INTO George Mason University Brochure by Study Metro
Get Ready for
Please make sure you have completed everything
on this checklist before you leave home.
Check Your Passport: Make sure you have a valid passport that will not expire for at least six
months at all times while you are living and traveling in the US.
Pay the SEVIS 901-Fee: In order to obtain your F-1 visa you will need to pay the SEVIS fee.
See instructions on page 6.
Apply For Your Visa: If you have an I-20 you must apply for an F-1 international student
visa at your nearest US Embassy or Consulate. Schedule your appointment soon to allow
yourself plenty of time.
Find Housing: Do NOT wait until you arrive to find housing. For housing options, see page 8.
See a Doctor: Mason Student Health Services needs copies of your vaccination records. For a
full list of what you need, see page 12.
Secure Your Documents: Before you can take classes you will need to show proof of your
TOEFL English language scores and bring original transcripts and original bank letters if you
submitted copies for your application.
Check Your Finances: Bring enough US currency for the first few weeks, and find out how
best to transfer money from your home to the United States. For details see, page 10.
Book Airport Transfer Service: We will be at the airport to greet students arriving the
weekend before Orientation. Be sure to tell us when and where you will arrive by following
instructions on page 7.
Under 18?: If you are under 18 years old, you are considered a minor. Make sure your parents
sign the appropriate forms before you depart.
“Take full advantage of all the
opportunities we offer at INTO
Mason and in the Washington, DC,
area. We are readyfor you!”
Todd S. Rose, PhD
INTO George Mason University
Check out our website with all you need to know before you
come to the US: intohigher.com/mason/arriving
Download the INTO Mason Mobile App: www.intohigher.com/mason/app
Pack Your Bags
Casual clothes for warm or cold weather, depending on when you arrive
Cultural items from home
Important personal items that remind you of family and friends back home
Carry on the Plane
Valid passport with F-1 visa
SEVIS I-901 Fee payment receipt
Documentation of finances for your first year of studies
Your admission letter to INTO George Mason University
Medical documents in English
Original academic records
Enough money for your first few weeks
This Pre-Departure Guide
4 What’s Inside?
Before You Leave Home, pages 5-9
What to Pack
Getting a Student Visa
Arriving in the US
Housing and Dining
When You Arrive, pages 10-15
Money and Banking
Safety on Campus
Contact Us, pages 16-19
Find out all you need to
know before beginning
your studies at INTO Mason.
Have you scheduled
your visa appointment? Visit:
“Mason offers a diverse
culture with young and
energetic students from all
over the world. The large
campus has many facilities
and is a great location so
close to Washington, DC.”
Xiao Yang, BA in Psychology
Students walking through campus
What to Pack 5
Plan to bring some
What to Pack
The Washington, DC, climate has four distinct
Average temperature range:
• January: 5° C
• July: 32° C
Most students at Mason dress casually. There
is no official dress code. Due to weather
changes, you will need clothing for both
warm and cold seasons. All of these items are
available for purchase in Fairfax upon arrival,
so only pack what you need for the first few
months after you arrive.
Please consider bringing your national dress or
other clothes associated with a hobby or sport
you enjoy in your home country. You may also
wish to bring items of cultural interest such as
photos, books, souvenirs, recorded music and
See page 3 for a list of what to carry with you
on the plane.
Getting a Student Visa
6 Getting a Student Visa
Students with an I-20 will apply for an F-1
student visa. Before visiting the US Consulate
for your visa, carefully read the instructions on
the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility issued to you
for your studies at Mason.
For your interview you will need:
• A valid passport that will not expire for at
least six months at all times while you are
living and traveling in the US
• An original, signed I-20 for your INTO
• SEVIS I-901 Fee payment receipt
• Documentation of finances for your first
year of studies
SEVIS I-901 Fee
Pay the fee at least three business days before
you apply for your visa interview. You will need
to pay with a credit or debit card, and you must
print the receipt. This fee is required in addition
to the visa application fee.
• Your SEVIS ID number is listed above the
bar code on the top right-hand side of your
• Mason F-1 school code: WAS214F00683000
• Mason J-1 school code: P-1-04835
SEVIS I-901 fee website:
Transferring from Another US School
If you are coming to Mason from another school
in the US and you have an F-1 visa, complete
the F-1 Student Transfer Eligibility form at least
15 days before the start date of your INTO
Mason program. If you plan to travel outside
of the US before beginning your first term at
Mason, tell us before you leave the US that you
need the Mason I-20 for re-entry purposes. Do
not use your previous school’s I-20 for re-entry.
