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  • Locations: Kyoto, Japan; Tokyo, Japan
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.25 Language of Instruction: English
Number of Credits Offered: 3 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
Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:

Game Studio Tour in Tokyo and Kyoto

Japan, Summer 2021

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.


3-4 Credits

Tentative Course Options

  • GAME 300 - Portfolio Preparation (1 credit)
  • GAME 399 - Special Topics (3 credits)
    • 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 (3 credits)

Tentative Program Dates:

May 18 - June 1, 2021

Tentative Itinerary*

May 18: 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 19: 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 20: Tokyo – Ghibli Museum
Breakfast at hotel
Ghibli Museum
Lunch (museum café)
Visit Historia Inc.
Dinner (students’ choice)
May 21: Tokyo – Akihabara
Breakfast at hotel
Visit Rudel Inc.
Lunch (Akihbara / Yodobashi Camera, students’ choice)
Akihabara (free time or optional tour)
Dinner (students’ choice)
May 22: 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 23: Tokyo – Free Day
Breakfast at hotel
Free period (possible optional tours/events led by professors)
May 24: 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 25: 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)
May 26: 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
May 27: 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
May 28: Kyoto – Himeiji
Breakfast at hotel
Shinkansen to Himeiji
Himeiji Castle tour
Lunch (Himeiji Station, students’ choice)
Return to Kyoto
Visit Vitei
Dinner (students’ choice)
May 29: Kyoto – Imperial Palace
Breakfast at hotel
Lunch (TBD)
Imperial Palace
Free time
Dinner (students’ choice)
May 30: Kyoto – Free Day
Breakfast at hotel
Free period (possible optional tours/events led by professors)
May 31: 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 1: 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 2021: $4200

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.


  • Tuition for 3 credits
  • Accommodations
  • Entrance fees/tours/guides as described in itinerary
  • All breakfasts, some group meals
  • 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 and/or costs associated with arriving prior to the start of the program.
When the time comes to purchase airfare, GEO will recommend the purchase of Flight Interruption and Cancellation Insurance. The “Green Light for Flights” email will provide additional information about this insurance. 
*Participants must arrange their own airfare, once instructed to do so by the Mason Global Education Office.

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. All payments and charges are reflected in the student’s Mason Student Account.

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 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 the office of financial aid can review aid 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:

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, 2021

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:* 

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.

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:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.