We would like to introduce you to Mason’s new two-week winter break program exploring urban design from the Roman ruins of Southern France to the New Millennium metropolis of Paris, City of Lights. The program will provide 3 credit hours and can count towards either a Mason Core Arts class or the Global Understanding requirement for graduation. Using the cities as our classroom in walking tours and visits to museums and monuments, this course explores the design of select Roman sites and Paris through historical artifacts and their associations, technical skill, architectural style, and cultural geography.
Paris, the City of Lights, began as a humble village on the Seine but has grown into one of the most famous cities in the modern world. This journey towards urban icon began with the Roman conquest of what we now call France more than 2,000 years ago. Like many Western European cities, Paris (ancient Roman Lutetia) became of hub of trade and culture under the Romans with its growth continuing through the Medieval periods and into the Modern Age. This two-week, 3 credit hour program explores the journey from ancient Roman city to New Millennium metropolis.
After arriving in Paris, the program will travel into Southern France to investigate the cities of Nîmes, Arles, Glanum and Lyon where substantial remains of ancient Roman urbanism survive. Rome’s city-focused culture reshaped both the landscape and the indigenous cultures of ancient Gaul, as the territory of France was called by the Romans, so we begin with these archaeologically rich places as examples of the development of public architecture, monumental commemoration and pragmatic infrastructure. As centers of dense population and commerce, these urban enclaves introduced the physical structures and social interactions of city-life that would continue to echo in the towns of later French history. Amphitheaters, theaters, temples, arches and aqueducts stand as testament to the Roman skill at city-building. Stunning collections of sculpture, mosaics, ceramics and the remnants of every-day life in antiquity will expand our understanding of movement, public display and status in the cityscapes of Roman Gaul.
Following a weekend to travel or discover modern Lyon on your own, we will return to Paris where we will explore how the old Roman walled city started to tear down its walls in the 17th century, inviting people in rather than keeping them out. By the 19th century, the entire city was rebuilt with a bold urban plan that showcased new kinds of streets and public parks, making Paris Europe’s first great walking city. Urban entertainment included a pastime invented in Paris, recreational shopping, which gave people more reasons to be out in public as never before. Paris changed how people looked at and understood the world, visibly evidenced in the work of the Impressionist painters who considered the city a worthy subject for art. Even today Paris has led the way in repurposing urban spaces for new sustainable and communal goals.
Using the city as our classroom in walking tours and visits to cultural museums and monuments, this course explores the design of Paris through a variety of lenses: historical artifacts and their associations, technical skill, architectural style, and cultural geography.
- After arriving in Paris, the program will travel into Southern France to investigate the cities of Nîmes, Arles, Glanum, and Lyon where substantial remains of ancient Roman urbanism survive. Rome’s city-focused society reshaped both the landscape and the indigenous cultures of ancient Gaul (France), as the province was often called by the Romans, so we begin with these archaeologically rich places as examples of the development of public architecture, monumental commemoration, and pragmatic infrastructure.
- Following a weekend to travel or discover modern Lyon on your own, we will return to Paris where we will spend five days tracing the development of the city, focusing on the evolution of the old Roman walled city. By the 19th century, the entire city was rebuilt with a bold urban plan that showcased new kinds of streets and public parks, making Paris Europe’s first walking city.
This program is open to all undergraduate students, including students who do not attend George Mason University. Others, including graduate students, may also be eligible. Please reach out to Dr. Gregg, Dr. Bauman, Allie Wallace, or the academic department for more information and eligibility requirements.
Undergraduate students must have a minimum GPA of 2.25.
Students will choose one 3-credit course during the application process.
ARTH 311: Design of Cities (Arts credit)
Students might also take it for the following course credits:
- ARTH 303: National Traditions
- ARTH 398: Study Abroad in the History of Art
- HIST 387: Topics in Global History (Global Understanding credit)
- HIST 388: Topics in European History
- HIST 398: Study Abroad in History
- SOCI 377: Art and Society
- SOCI 332: The Urban World
- ANTH 382: Urban Anthropology
January 1 - 15, 2022
|Day 0: January 1
||Depart the U.S. for France
|Day 1: January 2
||Arrival to Paris, neighborhood orientation and tour | welcome dinner
|Day 2: January 3
||Travel to Nîmes & neighborhood orientation
|Day 3: January 4
||Morning visit to Archeological site in Glanum and afternoon visit to Carrieres des Lumieres | evening return to Nîmes
|Day 4: January 5
||Full day in Nîmes: Musée Romanité in Nîmes, Amphitheatre, Maison Carré, Imperial cult site and garde.
|Day 5: January 6
||Nîmes coach to Arles: Musée departmental Arles antique, Van Gogh walking tour, Theatre and Amphitheatre, underground Roman site, Barbegal Archaeological site, return to Nîmes
|Day 6: January 7
||Travel to Lyon with stops at Pont du Gard, Orange Theater and Arch. Arrival to Lyon and orientation walk
|Day 7: January 8
|Day 8: January 9
|Day 9: January 10
||Travel to Paris: Afternoon “Rome in Paris”: Cluny Museum + Roman baths, Notre Dame and Ile de St. Louis, Sainte-Chappelle, Latin Quarter, Arenes de Lutece
|Day 10: January 11
||“Paris Constructed”: Invalides, Eiffel Tower (Lavirotte buildings), Musée d’Orsay and an evening Ghosts, Legends and Mysteries, or Darkest Secrets of Paris nighttime tour
|Day 11: January 12
||“Paris Pleasure”: Galerie Vivienne Paris, Galerie Colbert Paris, Paris Opera, Hotel Guimard, Galeries Lafayette/Printemps
|Day 12: January 13
||“Paris Imperial”: Tuileries, Louvre Pyramid, Pompidou site/Les/Halles/Le Samartaine, Louvre
|Day 13: January 14
||“Paris Past and Future”: Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Promenade Plantee | evening farewell dinner
|Day 14: January 15
||Program ends | return to 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.
Winter 2022: Coming soon!
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.
Included: Tuition for 3 credits, accommodations, some group meals, guided tours and excursions as described in itinerary, international emergency medical insurance.
*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.
Not included: Round-trip airfare, passport fees, covid-testing, vaccines, some meals, personal spending, required textbooks and/or course materials.
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.
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.
* 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:
First Payment: A non-refundable payment of $1000 must be received by October 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 November 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."
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 on this program are welcome to apply:
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.
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.
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.