clock This article was published more than 2 years ago
At George Mason University, the return of campus tours brings back another sense of normalcy
Throughout the country, in-person campus tours are returning after a year-long hiatus triggered by the pandemic.
The campus tour, a hallmark of the college experience, was deemed too dangerous when the coronavirus pandemic first hit. Students who wanted to get to know their prospective campuses have been relegated for much of the past year to virtual tours featuring prerecorded videos and 3-D renderings.
That changed for 16 high-schoolers and their parents, who spent a recent Saturday morning at George Mason University. They were greeted with green nylon drawstring backpacks filled with brochures and ushered into an information session led by Carla Goodwin, the school’s assistant director of undergraduate admissions.
“You’re very close to Washington, D.C., but you still get that true college feeling,” Goodwin said about George Mason’s Fairfax campus. She clicked through a slide show that showcased the school’s selling points: an average class size of 25 to 35 students; more than 30 places to eat, including Chick-fil-A and Panda Express; and plans to expand its campus in Arlington — where Amazon has promised to create 25,000 jobs at its second headquarters.
Goodwin, a bubbly New Yorker who earned her master’s degree at George Mason, described the admissions process and how to study abroad. On a slide about the coronavirus, she explained the school’s weekly testing protocols and a provision that requires students without religious or medical excuses to be vaccinated for the fall semester. Faculty and staff members were added to that mandate on Thursday.
The admissions counselor paused for questions. The group was silent.
Colleges want students to get a coronavirus vaccine. But they’re split on requiring the shots.
“We don’t get a lot of pushback,” Goodwin said about the school’s policies, something she attributes to generally positive attitudes about the coronavirus vaccines. In Virginia, 53.8 percent of residents are fully vaccinated, five percentage points higher than the national figure, according to a database maintained by The Washington Post.
The vaccines have been an integral piece to reopening plans at colleges and universities throughout the country. About 600 campuses have enacted mandates for at least some students or employees, according to a database by the Chronicle of Higher Education. After more than a year of virtual learning, the vaccines offer a shot at normalcy, with campuses planning to return dorms, classrooms, dining halls and other spaces to full capacity.
But with more than half the country still unvaccinated and as the highly transmissible delta variant drives up caseloads, many schools will continue to enforce social-distancing requirements and encourage unvaccinated students to wear masks.
George Mason is slowly reintroducing in-person elements to campus, but with restrictions. The tour group was capped at 24 people — about one-third of its pre-pandemic size — as a safety precaution, Goodwin said. During her information session, students and their families sat in chairs spaced three feet apart, a distancing requirement that will stay in place until the campus vaccination rate reaches 80 percent. Officials will have a clearer picture of the school’s progress after Aug. 1, the deadline for students and employees to share their vaccination status.
As Goodwin’s session drew to a close, two student guides arrived to begin the next leg: the tour. Half the group joined Sam Harrison, a rising junior from East Windsor, N.J., who said she became a tour guide to branch out of her comfort zone. “I have a fear of public speaking,” she said.
Among Harrison’s group was Leigh Black, a rising high school senior from Vienna, Va. Black said she was drawn to George Mason because of its cybersecurity program and, during the tour, started to warm up to the idea of becoming one of its 37,000 students.
“It has a great environment and I like the area,” she said, although she is keeping her options open. The 16-year-old is also considering Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, she said.
As virus cases fall, D.C.-area universities begin to peel back restrictions
Leigh will be the first child Scott Black, an engineer, sends off to college, he said. George Mason is about seven miles from the Blacks’ hometown, which is a plus.
“She’s close enough that she can still do her laundry,” Scott Black said. He added they both feel confident about the way the school has handled the pandemic. “It’s very encouraging that there is regular testing and a vaccine mandate.”
Harrison led the group through the campus and past her favorite spot, a row of colorful benches hand-painted to showcase the university’s student clubs. “I picked Mason because of the community, and that really embodies what it means to be a Mason Patriot,” she said about the benches.
The group next headed to Fenwick Library, where staff have spent much of the pandemic digitizing materials for students and professors working remotely. Outside a cluster of residence halls, Harrison did her best to highlight the perks of communal living: Laundry is free and each dorm is within walking distance of a gym and a cafeteria, she said.
Cameron Sigmon, a 17-year-old from Manassas, Va., hasn’t selected a potential major but has “heard good reviews from older friends” about George Mason. The campus is also close to home — another bonus.