Your spouse or child(ren) may accompany you
on an F-2 dependent visa. F-2 visa holders
are not allowed to work or pursue a degree
program, Academic English or any other full-
time language training program.
Email INTO Mason immediately at intomason@
gmu.edu if you are unable to obtain a visa
before the start of the term for which you have
Your SEVIS ID number can be found above the bar
code on the top right-hand side of your I-20 form.
Arriving in the US 7
Arriving in the US
Friendly welcome at INTO Mason
Entering the US
If you are an F-1 student, you may only enter
the US within the 30 days before the program
start date listed on item #5 of your I-20. If you
arrive after the start date listed on your I-20,
you may be denied entry to the US.
See page 3 of this guide for the documents you
need to carry on the plane with you and have
ready to present at the US port of entry.
The Form I-94 contains official information
about your arrival to the US. If you need your
I-94 number after you arrive, you can print
a paper I-94 at: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/
US Customs Declaration Form
You will receive the US Customs Declaration
form to complete during your flight. You must
complete this form and present it to the
immigration official when you enter the US.
Arriving in the Washington, DC, Area
When booking your flights, remember that you
should arrive in Fairfax at least one day before
the program start date for your program. All
students are expected to arrive at either Dulles
International Airport (IAD) or Ronald Reagan
Washington National Airport (DCA). Both airports
are about a 30-minute drive from campus.
Airport Transfer Service
We can arrange transportation to meet you
at Dulles International Airport (IAD) or Ronald
Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
and take you directly to your accommodation.
To book an airport transfer, let us know your
arrival details at least 14 days before you arrive.
Submit your arrival information:
For more information about preparing to enter the US,
8 Housing and Dining
Housing and Dining
Mason Global Center room
All INTO Mason students are welcome to
apply to live in the Mason Global Center.
Undergraduate Pathway, and Academic
English students who plan to progress to an
Undergraduate Pathway must live on campus.
Spaces fill up quickly, so apply early.
Living on Campus Gives You:
• Convenient on-campus locations close to
classrooms, libraries, gyms and dining halls
• Live-in student staff to assist you 24 hours
• Securely locked exterior doors
• Wireless high-speed internet
• Study lounges
• Laundry facilities
• Anytime dining plans so you can enter all
Mason dining halls as many times a day as
Your Room Includes:
• Desk and chair
• Closet space
• Linen package including sheets, pillows,
pillowcases and blankets
If you will live on campus, we will send you a
housing confirmation email one month before
the start date of your program with more details
about move-in dates and procedures.
If your program does not require you to live
on campus, you can choose to live off campus.
Consider the following when looking for an off-
• How do you plan to get to the university?
• How long will it take you to travel to the
• Will you have a roommate or do you want to
Housing and Dining 9
Make new international friends living in the Mason Global Center.
Getting to class on time is important so we
recommend these nearby neighborhoods for
• City of Fairfax
• Fairfax Circle
• Fairfax Corner
• Fairfax Station
• Fair Lakes
Masonvale is an alternative option for Graduate
Pathway students. This townhome and
apartment complex is a five-minute walk to
For off-campus housing options visit:
We strongly encourage you to find housing
BEFORE you arrive in the US as apartments fill
If you arrive before your lease begins or before
you are allowed to move on campus, you will
need to make temporary arrangements.
Please consult a list of local hotels found here:
10 Money and Banking
Money and Banking
• US currency: US dollar (USD or $) divided into
• Bills: $100, $50, $20, $10, $5, $1
• Coins: quarter (25 cents), dime (10 cents),
nickel (5 cents), penny (1 cent)
You need easy access to at least $500 or more
to cover books, cell phone deposit and plan,
and other living expenses when you arrive. You
should not carry large amounts of cash with
you, so you will need to open a bank account.
During Orientation, you can meet with
representatives from on-campus and off-
campus banking services. To open an account,
you will need two pieces of photo identification
(passport and Mason ID card), your US mailing
address and money to deposit.
Before you leave your country, you need to
know your government’s regulations and your
home bank’s procedures for transferring money
to the US. Plan to transfer enough money to
cover your expenses for one term. Consider
your living situation and lifestyle to plan ahead.
