A Mason Student from Fairfax Thrives on First International Adventure to Korea

Fairfax to Songdo: Embracing the Global Mason Nation

George Mason University students can study abroad without ever leaving George Mason. Easy and affordable access to Mason’s campus in Korea opened new doors to over 80 students this previous spring semester, including Alex James.

“Korea marks my first international travel experience,” said James, a sophomore visiting from Mason’s Fairfax campus. The Virginia native’s academic pursuits led him to study at Mason’s international campus this past spring.

"I always wanted to study abroad, and Mason Korea offered the perfect opportunity to study abroad and continue taking my major coursework," said James, a passionate Computer Game Design (CGD) major. "I loved all my CGD classes here, and the CGD faculty have become my favorite professors," he added.

Beyond the classroom, James joined Gnonymous, a student organization dedicated to Computer Game Design. He also entered Mason Korea’s annual digital art competition, Progress@Play, winning third place in the university division for his game Clean Corps.

"Clean Corps is a first-person shooter video game, similar to DOOM (1993), where players assume the role of a fictional superhero created by a child to inspire their community to clean up their neighborhood beach," James explained.

One of James’ favorite aspects of Mason Korea is the intimate atmosphere of the smaller campus. "The close-knit community here has been a true highlight for me," he said. Being part of the wider Incheon Global Campus (IGC) community also allowed him to build connections with students from various schools, creating a truly global experience.

Venturing beyond the campus, James actively explored Songdo and Seoul. “The campus’ proximity to Seoul makes it easy to see everything South Korea has to offer,” he said. His personal favorite is Everland, Korea's largest theme park just outside of Seoul.

“Try something new whenever you can,” advises James to fellow students. "Being in a new country can be daunting, but there are countless opportunities to discover and connect with amazing people," he added.

James comes from a family of Patriots, with his mother being a Mason alumna and his cousins currently attending the university. Now, having discovered a new home at Mason Korea, he eagerly anticipates the day he can reunite with lifelong friends and the cherished experiences that have shaped his transformative journey. 

Learn more about studying at Mason's Korea campus