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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.5 Language of Instruction: English, Italian
Housing: Flat/Apartment Number of Credits Offered: 15
Eligible Population: 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior Type of Program: Faculty-led
Language Courses Offered: Italian Click here for a definition of this term Area of Study: Art and Visual Technology, Psychology, Art History, Sociology, Honors, Business, Criminology Law and Society, Economics, English, Anthropology, Foreign Languages, Global Affairs, History, Integrative Studies, Italian Studies
Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Host: Global Education Office Click here for a definition of this term Fulfills Mason Core Requirement: Yes
Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:

Florence Semester Experience

Italy, Spring 2022

Florence skyline

Fall Info Sessions

In-person at the Global Education Office (Johnson Center, Room 235):​
  • Thursday, October 28: 3:30PM-4:30PM 
  • Tuesday, November 2: 4:00PM-5:00PM 
  • Thursday, November 9: 3:30PM-4:30PM

The Florence Semester Experience is offered each spring semester as an introduction to Italian art, culture, history and language. It was during the Middle Ages and Renaissance Era that Florence became the cultural hub of Europe, where artists like Leonardo DaVinci and Michelangelo, architects like Brunelleschi, and writers like Dante flourished. The evidence of their achievements is still present throughout Florence in palaces, squares, churches, monuments, and museums. These days, Florence is an active commercial center for business, banking, fashion, and the production of leather goods. The innumerable artistic treasures and natural beauty of the Tuscan countryside attracts students from all over the world who come to Florence as their place for an unforgettable study abroad experience. This unique city will be yours to absorb, explore, taste, marvel, and enjoy for an entire semester!  

The 2022 Semester program will be led by Dr. Lisa Bauman

Students participating in this program will attend Florence University of the Arts (FUA). FUA's mission aims to offer a unique educational model for international students. Through this model, FUA-AUF allows students to integrate, benefit, and learn from their academic experience by applying knowledge and competence simultaneously through educational strategies and several teaching methodologies that are based on the experience, integration, and engagement with the local community. ​

Program Highlights

  • Earn 15 credits during spring semester, led by a Mason faculty member
  • Students can enroll in experiential or service learning-based course at FUA | More information here
  • Participate in a pre-trip language & culture introduction class virtually 
  • While in Italy, join a family club, participate in language exchange with a local student, and volunteer with local organizations. 
  • Explore Northern Italy (Alps & Langhe Region) on a one-week excursion, included in the program fee. 
    • Guided by our local partner and Mason faculty, you will explore charming medieval towns as you discover another region of Italy, notably distinct from Florence. Home of the Slow Food International movement, this will be an exciting cultural and gastronomic journey.
  • Access to all FUA facilities, including the experiential learning facilities 


In order to participate in this program, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
  • Students must have completed at least 45 credits at the time of departure.
    • For students applying for fall or academic year programs, this total does not include summer coursework that has yet to be completed.
  • Students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA at the time of application and departure.
  • Students planning to study abroad in the last semester of their senior year should discuss this with their GEO program administrator and major advisor as this may affect their ability to graduate on time.
  • Recent transfer students cannot study abroad their first semester (not including summer) at Mason.
    • This program is open to non-Mason students.

Students with less than 45 credits can be considered for acceptance to this program, but may be subject to additional requirements such as a mid-term progress report, a writing sample (from a college course), and/or an in-person interview. First year students will also be placed with a host family (please note the difference in cost on the "Financial Info" tab).


Students will enroll in 15 credits.

All students must take the Academic Director's course and an Italian language course. Additional courses will be chosen from the offerings at the Florence University of the Arts (FUA). 
Academic Director Course - Choose 1 (credits listed below are options for the Academic Director course): 
  • ARTH 303: National Traditions
  • ARTH 398: Study Abroad in the History of Art
  • ARTH 399: Special Topics in Art History

FUA Italian Language Courses - Choose 1:
  • ITAL 101: Elementary Italian I (3 credits)
  • ITAL 110: Elementary Italian I (6 credits)
  • ITAL 201: Intermediate Italian I (3 credits)
  • ITAL 202: Intermediate Italian II (3 credits)
  • ITAL 331: Advanced Italian: Language and Culture (3 credits)

Note: Students who have not previously taken any Italian courses may choose to take a 3- or 6- credit beginning Italian course. Any student who wishes to continue to study Italian upon return to George Mason should take the 6-credit ITAL 110 option in order to meet the prerequisites for ITAL 201. 

