For Students

1. I think I'm sick. What should I do?

If you have a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as a cough, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath:

  • Do not attend classes, work or university events. Avoid contact with others. Stay home except when seeking medical care.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available, and stay well hydrated/drink fluids.
  • Cover your cough, and avoid close contact with others.

For more information, please visit the website for https://masonkorea.gmu.edu/corona/if-you-have-symptoms

2. One of my roommates just returned from an area that has been affected; what should I do?

Students returning to campus from areas with high rates of infection are subject to quarantine or self-monitoring protocols to help prevent the spread on the IGC campus of the virus that causes COVID-19.

All students returning from international destinations must adhere to stipulated protocols mandated by the authorities at the airport in addition to campus protocols.

It is important that we respect the diversity of our community and do not single out any one kind of person for concern about disease transmission.  Viruses do not know nations or places.

However, if you suspect your roommate, yourself, or anyone you know might be infected, it is imperative that that person self-isolates and follows these steps.  If he or she is not doing so already, urge your roommate or anyone else to do so.  If they do not, let student affairs know about the situation. Upon request and if possible, student affairs can work with either students to find temporary on campus accommodations.

3. What’s going on with study-abroad trips? Domestic travel?

All study abroad trips sponsored by George Mason have been canceled. Students at George Mason Korea as part of the Global Gateway or study abroad programs have been given the option to remain at Mason Korea for the remainder of the semester, or to return to the US and continue their education from there, in an online format.

Mason Korea recommends against all non-essential domestic or international travel, particularly to areas with high rates of transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19. Students who travel to those areas in Korea will need to self-quarantine for 14 days following and observe whether they develop any symptoms.

4. Will student evaluations of instructors still be conducted?

Yes, they will be.

5. Am I still responsible for course assignments and exams as stated on a course syllabus?

Yes, unless you hear otherwise from your instructor.

6. Will online classes affect my graduation?

Mason Korea has moved courses online, but has not changed the start or end dates of the semester.  Assuming by June it is safe to gather in larger groups, graduation will occur as planned.

7. Does this situation affect registration for summer or fall?

Currently, we plan on holding face-to-face classes in the summer and the fall, and the registration dates have not changed.

8. If I need to selectively withdraw, change my major, or perform other registration activities, will I still be able to come to campus for these purposes?

These activities can be handled through the office of academic affairs through email or video chat, rather than coming to campus.  Please contact the Office of Academic Affairs(mkaa@gmu.edu).

9. What if I want to leave the university?

MK students who are considering withdrawal from the university should contact the Office of Academic Affairs(mkaa@gmu.edu) and confer with a staff member.

10. Why didn’t George Mason Korea start its semester late instead of using online classes?

George Mason Korea is required to teach a set number of weeks by our accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), one of the six regional accreditation organizations recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Although our campus fully supports the guidelines given by the Korean Ministry of Education (MOE), because we are accredited by SACS, there are challenges for us to function exactly the same as other Korean universities accredited by the MOE. And if we shifted the semester by starting later and ending later, students who relied on the published academic calendar would be negatively impacted.

11. Can George Mason Korea use holidays that come after April 6 or reading days to substitute for a week of online classes before April 6?

Those holidays do not occur on a regular pattern of days. As a result, some classes might have too many make up days by using these holidays, and others not enough. In addition, we took into consideration that some students may already have plans for those days. We will schedule class days for students to attend during reading days, but only at their option, as some may want to use those days to study.

12. Why did George Mason Korea not opt for a seven-week period of teaching online from the beginning of the semester?

Our goal has been to find the best way to provide our education to students in the current situation as we monitored the outbreak week by week, day by day. Even a week before the start of classes, the covid-19 situation in Korea appeared under control. Likewise, during the first week of classes new case numbers were moderate, though by then we were planning for a more extended period of online learning.

13. Can we receive a tuition discount, since we expected face-to-face courses?

A tuition discount would assume that this situation was of Mason Korea’s making. Rather, Mason Korea is responding to a challenging situation, as we all must. We have the same expenses we need to cover, whether we teach online or face-to-face. Faculty and staff are working hard to convert their courses and support operations during this challenging time. We will continue to offer guides and support students to experience sophisticated online learning comparable to face-to-face classes.

14. But I do not find the experience of online learning comparable to face-to-face classes. What is Mason Korea going to do about that?

Converting courses to online takes some time to accomplish, especially when it occurs unexpectedly. Your faculty are working overtime to do so. We also have brought in experts in online learning from George Mason Fairfax and drawn on faculty at Mason Korea with this expertise to help their colleagues develop their online courses.

You play an important part too: let your professors know what is working and what is not. Think about how you might have to engage differently in an online course. Active learning of the sort that is central to a Mason Korea education means that students take charge of their education. Increasingly, workplaces conduct their business online. Use this experience as a way of learning how to function in the professional online space. Finally, if you find a particular course in which the online teaching seems insufficiently effective, let us know which course it is and what the problems are, so that we can work to improve it. We will seek to preserve your anonymity if you wish. You can write the Office of Academic Affairs (mkaa@gmu.edu) to let us know about particular courses.

15. I just do not want to learn online. What other options do I have?

We recognize some students may want to sit this semester out given the challenging situation. Those who do not wish to continue on have the option to drop all courses and withdraw from the semester with a 100% tuition refund. We have extended the deadline to choose this option until March 13.