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  • Locations: Banjul, Gambia
  • Program Terms: Winter Break
  • Budget Sheets: Winter Break
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.25 Language of Instruction: English
Number of Credits Offered: 3 Eligible Population: 01 Freshman, 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior
Type of Program: Faculty-led Click here for a definition of this term Area of Study: African and African American Studies, Global Affairs, History
Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Host: Global Education Office Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:

Development, Democracy, and Migration in West Africa

The Gambia, Winter 2020

Gambia banner
The Gambia is one of Africa's smallest country, but one with a long and fascinating history. From the pre-colonial Mandinka kingdoms to the Atlantic slave trade, from a 22-year dictatorship described as the "North Korea" of Africa, to a young and vibrant democracy, the Gambia offers a microcosm of West Africa's global experience. In this study abroad program, students will learn about Gambian history and politics within its West African context, and examine themes such as the role of Islam in Africa, the importance of gender roles, how countries can democratize and reconcile after dictatorship, and the impact of international development and tourism. Students will be based just outside the capital, Banjul, and from there will have access to the University of the Gambia, where they will attend lectures, government ministries and embassies, and the Gambia's famous beaches.

Program Highlights

  • Witness history in the making as the Gambia emerges from a 22 year old dictatorship to democracy.
  • Take classes at the University of the Gambia and visit government ministers, civil society organizations, and mosques.
  • Visit Kunta Kinteh Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and learn about the trans-Atlantic slave trade and its legacy in Africa.


Undergraduate students only. Minimum 2.25 GPA.


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

 Course Options

  • GLOA 480: Global Affairs Study Abroad
  • GOVT 398: Government Study Abroad
  • AFAM 390: Special Topics in African and African American Studies
  • HIST 387: Topics in Global History (fulfills Mason Core: Global Understanding requirement)
  • HNRS 131: Contemporary Society in Multiple Perspectives
  • HNRS 230: Cross Cultural Perspectives
  • Integrative Studies - INTS 399: Study Abroad

Program Dates

Early - Mid January


(coming soon!)
Day 1 Arrival
Day 2 Orientation, visit to UTG
Day 3 Introduction to the Gambia/West Africa
Day 4 Gambian History
Day 5 Gender in the Gambia
Day 6 Health in the Gambia
Day 7 Islam in the Gambia
Day 8 The slave trade
Day 9 Free Day
Day 10 Gambian politics
Day 11 Democratization and transitional justice
Day 12 The Gambia's economy and migration
Day 13 Tourism and development
Day 14 Departure
* 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: $4,500

Included: Tuition for 3 credits, accommodations, entrance fees/tours/guides as described in itinerary, some breakfasts, some group meals, in-country transportation, international emergency medical insurance.

Not included: Airfare*, passport and visa fees, some meals, 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 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 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."

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:

October 6, 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

  Niklas Hultin
Name Niklas Hultin, PhD
Phone 703-993-5778

GEO Program Officer

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



Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.