Will you live off campus? Do you like to eat at
restaurants? Do you need to buy clothes or
more school supplies?
In the US, the most widely accepted credit cards
are Visa and MasterCard. Apply for a credit card in
your home country before you travel since it may
be difficult for you to get one after you leave.
You will have many options of service
providers and plans for talk, text and data.
We can help you decide what is best for you
Safety on Campus 11
The Mason Watch app helps keep you safe.
Safety on Campus
George Mason University is very safe and has
its own full-service law enforcement agency
on campus. However, you should not engage in
any activity that puts you in danger. Here are
some tips on how to stay safe:
• Use well-lit and well-traveled paths at night.
• Always lock your doors and windows. If you
drive a car, lock it at all times even while
driving. Do not leave valuable items in
• Travel with a friend or group of people.
• Trust your instincts. If you do not feel
comfortable in a situation, leave.
• If you are being harassed or experience
any threats, let University Police
know immediately. You can call the
non-emergency number of the Police
Department and request a police cadet to
escort you safely on campus.
Mason Watch is a crime and tip reporting
app developed by University Police. The app
allows users to report crimes and provides
• Mason Watch for iOS:
• Mason Watch for Android:
Mason Alert is Mason’s emergency notification
system used to send notifications about
school closings and timely safety warnings to
the university community via text, email and
• Sign up for Mason Alert:
Immunization Record Form
You will receive an Immunization Record form
via email that must be completed in English
and signed by a doctor before you arrive on
campus. You may receive required vaccinations
from your local doctor or hospital before you
leave your country. If you do not have proof of
immunizations when you arrive on campus, we
will schedule an appointment for you here. All
required vaccinations are free of charge if you
are enrolled in the university selected health
• Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) – 2
doses of the MMR vaccine OR Titer (blood
test) report indicating positive immunity
• Tetanus and Diphtheria – Pertussis (Tdap)
received within the last 10 years
• Tuberculosis (TB) – Screening Questionnaire
listed on immunization form must be
completed and submitted.
• Hepatitis B – 3 doses of Hepatitis B or
Twinrix, OR Titer (blood test) report
indicating positive immunity OR a signed
• Meningococcal – Must receive vaccine
between the ages of 16-21 OR a signed
For more information about immunizations visit:
http://shs.gmu.edu/immunizations or email:
Students in F-1 and J-1 status are required to
have health insurance. If you have this visa
status, you will automatically be enrolled in
the university-selected health insurance plan
managed by Aetna Student Health. You need to
pay for the insurance the first week you arrive.
If you already have health insurance and do not
want to be enrolled in the university-selected
health insurance plan, you must apply for an
Health insurance waivers must be submitted by
the posted deadline or you will still need to pay
for the university-selected health insurance. For
waiver criteria please go to: http://shs.gmu.edu/
Only US health insurance plans will be considered
for the waiver.
Please remember that any dependents traveling
with you also will need to enroll in health
For requirements of a qualifying health insurance
policy, deadlines and instructions on how to
submit a waiver visit: http://shs.gmu.edu/
Bring a copy of ALL prescriptions for medicines,
eyeglasses and contact lenses with you to the
US. The prescriptions must be in English.
All medical documents you bring with you
must be written in English or come with a
certified translation in English.
Health Services on Campus
Mason Student Health Services provides
healthcare services for illnesses such as cold,
flu, upset stomach and headache. There is no
charge for students to be seen by one of our
healthcare providers for illness, injury or any
other health concern. There are small fees
for lab work and medications. Call to make an
appointment. Student Health accepts walk-in
patients for sudden illness or injury.
Mason Student Health Services
Location: on campus
Phone: +1 703 993 2831
Medical Services in Fairfax
If you need urgent medical attention from
a doctor without an appointment use these
Med-First Urgent Care Center
Location: 9452 Main Street
Phone: +1 703 503 1112
Inova Emergency Care Center
Location: 4315 Chain Bridge Road
Phone: +1 703 877 8200
911 emergency services provide on-site
treatment and transportation to local hospitals
for life-threatening injuries or illness.
Free on-campus healthcare for students
Mason students celebrate International Week.
As part of your INTO Mason program, you will
participate in a mandatory Orientation for one
week. You will receive a separate email with
specific information about when and where to
go on your first day.
