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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.5 Language of Instruction: English
Eligible Population: 01 Freshman, 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior Type of Program: Faculty-led
Click here for a definition of this term Area of Study: Education Studies, Kinesiology Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Host: Global Education Office
Program eligible for VA Benefits: Yes
Program Description:

Finnish Education System, Physical Activity, and Sport Culture

Finland, Summer 2022

Finland Mason-led Education

Program Overview

Students will travel first from the U.S.A. to Helsinki. There, Mason students board a train to Jyväskylä which is home to the top research university in Finland for sports, physical activity, and physical education. The University of Jyväskylä has offered summer school courses for undergraduate students from around the world for several years. Each summer there are 5 intensive one-week sessions of courses. The specific courses, focusing on human sciences and education are of most interest to students in Kinesiology, the School of Education, and specifically teacher candidates.

Mason students will first take their first course titled “Education in Finland” which highlights one of the best education programs in the world. The second course,  is “Physical Activity, Sport, Health and Health Promotion: International Perspectives” and takes a global perspective to sports culture. After classes, the university organizes trips with other international students to the lake to enjoy a relaxing sauna, quiz nights with students, as well as excursions to local sporting events. The trip also includes a visit to Helsinki, the 2nd northernmost capital city in the world.

Program Highlights: 

  • Learn about one of the best education systems in the world focused on equity
  • Explore sporting culture and health through a global lens
  • Interact with students from around the world while learning in a top rated research university


All undergraduate students are welcome to apply including students who do not attend George Mason University. Minimum 2.5 GPA.


6 credits

Tentative Course Options

Students will be enrolled in the following courses for a total of 6 credits:
  • Physical Education - PHED 480: Special Topics (3 credits)
  • Physical Education - PHED 499: Independent Study in Physical Education and Fitness (3 credits)

Tentative Program Dates: 

This program usually takes place during the last week of May and the first week of June. Dates for Summer 2022 will be finalized in October/November 2021. 


Tentative Itinerary 

Day 1 Arrival in Jyvaäskylaä and check in to housing
Day 2 Full-day instruction (course 1) and welcome + quiz
Day 3 Full-day instruction (course 1)
Day 4 Full-day instruction (course 1) and Lehtisaari Sauna
Day 5 Full-day instruction (course 1) and International Dinner
Day 6 Full-day instruction (course 1) and Group Outing
Day 7 Free Weekend
Day 8 Free Weekend
Day 9 Full-day instruction (course 2) and welcome + quiz
Day 10  Full-day instruction (course 2)
Day 11  Full-day instruction (course 1) and Lehtisaari Sauna
Day 12  Full-day instruction (course 2) and International Dinner
Day 13  Full-day instruction (course 2) and Group Outing
Day 14  Trip to Helsinki and group dinner
Day 15  Depart for 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.

Program Cost

Summer 2022: Coming Soon!

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
  • Accommodations
  • 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
  • Vaccinations
  • Meals
  • Required textbooks and/or course materials
  • Personal spending

*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 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

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:

February 20


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 Risto Marttinen, EdD

GEO Program Administrator

Name Brittany Harris
Phone 703-993-2155

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2022 03/10/2022 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** 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.