“There’s a lot of diversity, a lot of options for careers,” added Cameron’s mom, Meredith Sigmon.
As Harrison fired off facts about campus dining, Meredith Sigmon thought about last year’s freshman class and the thousands of students who selected their colleges without ever seeing a campus once the pandemic halted tours.
“I feel bad for all the students who had to go through that last year,” she said. The first year of the pandemic robbed young people of milestones and coming-of-age moments. Thousands of high-schoolers missed prom and scores of college freshmen never had move-in day.
The families on Harrison’s tour said they were grateful to see the campus firsthand. George Mason will continue to offer virtual tours, which have “definitely made [campus] more accessible to students,” particularly those with disabilities or who live far away, Harrison said.
How a rural Virginia town came together for an unforgettable pandemic prom
The next stop on the tour was Horizon Hall, home to the College of Humanities and Social Sciences — a chance to show off one of the newest buildings on campus and enjoy an air-conditioned respite from the humid, 88-degree weather.
George Mason was the latest stop for the Stitts, a family from Columbus, Ohio.
“It really fits a lot of the checkpoints,” said Julia Stitt, 16. The school offers dozens of programs in the humanities and the campus is close to a major city, she said. Most important, there are gluten-free dining options, a must for Stitt, who has celiac disease.
And students are not required to submit their standardized test scores — “a good cushion after this last year,” Stitt said. Many schools enacted temporary test-optional policies in the wake of the pandemic, but George Mason has employed the practice since 2008, Goodwin said.
Julia and her parents, Marc and Erin, have tried virtual tours, but said they prefer the in-person experience — speaking directly with students and admissions officials, walking into classrooms and seeing the library.
Marc Stitt works in marketing and said he knows how to make something look good on camera. He said it’s difficult to get an accurate sense of a campus and its culture through a computer screen.
“There’s something about talking to the students and admissions people that you get here,” Erin said. Marc added, “There’s no way to get to know everything about the campus just driving by.”
George Mason University Transfers: 2023 Requirements, Dates, GPAs & More
How long do george mason university tours last.
CampusReel hosts a total of about 0 tour videos for George Mason University, so you can expect to spend between 0 to 0 minutes total watching content. Of course, we are constantly adding new content. Come back to CampusReel often to see new videos and campus tours of George Mason University and stay informed on campus life.
Where do George Mason University tours start?
On CampusReel, you can start your George Mason University tour wherever you’d like. If you’re touring George Mason University in person with a traditional walking tour you’ll likely start at the admissions office. The school’s address is listed as Fairfax, VA so we recommend plugging that into your GPS. Before beginning a tour at George Mason University, make sure you check the weather and plan out your itinerary and accommodations appropriately. Fairfax weather can be unpredictable, so bring comfortable shoes in case it rains. Also, check what stops the tour includes to make sure you’ll see everything you’re interested in! The George Mason University website likely outlines important information for tour visitors.
When do George Mason University tours start?
Needless to say, a CampusReel virtual tour of George Mason University starts whenever you want. However, most schools provide 2-3 different start times for group tours in-person: in the morning, afternoon, and late afternoon. We recommend choosing the second available timeslot because George Mason University students will likely be up and about by then. You can explore Fairfax if you wake up early and want to gain a deeper understanding of the surrounding community. Check the George Mason University admissions site or student services to confirm tour times.
What will I see on a George Mason University tour?
All CampusReel tours for George Mason University include everything from dorms to dining halls to student interviews and gameday videos. Most importantly, you will see George Mason University students!
What is city Fairfax, VA like?
Fairfax is listed as South Atlantic. You need to evaluate the area carefully to make sure this is an environment you want to go to college in. Some people love a town this size, and others don’t. Either way, it will affect your time at George Mason University.
Who are the tour guides for George Mason University on CampusReel?
Scroll up to the top of the page to select from a number of tour guides available at George Mason University. Keep in mind anyone can upload content to CampusReel, so the available tour guides are constantly increasing.
Summary and Overview of George Mason University tours:
George Mason University, like all colleges and universities, has its pros and cons. At the end of the day, your goal with these tour videos is to try to decide if George Mason University is the right school for you. After you’ve taken the time learn about the campus, Fairfax and overall experience, then you can consider taking your search one step further and visiting George Mason University in person.