Florence University of the Arts Course Offerings - Choose 2 or 3:
  • Most students will take 3 non-language courses at FUA (9 credits). Only students who select the 6-credit ITAL 110 course will take 2 non-language FUA courses (6 credits).
  • Course descriptions can be found on the Florence University of the Arts website
    • In case of scheduling conflicts, students must also select two back-up course options.
  • To see how FUA courses will count at Mason visit the Course Evaluation Registration System (CERS). You can reference the courses available at FUA in spring 2022 here: Spring 2022 Academic Schedule. If you see a course on this list that is not in CERS, please request course equivalency through CERS. GEO can assist with requesting syllabi from FUA. 

Course Equivalency and Plan of Study 
The Global Education Office has a Course Evaluation and Registration System (CERS), which you will use to complete the steps needed to evaluate your courses abroad and see how they will count at Mason. This database is accessible whether you have already applied, or are just beginning to think about studying abroad. Look at the courses in the database. You are by no means limited to these courses. The database shows courses that have already been evaluated. You can request equivalency for any course not yet evaluated, through CERS.

You are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to look at this institution’s courses ahead of time to see how they will match up to your Mason degree requirements. Talk to your academic advisor about what courses you will need to receive credit for during your time abroad to stay on-track for your degree. When looking at courses keep in mind that course schedules can change. We recommend having twice as many courses approved as necessary.

Registration Process 
Registration at FUA: occurs online a few weeks before the semester starts. As part of the application process, students will be asked to complete the FUA enrollment system, which will also ask students to identify which courses they wish to take at FUA. Students will select a total of 4 courses (or 12 credit hours) which includes their Italian language course. Students can select FUA courses (link here). If the course is not in CERS, students can request equivalency through the system. 

Registration at Mason: Before your semester begins, in Patriot Web you will be registered in the Academic Director’s course (3-credits), GEOC 150 (0-credits, fulfills Mason Core: Global Understanding), and a ZREG placeholder (12 credits). Once you have arrived in Italy, and are past the add-drop period, your FUA courses will be added to Patriot web and the placeholder will be removed.
*Subject to change. Course offerings will be finalized by the application deadline.

Program Dates*

Spring 2022: February 14 - May 5, 2022


Important Dates*

November 10 Application and $200 Deposit Deadline
December 5 Mandatory pre-departure orientation
February 14 (tentative) Arrival in Florence
late March  Spring Break week
May 5 (tentative) Program ends. Housing Move-out 

* 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

Spring 2022: $14,250

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, a study abroad tuition charge and a study abroad program fee charge which together equal the published Program Fee for this course. 

  • Application deposit
  • Tuition and mandatory fees
  • Accommodations in shared room in a furnished student apartment 
  • Guided field excursion provided by partner 
  • Language & culture introduction class (pre-program; virtual)
  • Orientation & pre-travel meetings
  • International emergency medical insurance
  • Re-entry support & career development (post-program)

Not included: 
  • Airfare*
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Meals
  • Personal spending
  • COVID-19 testing in the U.S. before departure
  • COVID-19 testing while abroad
  • Vaccinations
  • 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. 

Note: 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: This program is ineligible for VA Benefits. 
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 on this program are welcome to apply:


Application Deadline:

November 10


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.

Statement of Purpose: 1-2 pages explaining your interest and goals for this program.

Letter of Recommendation: This recommendation should speak to your academic abilities and background. The best person to ask is a professor who you've had a class with and who knows your work well. 

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.

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

  Lisa Bauman photo
Name Dr. Lisa Bauman
Phone 703-993-1250

GEO Program Administrator 

Name Allie Wallace (she/her)
Phone 703-993-2154

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Semester 2022 11/10/2021 ** Rolling Admission 02/14/2022 05/05/2022

** 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.