Higher education in Fairfax (U.S.) has a lot to offer to international students, from great student services, well stocked libraries and numerous extracurricular-activities, to a wide range of study subjects, including business administration, management, finance, law, health care, humanities and arts. You will find a large student population in Fairfax, sometimes outnumbering the local population, and many recreational options for your free time. Fairfax is situated in Northern Virginia, U.S., only 25 kilometers southwest of Washington, D.C.
The city of Fairfax has a low rate of unemployment and high average salaries, and Fairfax graduates have a high level of employability and job prospects. If you consider working in Fairfax during your studies, universities here offer dynamic career services and you will find a number of on-campus, part-time and internships opportunities. In 2009, Fairfax was named, by Forbes Magazine, one of the top 25 places to live well.
Large employers in Fairfax include: Sun Trust, Federal Technology Services, Verizon Wireless, Fairfax Nursing Centre, Ted Britt Ford, Inova Care Centre, Fairfax Honda, Brown's Automotive Group, Mid-Atlantic Cars and City of Fairfax.
The city of Fairfax may be smaller than other university centres, but enjoys a thriving urban atmosphere. Whether you want to hike, go to a museum, go to a concert, or spend the day on the beach- you are always within a short drive of your chosen activity!
The city has a charming historic downtown filled with shops, restaurants, coffee shops and bars. You can explore the well maintained parks, take horse riding lessons, play tennis, try the bike rails across the city or go shopping at Fair Oaks Mall.
Should you ever feel like spicing up your free time, Fairfax has a great location to travel from. Free shuttle buses for students can help you get to the Vienna Metro station, the nearest Metro stop to the Fairfax Campus, which connects you in less than one hour to Washington, D.C. The Shenandoah Mountains are only 45 minutes away, and you could be on the beach in Ocean City, Maryland or Virginia Beach in just a few hours.
There are a number of annual events taking place in Fairfax, like the Chocolate Lover's Festival, the Arts Festival (three weeks of music, dance and theatre), the Irish Festival, the Fall festival, the Book Festival or the Festival of Lights and Carols, to name only a few.
You will hardly feel a stranger in Fairfax and you will have many opportunities to make friends from all corners of the world. Fairfax has a very diverse community, multilingual and multicultural, with more than one in four county residents being foreign-born. More than 160 foreign languages are spoken in Fairfax and the most widely spoken are Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, Arabic and Mandarin Chinese. The surprisingly diverse international environment will help you build a global contact network of friends and potential business partners.
Fairfax’s climate has four distinct seasons with many sunny days and temperatures ranging from an average of about 5° C (23° F) in January to 32° C (89° F) in July. You can expect snow in the winter months and occasional thunderstorms in the summer.
Located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., George Mason University is recognized as an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields.