center
Venice Grand Canal Mall
Barbara’s, Intramuros
Time and Place
Day 4
Saturday, June 27
Day 5
Sunday, June 28
** Breakfast/Snacks (covered)
Orientation: National Situationer: Philippine Politics, Governance and Filipino Culture
-Orientation: Urban Poor: Smokey Mountain, BASECO, Hapilan
-Ocular Visit (Urban Poor)
-Individual/Group Debriefing/Sharing
** Breakfast/Snacks (covered)
-Initial Orientation and Ocular Visit Re. Human Trafficking in the Philippines c/o Visayan Forum (Voice of the Free)
Individual/Group Debriefing/Sharing
7am-8:30am, 3rd floor Shalom Center
9am-10:45am, 2nd floor Shalom Center
-whole afternoon
7:30pm at Shalom Center, 2nd floor
8:30am  - whole day
Time and Place
Right after visit
Day 6
Monday, June 29
Grand Menseng
Davao City
** Breakfast (covered)
** Departure for Davao City
-Viewing/Shopping indigenous products produced by local communities at Aldevenco
-Shalom Center
Morning (2 hour flight)
4pm: Aldevenco
Day 7
Tuesday, June 30
** Breakfast (covered)
- Peacebuilding and the Arts (Visit Kublai, Filipino peace artist and his gallery <Ponce Suite>
-Visit Museo de Davao
Day 8
Wednesday, July 1
Day 9
 Thursday, July 2
Day 10
Friday, July 3
** Breakfast/Lunch/Snacks (covered)
- Program Orientation
- 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 and labor trafficking
** Breakfast/lunch/snacks (covered)
- Community integration with Tambayan children and youth (In solidarity).
** Breakfast/Dinner/Snacks (covered)
-Journaling/Reading time
- Pearl Shopping (Victoria Plaza)
- Orientation Re. Environmental Issues on Aerial Spraying: Visit Interface Development Intervention, Inc. (IDIS)
Dinner at Kublai and Maan’s residence
9am – 5pm
Time and Place
-9am – whole day
8pm – venue (TBA)
-2pm-5pm, People’s Park
Day 11
Saturday, July 4
** Breakfast/snacks/lunch (covered)
- Community/field visits (women’s organization) affected by Aerial Spraying by Del Monte and DOLE plantations/companies.
Whole day
Time and Place
Day 12
Sunday, July 5
** Breakfast/lunch/snacks (covered)
-Rice planting (wear rugged clothes; bring towel and extra shirt)
-Visit and learn about Organic/Diversified Farming/ride a water buffalo at Imulayan.
-Whole day
Day 13
Monday, July 6
Day 14
Tuesday, July 7
** Breakfast/snacks (covered)
-Journaling/Personal time
-Hangout with Tambayan youth
** Breakfast (covered)
Journaling/Personal time
Final Debriefing based on a journal entry
2pm-5pm at People’s Park
Day 15
Wednesday, July 8
Day 16
Thursday, July 9
** Breakfast (covered) 
- Departure for Panglao Island, Bohol (morning flight)
** Breakfast (covered)
-Unwind/Exploring the beach
Lost Horizon, Panglao Island, Bohol
Time and Place
Whole Day
Day 17
Friday, July 10
** Breakfast/Lunch (covered)
-- 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
* Hinagdanan Cave
Whole Day
Day 18
Saturday, July 11
** Breakfast/Snacks (covered)
-At the beach (am)
-Meet families who were beneficiaries of the housing project of batch 2013.
-Lost Horizon
-Early afternoon
Time and Place
Day 19
Sunday, July 12
Stay at Bethel Guesthouse
** Packed breakfast/Dinner (covered)
- Departure for Dumaguete City (ocean cruise)
- Formal Welcome Dinner with officials from Dumaguete City and Silliman University
- Orientation Re. Service-Learning
6:30pm, Bethel Guesthouse
Day 20
Monday, July 13
** Breakfast/Lunch/Snacks (covered)
- Swimming with whale sharks
Bethel Guesthouse
6am (leave hotel) – early afternoon in Oslob, Cebu
Day 21
Tuesday, July 14
** Breakfast/Dinner/snacks (covered)
Human Trafficking Workshop 2 (Dumaguete Context)
-Visit and Dinner at Casa Esperanza (safe house)
8:30am -12 noon
2pm – 5pm
        Time and Place
Day 22
Wednesday, July 15
** Breakfast/snacks (covered)
Dawn (optional): Pre-breakfast at the public market – sticky rice with mango and organic hot chocolate
Photo ID at Silliman University as part of the Service-Learning program
Forest Camp
Dumaguete Public Market
Day 23
Thursday, July 16
** Breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks (covered)
- Orientation: Community Service Learning
- Start of the Service-Learning experience
(students will go to their respective host families and assigned local communities with SU buddies)
- Bethel
-9am - 12noon
-- Afternoon
Day 24 – 27
Friday, July 17 until Monday, July 20
** All meals/accommodation are covered
Service-Learning: Students with host families and communities (homestay)
-Assigned communities and NGOs
Day 28
Tuesday, July 21
End of Service-Learning
** Breakfast/Dinner/Snacks (covered)
- Return to Bethel Guest House AFTER breakfast
- Debriefing of S-L experience
- Cultural Solidarity (students invite their host families and friends from the community).
-Morning (after breakfast): teams will work on their experiential learning to share in the afternoon.
Day 29
Wednesday, July 22
Fly back to MANILA
Shalom Hotel
** Breakfast (covered)
-Departure for Manila
(Optional): Mall of Asia
Morning flight
Day 30
Thursday, July 23
** Breakfast/Snacks (covered)
-FINAL DEBRIEFING and Review of Course requirements
Note: Sharing of a journal entry
2nd floor Shalom Center

* 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 2020: $5,120

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 22, 2020. 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 April 19, 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 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 are welcome to apply:

Application Deadline:

March 8, 2020


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 Administrator

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


Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2020 03/08/2020 ** Rolling Admission 06/23/2020 07/25/2020

** 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.