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Smiling George Mason students posing for the camera

Living in Fairfax, Virginia 

Reside in peaceful Fairfax, with Washington, DC, just 30 minutes away. Fill your résumé with all the career development opportunities of a city where Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and research thrives. Take your classes at the Fairfax campus or Mason Square, spend the day soaking in the buzz of a multicultural metropolis, then relax with your friends in the residence hall.  

Why students love Fairfax 

  • historical sites and museums  

  • near The White House and Capitol Building  

  • national parks, gardens and bodies of water  

  • great shopping destinations  

Smiling George Mason students walking by a hall with flags
Mason campus exterior with blossom trees
Living in Fairfax Virginia, George Mason University, girl walking her dog

The Washington, DC, area is known for its free activities. So whether you like visiting museums or watching films and plays, you can experience culture without the costly expenses. 

The Smithsonian museums change their exhibitions quite often, so you can enjoy something new every time you visit. For film lovers, you can check out the Angelika Film Center or any of the film festivals that take place throughout the year.  

For theater, you might want to start with one of the most famous venues: The Kennedy Center. It has many different stages, including the Millennium Stage (which offers free performances every day of the year). 

Interested in catching a fly ball at a baseball game? Check out the World Series-winning team, the Washington Nationals. You could also head over to a Washington Wizards basketball game or Capitals hockey game at the Capitol One Arena in downtown DC. 

Looking for a restaurant that serves food from your home country? You won’t need to look far in the Washington, DC, area. Whether you're looking for Chinese, Middle Eastern, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Thai or Ethiopian cuisine, there’s a restaurant nearby. If you prefer to cook for yourself, you can find familiar ingredients at international grocery stores.  

If you enjoy a little retail therapy, Northern Virginia is a great shopping destination. You’ll find hundreds of brand name stores at the Fair Oaks Mall, Tysons Corner Center and Potomac Mills offering sales and special events year-round.  

Across the Potomac River in Washington, DC, you will find breathtaking views along the historic Georgetown Waterfront shopping district on M Street.  

Transportation to and from Mason is made easy by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). The free Mason Shuttle buses and Fairfax CUE buses take you from campus to destinations around Fairfax and to the Vienna Metro Station in less than 30 minutes. Do as the locals do and take the Metro into the city for less than half an hour.

Check out this map to learn more about the bus routes.

If you’re looking to travel further afield, the Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Washington Reagan Airport (DCA) are very near the Mason campus. 

Ready to start your study abroad journey in Washington, DC?