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.
- 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
- Integrative Studies - INTS 399: Study Abroad
Tentative Program Dates*
June 1 - June 14, 2022
||Students arrive in Larnaca. Transfer to the University of Nicosia and check-in to lodging.
||Orientation at University of Nicosia
Guided tour of Nicosia
Group Welcome Dinner
||Visit to Home for Cooperation/AHDR
Cyprus history lecture with UNIC History Dept.
Evening class session
||Overnight trip to Limassol
Visit to Kolossi Castle, Kourion, Limassol Marina and Old Town
||Free morning in Limassol
Return to Nicosia
Evening class session
||Visit to Leventis Museum and Byzantine Museum
Afternoon class session
Evening free time
||Day trip to Kyrenia, Kyrenia Castle and Shipwreck Museum and Bellapais Abbey
Evening free time
Overview of Cyprus Meze
Afternoon class session
Evening free time
||Dance in Cyprus with UNIC Dance Dept.
Music in Cyprus with UNIC Music Dept.
Evening optional independent activity: visit Kafeneio 11 in the Old City for live Rembetika
||Visit to Center for Visual Arts and Research
Lecture on Cyprus representation in art
Afternoon free time
Evening class session
||Day trip to Paphos, Mosaics and the Tombs of the Kings
||Day trip to Troodos, Geopark, Winery and Omodos Village
Late afternoon class session
Evening free time
||Day trip to Vavla Bee Village - Overview of bee keeping tradition in Cyprus & Skarinou donkey farm
||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.
Summer 2022: 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 equal the published Program Cost for this course.
- Application Deposit
- Tuition and mandatory fees
- Pre-Departure Orientation
- 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
- Passport and visa fees
- COVID-19 testing
- 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.
The full program fee is charged to your Mason Student Account. Students pay the Global Education Office (GEO) Program Fee as advertised in two payments (Application Deposit + Final Payment).
$200 non-refundable Application Deposit must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee.
The final balance is made through the Mason Bill+Payment system. Payment is due according to the Mason Payment Schedule
. The amount due is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $200 you will have already paid, the Application Deposit.
- You can make your final payment in the Mason Bill+Payment system even if you do not see the GEO program charge on your student account.
- George Mason University applies payments to outstanding charges first. If you have an outstanding balance from a previous semester your payments will first go to paying that charge. You will still be responsible for the GEO charge.
In most cases, financial aid (federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans) can be used to finance study abroad. It is the student’s responsibility to check with the Office of Financial Aid to review their financial aid package. The Office of Financial Aid is the only office that can determine your aid eligibility.
Meeting with your financial aid officer prior to applying to study abroad will help you understand if, how much, and when your aid can be used to study abroad.
Confirmation of your financial aid award may not be available until registration and billing for the term in question is final. If aid eligibility changes, or the amount of aid disbursed is lower than anticipated, students are responsible for all remaining account balances or risk late fees, holds on their accounts, and program dismissal.
To assist students in the processing of their financial aid, GEO will communicate with the Office of Financial aid those students who plan to utilize financial aid for their specific study abroad program through their application with GEO. Please note there is no guarantee to students that their aid can be utilized for their specific study abroad program.
If you plan to use federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans to finance your study abroad you must:
- Mark “Yes” to “Do you plan to use Financial Aid to finance your program (federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans)?” in your profile in MasonAbroad.gmu.edu.
* 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: https://www2.gmu.edu/admissions-aid/financial-aid/eligibility.
The Veterans Administration determines if a program is eligible to receive VA benefit payments based on the participants VA education program. Use of benefits is dependent on type of benefit and type of program. If you plan to use VA benefits to finance study abroad contact your program officer at MasonLed@gmu.edu
to request the "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form." You will complete that form with Mason’s Office of Military Services. To contact Military Services be sure to email them directly at Military@gmu.edu
Withdrawal and Refund Policy:
All participants are bound by the Mason GEO Withdrawal and Refund Policy
If you plan to apply for a tuition exemption (for example VMSDEP or senior citizen exemption) to cover a portion of the total cost of the Study Abroad program please contact GEO immediately. Not all exemptions are eligible for use on study abroad courses. When an exemption is eligible for use, only tuition charges are covered. The participant will be required to pay program fees, which may include housing, meals, and direct payments to our overseas partners.
Employee Tuition Exemption Benefit
Global Education Office (Study Abroad) courses and trip fees are ineligible for tuition waivers under this policy. For more information please see the Employee Tuition Exemption Benefit
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:
March 10, 2022
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.
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.