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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.25 Language of Instruction: English
Number of Credits Offered: 3-6 Eligible Population: 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior
Type of Program: Faculty-led Click here for a definition of this term Area of Study: Computer Game Design
Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Host: Global Education Office Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program eligible for VA Benefits: Yes
Program Description:

Game Studio Tour in Tokyo and Kyoto

Japan, Summer 2022

Game Design Banner

Program Overview

Knowledge of the roles and capabilities of a variety of companies in the game industry is a core skill of successful professionals in the modern game industry. This is especially true for professionals in markets with extensive global presence such as PC, console, mobile, and VR games. The Game Studio Tour seeks to give GMU Game Design students the opportunity to visit Japanese games companies of various sizes in order to gain first-hand knowledge about their roles in the game industry and to better understand the international nature of modern game development.

On this program, students will visit Japanese game companies of various sizes and roles within the game industry. At these companies, students will meet with native Japanese staff as well as non-Japanese who work and live in the country. Through their interaction with these experienced developers, students will gain a better understanding of the role they themselves could play in international game development.

Program Highlights: 

  • Visit and learn first-hand about Japanese game companies that have varying roles within the industry.
  • Meet and interview professional game developers from Japan and other countries who live and work in Tokyo.
  • Gain insight into how games are marketed and sold in Japan.
  • Develop a better understanding of the role you could play in international game development through interaction with experienced developers!


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.


3-6 Credits

Students enrolled in 6 credits will receive additional online and in-person instruction on Japanese history, culture, business, and gaming. They will also learn how to properly search for and apply to job openings at Japanese game studios.

Tentative Course Options

  • GAME 300 - Portfolio Preparation
  • GAME 399 - Special Topics
    • This course provides the opportunity for students to travel to Tokyo to meet professionals working in the Japanese game industry. During this course, students will visit multiple Japan-based game development companies ranging from world-famous companies, like Square-Enix Co. Ltd. (Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest), to smaller boutique developers, like Soleil Ltd. (Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker, Devil’s Third), to freelance developers. Students will also tour various cultural sites to get a taste of how Japanese culture affects the games they create, and vice versa.
  • INTS 399 - Study Abroad

Tentative Program Dates:

May 24 - June 7, 2022

Tentative Itinerary*

May 24: Arrival
Arrival in Tokyo
Students meet with professors and are given SUICA and rail passes
Check into hotel
Free period to rest/recover
Group dinner
May 25: Tokyo – Asakusa
Breakfast at hotel
Tour of Asakusa (shopping arcade, Sensoji Temple, etc.)
Tour of Tokyo Skytree
Lunch (Skytree Mall, students’ choice)
Visit Liona Interactive
Group dinner (Otaru Industry Gathering)
May 26: Tokyo – Ghibli Museum
Breakfast at hotel
Ghibli Museum
Lunch (museum café)
Visit Historia Inc.
Dinner (students’ choice)
May 27: Tokyo – Akihabara
Breakfast at hotel
Visit Rudel Inc.
Lunch (Akihbara / Yodobashi Camera, students’ choice)
Akihabara (free time or optional tour)
Dinner (students’ choice)
May 28: Tokyo –Odaiba
Breakfast at hotel
Visit Square-Enix Co., Ltd.
Lunch (students’ choice)
Odaiba tour (Sega arcade, Decks, etc.)
Optional tour to Oedo Onsen Monogatari
Dinner (Odaiba, students’ choice)
May 29: Tokyo – Free Day
Breakfast at hotel
Free period (possible optional tours/events led by professors)
May 30: Kyoto – Gion/Higashiyama
Breakfast at hotel
Hotel checkout
Travel to Kyoto
Check into hotel
Lunch (Kyoto station, students’ choice)
Travel to Gion
Walk to Kiyomizudera via Gion and Higashiyama (maybe Kodaiji Temple too)
Group Dinner
May 31: Kyoto – Southern Kyoto
Breakfast at hotel
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Toji Temple and Pagoda
Lunch (Kyoto Station, students’ choice)
Visit 11 Bit Studios
Dinner (students’ choice)
June 1: Kyoto – Walk of Philosophy
Breakfast at hotel
Visit Q-Games
Lunch (Kyoto station or Walk of Philosophy)
Walk to Ginkakuji via the Walk of Philosophy (can stop at other sites along the Walk)
Group Dinner
June 2: Kyoto – Osaka
Breakfast at hotel
Shinkansen to Osaka
Visit Capcom
Den-Den Town (free time or optional tour)
Dotonburi (free time or optional tour)
Dinner (Dotonburi, students’ choice)
Return to Kyoto
June 3: Kyoto – Himeiji
Breakfast at hotel
Shinkansen to Himeiji
Himeiji Castle tour
Lunch (Himeiji Station, students’ choice)
Return to Kyoto
Visit Vitei
Dinner (students’ choice)
June 4: Kyoto – Imperial Palace
Breakfast at hotel
Lunch (TBD)
Imperial Palace
Free time
Dinner (students’ choice)
June 5: Kyoto – Free Day
Breakfast at hotel
Free period (possible optional tours/events led by professors)
June 6: Tokyo - Free Day 2
Breakfast at hotel
Travel to Tokyo
Check into hotel
Free period (optional tours/events led by professors)
Group Dinner / Closing
June 7: Return
Breakfast at hotel
Travel to airport
Return to US on own

*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!

Summer 2021: $4200

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.

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 Directors

  Rob Dieterich Josiah Lebowitz
Name Robert Dieterich Josiah Lebowitz

GEO Program Administrator

  jess ostrowski-wright
Name Jess Ostrowski-Wright (she/her)
Phone 703-993-2154

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2022 03/10/2022 ** Rolling Admission 05/24/2022 06/07/2022

** 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.