Check out these related virtual tours:
- Campus tour to Auburn University (AU)
- Campus tour to Florida State University (FSU)
- Campus tour to Georgia Southern University (GSU)
- Campus tour to University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL)
- Campus tour to University of Mississippi (UM)
2023 College Admissions Calculator
Predict your chance of acceptance
2023 College Comparison Tool
$10,000 Scholarship - No Essay
sponsored by Edvisors
Video landing page link
Your message (optional):
We're happy to see you again 😊
George Mason University Athletics
Swimming and Diving Hosts Patriot Invitational Thursday Through Saturday
Thanks for visiting !
The use of software that blocks ads hinders our ability to serve you the content you came here to enjoy.
We ask that you consider turning off your ad blocker so we can deliver you the best experience possible while you are here.
Thank you for your support!
was not found
- Customized tours
- Moscow for kids
- Evening activities
- Moscow evening activities
- St Petersburg evening activities
- Day trips out of Moscow
- Golden Ring tours
- St Petersburg tours
- Russian tour destinations
- Package tours
- Moscow highlights
- Travel Tips
- Upcoming group tours
- Moscow events
Tour duration: 4 hours Transportation: walking and metro Tour covers: Red Square, St Basil's Cathedral (outside), Lenin’s Tomb (outside), Gum, Bolshoi theatre (outside), Moscow metro tour.
Tour duration: 4 hours Transportation: driving Tour covers: Red Square, St Basil's Cathedral, Bolshoi Theatre, Alexander's Gardens, Victory Park, Christ the Saviour cathedral, Novodevichy convent, Moscow State University, Sparrow hills.
Tour duration: 4 hours Transportation: walking Tour covers: Moscow Kremlin (including cathedrals), Armoury chamber.
Moscow offers enough amazing attractions to keep you busy 4-5 days and even longer. This Moscow private tour gives you a chance to explore major highlights of the city. Tour duration: up to 7 hours each day Transportation: Walking and metro + 3-hour driving on the 1st day, full day driving services on the 3d day, all other days walking and metro
During your 2-3 day private tour of Moscow you’ll see most famous sights of the city Tour duration: up to 7 hours each day Transportation: 1st day - walking and metro, 2nd day - 3-hour driving + walking, 3d day - driving.
Moscow in 1 day private tour is ideal for the first-time visitors of Moscow with limited time. Tour duration: 7 hours Transportation: walking and metro Tour covers: Moscow Kremlin (including cathedrals), Red Square, St Basil's Cathedral (outside), Lenin’s Tomb (outside), Gum, Zaradje park, Varvarka street, Moscow metro tour.
Book this Moscow private tour if you have at least 8 hour layover Transportation: car or public transport (airexpress train + metro) Tour duration: up to 8 hours Tour itinerary: Your Moscow guide will meet you at the airport, brings you to the center of Moscow. You'll see Red Square, St Basil's Cathedral, Gum, Bolshoi theatre, Alexander's Gardens, Moscow Kremlin and metro.
We are glad to meet independent travelers and city explorers, all those who choose unbeaten tracks or have particular interests. We help you to create your own tour of Moscow. You can have a look at the list of Moscow sights and mark places you'd like to include in your itinerary. We'll help you to create a tour to match your interests. We can also give you some tips on how to save time getting around our very spread-out city.
Moscow has a lot to offer to the Jewish traveler. Our tour is devoted to the life of Moscow Jewish Community before the Revolution, during Soviet times and at present. You’ll visit Moscow synagogues, Jewish cultural center, museum of Jewish history and Holocaust memorial. Your Moscow tour guide will talk to you about the life of Jews in Russia now and before.
Moscow is a great destination for everyone interested in our Soviet past. During your Moscow tour you can discover an amazing heritage of Soviet architecture and learn about the greatest Russian political figures who changed the world in the 20th century. Moscow was the heart of the Soviet empire for almost 70 years and the city is still full of reminders of the Communist era.
We invite you to visit the Bolshoi theatre which recently opened its doors after 6 years of major renovation. During the tour you’ll see the fabulous halls with restored 19th century interiors, learn about most advanced technologies used in the theatre today and even go behind the scenes to watch a rehearsal.
Isn’t it exciting to taste local food while travelling? The food tour of Moscow gives you a chance to taste delicious meals you’ve never eaten before and learn about Russian eating and drinking traditions.
Have you ever tried Russian ice-cream? Do you know what makes it taste so special? During the tour you'll learn a lot about the history of Russian ice-cream, see its production line and get a chance to taste this popular Russian treat.
