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  • Locations: Athens, Greece; Missolonghi, Greece
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • 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: 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
Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Host: Global Education Office Program eligible for VA Benefits: Yes
Program Description:

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

Greece, Summer 2022

Greece Ecological

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.


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 of the following areas of study (subject to change):
  • EVPP 201- Env and You: Iss-21st Century
  • CULT 390 - Topics in Cultural Studies
  • CONF 340 - Global Conflict Analysis/Resolution
  • GLOA 450 - Topics in Global Affairs
  • GLOA 480 - Study Abroad
  • INTS 399 - Study Abroad
  • INTS 375 - Special Topics

Tentative Program Dates: 

May 26 - June 7, 2022


Tentative Itinerary

Day       Time City Country Activity
May 26 All Day Athens/Messolonghi Greece Arrival in Athens and bus to Messolonghi
May 27 All Day Messolonghi Greece Messolonghi city tour & group dinner
May 28 All Day Messolonghi Greece Intro to wetland and all-day guided tour with local expert
May 29 All Day Messolonghi Greece Tour and workshop with "Salty Lake", visit to Zelios Gi, group lunch, and cooking class
May 30 All Day Messolonghi Greece Guided tour of historical Messolonghi
May 31 Afternoon Messolonghi Greece Visit local ouzo producer and Hiking at mount Arakinthos
June 1 All Day Messolonghi Greece Tour of "Kleisova" lagoon, visit with traditional fishermen, and tour of "Stefos", botargo producer
June 2 All Day Messolonghi Greece Visit Wetland Management Body at Aitoliko Island
June 3 Afternoon Messolonghi Greece Visit local honey producer and "Ktima mimmis"
June 4 Afternoon Messolonghi Greece Guided bike tour with local architects and visit to Diexodos Center for Culture and Art
June 5 All Day Messolonghi Greece Trip back to Athens, final discussion and presentation
June 6 All Day Athens Greece Tour of Athens and final night in Greece! 
June 7 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 2022: $3,400

The Program Cost for study abroad courses is assessed separately from Mason tuition and fees. This means separate charges are put on your student account for this course, 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
  • Accommodations
  • Some group meals
  • Guided tours and field excursions as described in itinerary
  • International emergency medical insurance

Not included: 
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Passport fees 
  • Visa fees
  • Covid-19 Testing 
  • Vaccinations 
  • Some 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 

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.) 
Application Deposit: $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. 
Final Payment: The final balance payment 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. 
Financial Aid: 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 
After acceptance: 

*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:
VA Benefits: 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 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
Withdrawal and Refund Policy: All participants are bound by the Mason GEO Withdrawal and Refund Policy.

Tuition Exemptions
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 details.

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, 2022

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:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.