(Courtesy of Office of Global Affairs/George Mason University)

(Courtesy of Office of Global Affairs/George Mason University)

Far from the humdrum suburbs of Fairfax, Mason’s new satellite campus is becoming a reality in Incheon, South Korea.

To introduce the new campus in a more visual way, the Office of Global and International Studies is hosting an exhibit in the Johnson Center 123 Gallery from Feb. 4-8 each day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“This will be a Mason campus with its own personality,” said Anne Schiller, Vice President for Global and International Strategies. “It will be both different and familiar and help students expand their global understanding.”

Set to accept its first Mason students in 2014, Songdo Mason is a university built into the concept of an aerotropolis, or an airport city.
Built on 1,500 acres of land reclaimed from the sea, Incheon, located near the capitol city of Seoul, is within three and a half hours of one quarter of the world’s population.

“East Asia has always been an area of commitment for Mason,” Schiller said. “This is a natural continuation of the commitment Mason already made with the Korean government.”

Songdo University Global Campus is one of many initiatives in a city that hopes to become the world’s gateway to East Asia.

“American education is highly prized, many countries have invited universities to establish campuses abroad,” Schiller said.

Mason is one of several universities to partner and help foster a true international university with resources and expertise from around the world.

“This is an opportunity that comes at no cost to Mason,” Schiller said. “The project is financed by the Korean government and offers some very attractive benefits. We will have a Mason building in a world class campus.”

Music videos celebrating of the musical subculture of K-Pop, which became popular across cultural boundaries after PSY’s “Gangam Style” went viral on YouTube last year, will be played as part of the exhibit.

PSY makes a second appearance in the photo gallery in a picture with President Cabrera taken at a concert at the Patriot Center late last year.

Other photos in the gallery feature the local culture and flavor of Songdo to give students an idea of what they would experience as a study abroad student.

(Courtesy of Office of Global Affairs/George Mason University)

(Courtesy of Office of Global Affairs/George Mason University)

The Songdo campus marks the first time American universities have collaborated on international campus. State University of New York, University of Utah and University of Ghent in Belgium are all contributing resources and their own areas of expertise to the program. Mason will specialize in economics, management and global affairs.

Eventually, Schiller says that the program will open up to more majors and provide a wider range of opportunities to Mason students.
Schiller estimates that the lower costs of housing and food in Songdo will come close to balancing out the cost of travel to Korea, making the opportunity an affordable option for students.

The program plans to begin to accepting students for study abroad in 2014.

“We want to help people begin think about incorporating East Asia into their undergraduate and graduate academic experience,” Schiller said.
As part of the relationship between Incheon University and Mason, Korean-based students will come to complete study abroad programs at Mason during their third year of college.

Songdo was featured in the travel section of the Washington Post in early January as a sprawling new modern city that may change how people travel in the future.