We always taste new food while travelling. But isn’t it exciting to learn how to cook it? Many popular Russian dishes are not so hard to master. During the cooking master class you’ll learn about Russian culinary traditions, practice cooking and enjoy a typical Russian meal (cooked by yourself) together with friendly locals.
The tour features a visit to the vodka museum followed with a vodka tasting session in a restaurant.
You won't see any museums during this Moscow tour. There might be no architectural monuments on your way.
Architecture in Moscow is very diverse. Here you can find everything from medieval Russian churches to modern iron and glass skyscrapers. We offer you architecture tours devoted to art-noveau, constructivism and Stalin neorenaissance.
Glinka museum is the largest center of music culture famous for its unique collection of musical instruments. The display features instruments from all the regions of Russia, as well as folk and professional instruments from more than 50 foreign countries.
We invite you to plunge in the depths of the mediaeval history of Russia. You will learn the everyday life of ordinary and noble people of XVI-XVII centuries and visit one of the oldest hoses survived in Moscow. During the tour you’ll stroll along the ancient street of Moscow and see its numerous churches that strike the imagination of any passerby. You’ll end up in the Andronikov monastery where one can see the oldest church of Moscow and see a beautiful collection of icons.
During the tour there will be a unique chance to visit famous ceremonial halls of St. George. St. Andrew, St. Vladimir and St. Aleksandr as well as see the hidden gems Terem Palace and Facated Chamber, which is one of the oldest secular buildings in Moscow.
Once a top secret town Star City today is more open and welcomes visitors interested in space travel. Since1960s Star city has been a training centre for the Russian Cosmonauts, it was here where Yury Gagarin, German Titov, Valentina Tereshkova prepared for their historic flights. Many Russian Cosmonauts live in Star city today with their families and get trained.
Moscow has lived through many wars, but the most tragic and memorable was the Great Patriotic War. During this Moscow tour you’ll visit a museum of the Great Patriotic War, and explore Victory Park with its numerous monuments as well as the open-air exhibition of military technique.
Located 83 km to the north-west from Moscow in the town of Klin, this house is a wonderful retreat hidden by the small forest on Leningradky highway on the way from Moscow to St. Petersburg where Pyotr Tchaykovsky spent the last year of his life and composed his last symphony №6
Moscow bike tours allow you to enjoy sightseeing in a unique and fun way. Why not take a look at the capital of Russia from a different perspective?
Most experienced travelers do not find anything exciting about subways. But have you heard of Moscow metro? Your Moscow tour guide will show you fantastic marble palaces of Moscow underground and tell you about its secrets. Another highlight of the tour is the Secret Soviet bunker, hidden at the depth of 60 meters
There is a city somewhere amidst bears and snow. And the city's name is Moscow. And there are famous landmarks here and there. And there are babushkas hiding on the unknown paths between these landmarks.
Willing to preserve the memory of your visit to Moscow? We're glad to offer you a portrait session in most photogenic locations in Moscow. During this tour you'll see Moscow most iconic sights and get a gallery of your images with picturesque backdrops.
During this tour you will discover the darker side of Moscow. You will see mysterious places and haunted mansions. You will learn about the lives of those moscovites who can't find peace even after their death. This tour reveals a different side of the city, which can be interesting for both sceptics and believers.
Are you curious to visit the oldest Film studio in Europe? The museum located on the its grounds offers a great chance to see clothes, props and retro cars, explore indoor and outdoor sets , learn about makeup procedure. It is also an opportunity to learn some stories and tricks of film making process.
This tour gives you a chance to see a typical apartment in one of the Seven Sisters. Besides you'll learn the story of life of one of the greatest Russian ballerinas.
During the tour you will be able to learn about the history of Moscow State University, visit rotunda on the 31st floor where some temporary exhibitions are held as well as to have lunch in one of the students’ cafeterias.
The tour is focused on the events that happened 100 years ago and after. We’ll talk about the Russian Revolution and the changes it brought to lives of ordinary people. The tour features a walking part as well as the House on the Embankment museum
We invite you to explore the historic and the most luxurious Moscow baths. We’ll be able to visit the male top class department which is considered the most beautiful category and were ladies are allowed to wash only once a year.
The tour features the visit to Yasnaya Polana estate as well as a very unique and interactive museum of arms in Tula