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  • Locations: Nicosia, Cyprus; Paphos, Cyprus
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Winter Break
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Housing: Campus Housing, Hotel
Number of Credits Offered: 3 Eligible Population: 01 Freshman, 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior, General Public, Graduate, Non-Degree Seeking, Other, PhD
Type of Program: Faculty-led Click here for a definition of this term Area of Study: Education Studies, Anthropology, History, Integrative Studies
Minimum GPA (Graduate): 3.0 Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:

History & Heritage in Cyprus: Crossroads of Civilization

Cyprus, Summer 2021

Cyprus images
Cyprus lies at the crossroads of many different civilizations, having been occupied and ruled by Mycenaean, Assyrian, Egyptian, Persian, Phoenician, Roman, Lusignan, Venetian, and Ottoman forces as well as modern British, Greek, and Turkish rule. Located in the Mediterranean Sea, its past and present are entwined within the cultural spheres of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. This course explores the historical and cultural landscapes of Cyprus in order to better understand the dynamically changing nation state of Cyprus, serving as a case study for us to learn how we use the past to create what we call heritage. As we in the United States continue to debate how to remember, memorialize, and commemorate our country’s civil war—debates that flared up in 2017 during public incidents over statues, memorials, and flags—we can look to countries such as Cyprus to learn how history, heritage and the processes of remembering and forgetting occur in spaces of public pedagogy (museums, memorials, parks, heritage sties, and other spaces evoking the past) in a country still coming to grips with its own civil war.

We will work with the University of Nicosia in Cyprus to embed our learning throughout the island during our two week experience in the country. We will begin by exploring the cultural and physical landscape of the Troödos Mountains and the heritage of that region, including the village of Omodos and the Byzantine churches and monasteries of the region. Continuing to Paphos, we will study the Tombs of the Kings, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Kouklia-Temple of Aphrodite. Next, we will visit the Akamas peninsula to explore the ancient village there, a settlement from the Chalcolitihic period, and the Adonis and Aphrodite baths. We will examine more ancient cites in Kourion and Amathous before considering how the history of the Crusades is (re)created at the castle of Kolossi and the medieval city of Limassol. Turning our attention to the more recent past, we will study the AHDR buffer zone in our exploration of divided Cyprus. Moving to the eastern side of the island, we will explore the ancient city-kingdom of Kition and its modern seafront city of Larnaca, visiting its Church of St. Lazarus, the Hala Sultan Tekke, the Kamares Aqueduct, and Larnaca Castle. Moving to the northern part of the island, we will explore the heritage of the Kyrenia Mountain region, with its castles, abbeys, shipwrecks, and other markers of the historical identities occupying the region, ranging from conflicts with Arab pirates to the Holy Roman Empire. We will end our second week by visiting ancient sites in Kalavasos, Choirokoitia, Salamis, and Famagusta. Our two weeks will also include guest lectures and visits to museums and local schools.

Program Highlights

  • Discover ancient, medieval, and modern heritage at the crossroads of several different civilizations and culture groups in the Mediterranean.
  • Learn how schools, museums, and cultural institutions teach about history, heritage, and national identity across borders in a divided country.
  • Explore how the histories of monks, pirates, traders, warriors, and kings have shaped the identities of Cyprus throughout centuries. 


This program is open to all students. Non-Mason students are welcome to apply but preference will be given to Mason students. All applications will be reviewed by the faculty leader.


Students will be registered for one 3-credit course.

