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, 2021
||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 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.
- Tuition for 3 credits
- Entrance fees/tours/guides as described in itinerary
- In-country transportation
- International emergency medical insurance
Not included: Airfare*, passport and visa fees, COVID-19 testing in the U.S. before departure, COVID-19 testing while abroad, vaccinations, some 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Office of Financial Aid is unable to assess if a student will have aid available for summer until mid to late February. The "Intent to Use Financial Aid" and "Intent to Use VA Benefits" forms are available in the MasonAbroad application system once you have started your application for this program.
*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.
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, 2021
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:*
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. The Office of Financial Aid is unable to assess if a student will have aid available for summer until mid to late February.
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.