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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.5 Language of Instruction: English
Number of Credits Offered: 3 Eligible Population: 01 Freshman, 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior, Graduate
Type of Program: Faculty-led Minimum GPA (Graduate): 3.0
Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:

Post Genocide Community Development and Spirituality in Cambodia

This winter break course brings the true spirit of international education by doing community engagement abroad in Cambodia, a country rich in history and cultural traditions, but that has also experienced one of the worst forms of genocide and conflict in recent years. Students will arrive in Siem Reap Cambodia and immediately be immersed in the rich culture and history of the region by visiting and learning about Angkor Wat and the 12th century architecture that it represents. Traveling to Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city, students will visit several museums including Toul Sleng and receive an introduction to the Khmer Rouge’s oppressive regime of the mid 1970’s. Many important seminars and peace building projects are the core of this program and promise to create a truly life changing experience for each participant. The program is done in partnership with the Spirit in Education Movement (SEM) and the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. This experiential learning opportunity will grant students unique access to the red light and slum areas in Phnom Penh where human trafficking is a serious issue.

Program Details

Credits Offered

  • Integrative Studies (INTS) 498: Field-Based Work
  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution (CONF) 385: International Field Experience
  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution (CONF) 397: Study Abroad Special Topics
  • Integrative Studies (INTS) 595: Experiential Learning
  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution (CONF) 695: Selected Topics


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

Program Cost (Winter 2019 - 20): $4,595.00

Early Registration discount of $200 is available for anyone placing their deposit prior to Monday Sept. 30th

  • Tuition (3 credits)
  • Ground transportation
  • Lodging
  • Entrance fees
  • Breakfast and Dinners
  • International Emergency Insurance
Not Included:
  • Round trip airfare
  • Personal spending

Program Itinerary*

Day 1 PM: Arrival in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Day 2 AM: Orientation and Introductions by Al Fuertes
Napakadol Kittisenee and Suykeang Kry At the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPCS) including lunch
PM: Excursion to Angkor National Museum and Sunset on top of Phnom Bakheng (bus departs from CPCS office) Welcome Dinner/Happy New Year’s Dinner
Day 3 Sunrise at Angkor Vat (optional)
Visit Heritage Sites within Angkor Complex
Lunch Afternoon: Visit Heritage Sites within Angkor Complex (continued)  
Visit Western Baray (a massive human-made Reservoir) 
After dinner: debriefing and reflection
Day 4 Departs for Phnom Penh (by Bus) Lunch (on the way)
Arriving in Phnom Penh (around 4pm)
Cruising on the Mekong with Introduction on Contemporary Cambodia by another speaker representative
Day 5 Excursion to National Museum and Royal Palace
Lunch Afternoon: Overviewing Urban Landscape (Markets, Slum Areas and ‘developed’ area at Koh Pech)
Dinner on Koh Pech with representatives from Working Group for Peace (Sokha, Sokhany, Vanny)
After dinner: Relaxing
Day 6 Visit Tuol Sleng
Coffee & cool drinks
Documentation Centre on Cambodia
Afternoon: Killing Fields Site Debriefing and Processing c/o Al Fuertes /unwind, journaling/personal reflection
Return to hotel
Day 7 AM: Visit the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) Khmer Rouge Tribunal
Afternoon presentation on Human Trafficking base on regional perspective – Chigusa Ikeuchi
Dinner and learn stories from Beer Girls
Day 8 Analysis and Critical Thinking using the 4 Noble Truths as a framework – Jeeranun & Natha (hold day)
Continue with Jeeranun & Natha
Visit Khmer Arts Emsemble by Sophiline Cheam Shapir, dinner and traditional performance
Day 9 Workshop sharing experiences of community development and peace building in Cambodia Community Development in Cambodia – Meas Nee
Interfaith and Inter-ethnic peace building – ACT and a Catholic representative Reconciliation, healing and memory – Long Khet, Youth for Peace
Conflict transformation reconciliation and memory by Chea Vannath
Day 10 Travel to Battambang by bus 
Lunch (on the way)
Individual and group sharing/debriefing Dr. Al Fuertes will convene individual conferencing
Welcome dinner
Day 11 Visit Buddhists For Development (BFD) in the field
Visit Phare Ponleu Selpak Friends Economic Development Association’s (FEDA) approach for community development Dinner
Day 12 AM: Discuss Dhammayietra (Peace Walk) with Bob Maat and Oddom Van Syvorn
Visit Buddhist University
Travel to Siem Reap by bus
Day 13 Reflection/Analysis/Synthesis/ Evaluation/Final Debriefing at Meta Karuna Interfaith Centre
Lunch Al Fuertes will facilitate
Closing remarks by Al Fuertes, Napakadol Kittisenee and Walra Peepathum Dinner
(Luggage Packing tonight)
Day 14 Departure for Washington

*Instructor reserves the right to modify the course schedule as needed

More Information About SAIL Field Studies

Contact Information

For information regarding application, registration or payment contact:
Greg Justice

For information regarding the syllabus, Itinerary and grading contact:
Al Fuertes
Associate Professor, School of Integrative Studies

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter Break 2021 10/10/2020 ** 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.