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  • Locations: Cartagena, Colombia; Panama City, Panama
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Number of Credits Offered: 3
Eligible Population: 01 Freshman, 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior, Non-Degree Seeking Type of Program: Faculty-led
Click here for a definition of this term Area of Study: Mechanical Engineering Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:

The Multi-Nationalism of Shipping

Colombia & Panama, Summer 2022

Panama Shipping Engineering

Program Overview

  • Demonstrate an understanding of how under the United Nations, the International Maritime Organization sets global standards for shipping
  • Through case studies, describe the challenges and/or opportunities associated with multi-national, multi-lingual crews operating vessels
  • Discuss global shipping routes
    • and the impact of maritime chokepoints on economic stability
    • and the impact of global shipping on biodiversity and invasive species
  • Describe multi-national collaboration with respect to drug interdiction and immigration
  • Articulate fundamentals of naval engineering through an understanding of the basics of:
    • Ship geometry
    • Hydrostatics
    • Intact stability

Program Highlights: 

  • See the Panama Canal - one of the 7 wonders of the modern world - in action!
  • Gain hands-on experience by touring a shipyard.
  • A true multidisciplinary experience:
    • For engineering and science students - gain an understanding of the geopolitical environment surrounding your work. 
    • For politics and humanities students, understand the engineering and science implications of policy decisions.


All undergraduate students and non-degree seeking students are welcome to apply including students who do not attend George Mason University. Minimum 2.5 GPA.


3 Credits

Tentative Course Options

  • Mechanical Engineering

Tentative Program Dates: 

Late May/Early June 2022


Tentative Itinerary 

Day 1 Depart Dulles for Panama, tour city upon arrival
Day 2 Visit Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama with lecture content outlining the history of the canal and treaties
Day 3 Visit Miraflores Locks with lecture content describing fundamentals of naval engineering and the function of the locks
Day 4 Panama Canal transit tour with discussions supporting understanding of the international shipping trade, regulation, multinational crews and language barriers, and maritime chokepoints
Day 5 Lecture on biodiversity and invasive species with respect to the maritime trade
Day 6 Travel to Cartagena
Day 7 Tour Cartagena, visit Museo Naval del Caribe
Day 8 Visit the Colombian Naval Academy – understand different Navy approaches to training and education
Day 9 Morning: Visit COTECMAR’s shipyard – learn about shipbuilding in Colombia; Afternoon: Visit Naval Station – learn about multi-national interdiction work
Day 10 Day trip to Barranquilla – visit Universidad del Norte and tour their Mechanical Engineering Department facilities
Day 11 Visit Sociedad Portuaria de Cartegena (the port organization of Cartagena) to understand Colombia’s approach to managing maritime trade
Day 12 Visit Promigas and SPEC LNG as feasible to learn about offshore energy sector in Colombia
Day 13 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 equals the published Program Cost for this course.​

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

Not included: passport and visa fees, meals, required textbooks and/or course materials.

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. 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. 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."

* 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:

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, 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 Leigh McCue-Weil, PhD

GEO Program Administrator

Name Allie Wallace

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.