Tentative Course Options

  • Education - EDUC 597: Advanced Topics in Education
  • History - HIST 598: Historical Study Abroad
  • Integrative Studies - INTS 595: Experiential Learning
  • Anthropology - ANTH 396: Issues in Anthropology
  • ‚ÄčIntegrative Studies - INTS 399: Study Abroad

Program Dates*

May 17 - June 1, 2021



May 17 Students arrive in Larnaca. Transfer to the University of Nicosia and check-in to lodging.
May 18 Morning: Orientation at University of Nicosia
Afternoon: Guided tour of Nicosia; Visit to the Cyprus Archaeological Museum; Lecture on Cyprus history
Evening: Group Welcome Dinner
May 19 Morning: Lecture; excursion to Troödos Mountains
Afternoon: Visits to Byzantine churches and monasteries and the village of Omodos; visit to Kalo Panayiotis Village; daily debrief/discussion
Evening: Free time
May 20 Morning: Visit AHDR (Home for Cooperation) in the Buffer Zone
Afternoon: Visit to the National Struggle Museum; daily debrief/discussion
Evening: Free time
May 21 Morning: Travel to Paphos
Afternoon: Visit to Kouklia-Temple of Aphrodite, Mossaics, the Tombs of the Kings, and archeological park
Evening: Hotel check-in at Paphos; daily debrief/discussion
May 22 Morning: Excursion to Akamas peninsula
Afternoon: Visit to Lempa Chalcolitic settlement, Baths of Adonis and Aphrodite
Evening: Free time in Paphos
May 23 Morning: Excursion to Kolossi castle; visit ancient Kourion
Afternoon: Excursion to medieval city of Limassol and ancient city of Amathous
Evening: Return to Nicosia; Free time
May 24 Morning: Visit to local school 
Afternoon: Guest lecture in Cyprus history, daily debrief/discussion
Evening: Free time
May 25  Morning: Excursion to St. Hilarion Castle
Afternoon: Tour of Kyrenia castle and shipwreck, Bellapais Abbey
Evening: daily debrief/discussion
May 26 Morning: Travels to city of Kition
Afternoon: Visit Hala Sultan Tekke, St. Lazarus Church, and Larnaca
Evening: Return to Nicosia
May 27 Morning: Free time
Afternoon: Visits to Nicosia Leventis and Byzantine museums
Evening: Daily debrief/discussion
May 28 Morning: Excursion to Salamis
Afternoon: Visit Famagusta; daily debrief/discussion
May 29 Morning: Excursion to Kalavasos
Afternoon: Visit Choirokitia; daily debrief/discussion
Evening: Group Farewell Dinner
June 1 Students depart for the U.S.

* 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 2021: Coming Soon! 

Winter 2019: $3,797

The Program Cost for study abroad courses is assessed separately from Mason tuition and fees. This means separate charges will be put on your student account for this course, including a study abroad tuition charge and a study abroad program fee charge which together equals the published Program Cost for this course. 

Included: Tuition for 3 credits, accommodations in university student housing, hotel accommodations in Paphos, welcome and farewell dinners, guided tours and excursions as described in itinerary, transportation for excursions and visits, airport transfer on arrival and departure dates, international emergency medical insurance.

Not included: Airfare*, passport and visa fees, most meals, personal spending, required textbooks and/or course materials.
*Note:  This program does not include a group flight. Information regarding arrival times and location will be sent out to all participants after the application deadline. Do not purchase airfare until you receive the "Green Light for Flights" notice from the Global Education Office via email. The notice will include information on the arrival/departure airports, flight times, and where to meet the group. Students who fail to follow the guidelines GEO sends out will be responsible for applicable costs of changing their flights.

When the time comes to purchase airfare, GEO will be recommending the purchase of Flight Interruption and Cancellation Insurance. The “Green Light for Flights” email will provide additional information about this insurance. 

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 20, 2021 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 10, 2021. 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."

* Students must be enrolled at least half-time for federal loans and the majority of grant funds. Please refer to the Financial Aid Website for a definition of half-time for undergraduate and graduate students:

Refund and Cancellation Policy: All participants are bound by the Mason GEO Refund and Cancellation 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 on this program are welcome to apply:


Application Deadline:

March 10, 2021


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

  Mark Helmsing Photo
Name Dr. Mark Helmsing
Phone 703-993-2384

GEO Program Administrator

  Brittany Photo
Name Brittany Samko
Phone 703-993-2155

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.