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  • Locations: Budapest, Hungary
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Restrictions: Mason applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Housing: Hotel
Number of Credits Offered: 3 Eligible Population: 03 Junior, 04 Senior, Graduate
Type of Program: Faculty-led Minimum GPA (Graduate): 3.0
Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:

Budapest: Migrants, Minorities, and Multinationals

Hungary, Summer 2020


Program Overview

This two-week seminar takes places in Budapest, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Hungary’s capital has been voted in 2019 as the “best travel destination in Europe.” The city offers a multitude of venues for visitors, including a mixture of old and modern world architecture, a richly textured history and culture, and a welcoming ambiance.
The seminar focuses on three salient issues: Hungary’s approach toward migration and refugees; role of minorities in Hungarian society; and multinational corporations and the economy. The idealized vision of a United Europe is coming under assault. Migrants and refugees challenge Europe’s “open-door” policy; ethnic minorities demand equality while others seek independence; and ultra-nationalist groups and populist parties are bursting into the political mainstream. Further, existing tensions between sovereignty and local nationalism on the one hand, and transnationalism on the other, as well as the growing controversy over the future viability of the European Union form the intellectual foundations of this academic program.

Hungary’s self-proclaimed illiberal-democratic government is playing a distinctive role in this European debate given its opposition to allowing asylum-seekers unrestricted entry into the continent. Hungary’s highly vibrant civil society, however, is attempting, albeit with limited success, to moderate the regime’s unrelenting policies by promoting human rights, equality, and democracy. 
Although Hungarian society is quite homogeneous, it has several large minorities including the German, Slovak, and Croatian populations. The Roma, however, constitute the largest minority in the society (about 8 percent of the total population). The Roma, the poorest group in the country, have faced a multitude of legal and administrative barriers as well as racism and discrimination impacting schooling, living conditions, and employment.
Finally, we will examine the role of multinational corporation in Hungary’s economy. Hungary has become one of the largest tax heavens in the world attracting a large number of corporations which have built numerous productions facilities and service centers taking advantage of the relatively low wages and tax incentives. These companies include Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Bosch, BMW, Samsung, and General Electric (GE), the largest American company operating in Hungary.

Program Highlights: 

  •  Lectures by academicians and professionals in the mornings
  • Site-visits to companies and various relevant organizations in the afternoons
  • Several excursions are also planned, including a day-long tour of Hungary’s famous wine region
  • The students will be housed in a four star hotel, located in the heart of downtown Budapest with easy access to public transportation, dinning, shopping, and night life


All Mason Graduate students are welcome to apply. Minimum 3.0 GPA.


3 Credits

Course Options

Approved Graduate Credits:
  • GLOA 710
Approved Undergraduate Credits:
  • ECON 492
  • GLOA 480
  • INTS 399
  • SOCI 396

Anticipated credit offerings:
  • ANTH 398

Program Dates: 

May 17 - May 31, 2020



Day 1 Students Arrive in Budapest
Day 2 Group sightseeing in Budapet
Group Dinner
Day 3 Introduction to the program
Tour of Hungarian Parliament 
Briefing at the US Embassy, Budapest
Day 4 Lecture on Hungary’s policy towards migration
Visit and briefing at NGO dealing with migration
Day 5 Lecture on The European Union’s policy towards migration
Visit to the EU representation in Budapest
Visit and briefing at the Hungarian Foreign Ministry
Day 6 Lecture on US – EU relations
Free afternoon
Day 7 All-day tour of one of Hungary’s wine regions
Day 8 Free day
Day 9 Lecture on minorities in Hungary
Visit to the Jewish community in Budapest
Day 10 Lecture on the Roma community in Hungary
Visit to a Roma community outside Budapest
Day 11 Lecture on Hungary’s political economy
Visit and briefing at the American Chamber of Commerce, Budapest
Day 12 Lecture on Multinational corporations in Hungary
Visit to a multinational corporation
Day 13 Visit to a multinational corporation
Program summation and conclusions
Day 14 Free day
Group dinner
Day 15 Students depart for the US
 * 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 2020: $3,800

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

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

*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.

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 8, 2020. 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 19, 2020. 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."

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:

February 24, 2020

March 8, 2020 (extension)

  • Please note that the first payment deadline is also on March 8 

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 Yehuda Lukacs, Ph.D.

GEO Program Administrator

Name Andrew Miller
Phone 703-993-5013

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.