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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.25 Language of Instruction: English
Number of Credits Offered: 3 Eligible Population: 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior
Type of Program: Faculty-led Click here for a definition of this term Area of Study: Environmental Policy, Environmental Science
Program Description:
Greece Ecological

Culinary Heritage and Ecology of Messonlonghi Lagoon: The Nexus of Food and Water 

Greece, Summer 2021

Program Overview

Ecological gastronomy will play a key role as a surrogate for students to gain a systemic understanding of the dynamic of natural and cultural components of global wetlands and further learn the roles of humans in the resilience of those systems in the era of global environmental changes. The course aims to train the next generation of higher education in the field of eco-cultural literacy and resilience of global wetland ecosystems (i.e., as places of the nexus of water, energy, and food).

Students will study chosen global wetlands for their natural and cultural resources through field exercises and interacting with locals. Through a variety of research and scholarship activities in the course students will develop a good deal of understanding of how natural and cultural resources are tied together and how both resources have been altered and/or changing due to environmental changes.

Program Highlights

  • You will learn history, ecology and culture of an internationally important wetland complex through food materials produced in this course. 
  • Tasting the unique natural sea salt  and fishes of Messolonghi lagoon (cooked with the salt) will provide you with an unique culinary explorations and discovery of the local products in that how people, nature and food are all inevitably linked and how global environmental changes may affect the linkage.


All undergraduate students are welcome to apply including students who do not attend George Mason University. Minimum 2.25 GPA.

No pre-requisite required, but some ecological knowledge of wetlands would be desirable.


3 Credits


Tentative Course Options

Undergraduate credits: EVPP 490 (Special Topics in Environmental Science and Policy)

Could be cross-listed with some or all of the following areas of study:
  • Global Affairs
  • Interdisciplinary
  • English
  • Cultural Studies
  • Food Studies
  • Art 

Tentative Program Dates: 

May 25 - June 8, 2021


Tentative Itinerary

Day  Time City Country Activity
Day 1 Evening Dulles, VA USA Departure
Day 2 All Day Athens/Messolonghi Greece Arrival in Athens and bus to Messolonghi
Day 3 All Day Messolonghi Greece Messolonghi city tour & group dinner
Day 4 All Day Messolonghi Greece Intro to wetland and all-day guided tour with local expert
Day 5 All Day Messolonghi Greece Tour and workshop with "Salty Lake", visit to Zelios Gi, group lunch, and cooking class
Day 6 All Day Messolonghi Greece Guided tour of historical Messolonghi
Day 7 Afternoon Messolonghi Greece Visit local ouzo producer and Hiking at mount Arakinthos
Day 8 All Day Messolonghi Greece Tour of "Kleisova" lagoon, visit with traditional fishermen, and tour of "Stefos", botargo producer
Day 9 All Day Messolonghi Greece Visit Wetland Management Body at Aitoliko Island
Day 10 Afternoon Messolonghi Greece Visit local honey producer and "Ktima mimmis"
Day 11 Afternoon Messolonghi Greece Guided bike tour with local architects and visit to Diexodos Center for Culture and Art
Day 12 All Day Messolonghi Greece Trip back to Athens, final discussion and presentation
Day 13 All Day Athens Greece Tour of Athens and final night in Greece! 
Day 14 Morning Athens Greece Leaving Athens

* 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: $3,200

Summer 2021: Coming Soon!

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

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

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 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.Application requirements:* 

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 Changwoo Ahn, PhD 

GEO Program Administrator

Name Jess Ostrowski-Wright
Phone (703) 993-2154

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2021 03/10/2021 ** Rolling Admission 05/25/2021 06/08/2021

** 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.