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.
- 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.
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 320 - Globalization & Culture
- CONF 340 - Global Conflict Analysis/Resolution
- GLOA 400 - Global Affairs Capstone
- BIOL 301 - Biology & Society
- INTS 399 - Study Abroad
- INTS 375 - Special Topics
Tentative Program Dates:
May 26 - June 7, 2022
||Arrival in Athens and bus to Messolonghi
||Messolonghi city tour & group dinner
||Intro to wetland and all-day guided tour with local expert
||Tour and workshop with "Salty Lake", visit to Zelios Gi, group lunch, and cooking class
||Guided tour of historical Messolonghi
||Visit local ouzo producer and Hiking at mount Arakinthos
||Tour of "Kleisova" lagoon, visit with traditional fishermen, and tour of "Stefos", botargo producer
||Visit Wetland Management Body at Aitoliko Island
||Visit local honey producer and "Ktima mimmis"
||Guided bike tour with local architects and visit to Diexodos Center for Culture and Art
||Trip back to Athens, final discussion and presentation
||Tour of Athens and final night in Greece!
* 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!
Summer 2021: $3200
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
- Some group meals
- Guided tours and field excursions as described in itinerary
- International emergency medical insurance
*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.
- Round-trip airfare
- Passport fees
- Visa fees
- Covid-19 Testing
- Some meals
- Personal spending
- Required textbooks and/or course materials
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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:
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. 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.