At Orientation You Will:
• Go on a campus tour
• Get your Mason ID card
• Open your university email account
• Turn in required health vaccinations and
• Submit any transcripts and test scores
• Pay any balances owed
• Take an English language placement test
• Register for courses
• Learn about student visa regulations
• Learn about campus resources
• Attend fun activities and field trips and
Before you register for courses you must
complete the English language test, turn in
all required documents and pay any remaining
fees. Student leaders and INTO Mason staff will
help you every step of the way.
Arriving Late to Orientation
Students who arrive after the first day of
Orientation must have a late arrival letter to
present at check-in. Late arrival letters are
approved on a case-by-case basis and students
who arrive late are subject to a $250 fee.
Students who arrive late without a late arrival
letter may not be able to register for courses.
16 Student Services
INTO Mason provides programs and services
for your social, physical, personal and academic
well-being. Our job is to make sure you are as
successful outside the classroom as you are
inside. We want you to make the most of your
experience with us!
Engagement on Campus
Our programs help you meet students from
all over the world and from every US state.
We provide activities that help you get
involved on campus and in the Fairfax and
Washington, DC, communities.
We have staff who can help ease your transition
to the US. Whether you need to speak to
someone in your native language, get a driver’s
license or find a doctor, you can visit the Mason
Global Center front desk and we will help you.
Call or text the emergency phone if you have
difficulties upon your arrival in the US.
+1 571 325 6540
INTO Mason Student Services team will help you with a smile.
More Information 17
Download the mobile app at: intohigher.com/mason/app
INTO Mason Contact Information
Phone: +1 703 993 4501
Mason Global Center Welcome Desk
Open Monday – Friday
There is a 24-hour Residential Desk
INTO Mason Emergency Phone
+1 571 325 6540
Mason Police Department (non-emergency)
+1-703 993 2810
George Mason University Information
Mason Student Health Services
+1 703 993 2831
Fairfax and Washington, DC,
These websites provide helpful information about
Fairfax, Virginia and Washington, DC, adjusting to
life in the US, cultural organizations and events
around the Mason campus.
City of Fairfax: www.visitfairfax.com
Fairfax County: www.fxva.com
Washington, DC: www.washington.org
Connect with Us!
INTO Mason Facebook
INTO Mason Twitter
INTO Mason YouTube
18 Campus Map
MASON GLOBAL CENTER
MASON POND DRIVE
Rapidan River Rd
1 Alan and Sally Merten Hall
(formerly University Hall)
2 Aquatic and Fitness Center
3 Aquia Building
4 Art and Design Building
5 Buchanan House
6 Carow Hall
7 Carty House
8 Center for the Arts/Concert Hall
10 Child Development Center
12 College Hall
13 Cross Cottage
14 David King Hall
15 de Laski Performing Arts Building
16 East Building
17 Enterprise Hall
18 Exploratory Hall
19 Facilities Administration
20 Facilities Management, Archives
21 Facilities Management,
Customer Service Center
22 Fenwick Library
23 Field House and Module
24 Finley Building
25 George Mason Statue
27 Harris Theatre
29 Innovation Hall
30 Johnson Center
31 Kelley II
32 Krasnow Institute
33 Krug Hall
34 Lecture Hall
35 Mason Hall
37 Nguyen Engineering Building
38 Northeast Module
39 Northeast Module II
40 Nottoway Annex
41 Parking Deck, Mason Pond
42 Parking Deck, Rappahannock Rvr
43 Parking Deck, Shenandoah
44 Parking Services
45 Patriot Center
46 Planetary Hall
47 Police and Safety Hdqrt.
48 Recreation and Athletic Complex
49 Recycling Center
50 Research Hall
51 Rivanna Module
52 Robinson Hall A
53 Robinson Hall B
54 Student Union Building I
55 TheaterSpace/Black Box
56 The Hub
57 Thompson Hall
59 West Building
60 West PE Module
61 Blue Ridge
62 Eastern Shore
63 Hampton Roads and Pilot House
64 Northern Neck
67 Skyline Fitness Center
68 Southside Dining
81 Eisenhower* and Ike’s Diner
86 Liberty Square
90 Potomac Heights/Housing Ofﬁce
98 Student Apartments
*24-hour Residential Desk
■ Event or Athletic Venues
■ Public Parking
■ Student Centers
■ Student Residence Halls
■ Faculty/Staff Housing
CUE Bus Stop
Mason Shuttle Stop
Metro Bus Stop
Campus Map 19
SANDY CREEK WAY
SANDY CREEK WAY