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Reflection in Action Experiences

Below are approved co-curricular experiences that satisfy the Saint Louis University Undergraduate Core Reflection in Action requirement. Please note that each experience has a separate registration process conducted by the sponsoring SLU department — students do not sign up for these experiences using the traditional course catalog method.  

Students participating in these experiences are auto-enrolled in a 0-credit section of CORE 4500 on Canvas. They must complete a final reflection (administered to each student by the University Core) to receive credit toward their graduation requirements.

A listing of Reflection-in-Action programs at Madrid can be found at the bottom or by clicking here

Departments may submit their programs for approval as a Reflection in Action experience online here.

Community Service Opportunities 

Community Service Federal Work-Study Program

Through the Saint Louis University Community Service Federal Work-Study Program, students can earn their financial aid award of FWS by working at a local nonprofit agency. This is an alternative to working in more traditional on-campus jobs. Students can gain valuable work and career-preparation experience while making a difference in the lives of those the site serves in the St. Louis community.  

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Program (Open Only to Recipients of the MLK Scholarship)

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Program is a competitive award granted to undergraduate students committed to social justice, academic success, service, leadership and cultural awareness. Each of these characteristics equips our scholarship recipients to develop their potential as agents of positive social change. The Cross Cultural Center for Global Citizenship staff supports and advises students in the program.  

Micah Program Weekly Service (Open Only to Micah Program Students)

Micah students and Micah companions commit to 30 hours of service per semester at the same site to build relationships with those at the site and gain in-depth knowledge about the sociopolitical challenges underlying the need for service at their site and the systems affecting those they accompany in service.  

Experiential Learning Opportunities

  • Career and Experiential Learning: This program allows students to utilize their internship, research assistantship, or other experiential learning opportunity to fulfill the RIA requirement. Students will submit their internship information via Handshake and indicate that they wish the experience to count for the RIA requirement. Career Services will then assist with adding the student to CORE 4500.

Immersion/Service Trip Opportunities 

Belize Business Immersion Experience (Open Only to St. Louis campus Business Majors)
The Belize Business Immersion Experience will look at both sustainable business and social enterprise through the lens of the cacao industry and a Belize turmeric paste company. A portion of the time in the country will be spent learning about the field operations and business involved in sustainable cacao agriculture. The rest of the time will be spent learning about the social mission and business operations of a local social enterprise called Naledo. Special attention will be given to the cultural significance of cacao and the social impact that business can have on a community.  

Social Action Trips

Social Action Trips are intensive justice-based experiential learning and advocacy opportunities. They allow us to build global partnerships with communities navigating the same inequities we face in St. Louis. Following the trip, students return to apply the knowledge they gain at home. Teams of 10-12 students train weekly to prepare for the trip over spring break. Meetings include formation and advocacy planning. Trip locations include the U.S.-Mexico Border in Kino, San Francisco, and Belize. Cost: $500-$800. Scholarships are available.

Spring Break Immersion Program

Campus Ministry's Spring Break Immersion Program leads student participants through the process of diving into a particular social justice issue (like incarceration, immigration, public health issues, etc.) through the lens of the program pillars (Community, Spirituality, Social Justice and Solidarity) and the context of a particular community in the United States. The program requires students to participate in weekly formation meetings leading up to and following the trip, a week-long immersion experience over Spring Break, and three program-wide events: the Program Kickoff, Sending Forth Prayer Service, and Post-trip Day of Reflection. Students gain critical reflection, social analysis, community-building and leadership skills.

Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice

Campus Ministry's Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice (IFTJ) is intended for students who desire to grow in understanding and application of how social advocacy informs faith and how faith informs social advocacy and caring for the least of these within society. This program endeavors to equip students with some experiences and resources to show them that there is no artificial separation of faith and social justice. They necessarily inform the other and are by themselves incomplete. The Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice is the largest Catholic social advocacy conference in the United States. Formation for student delegates takes place annually in the fall semester to prepare for traveling to the Teach-In itself, which takes place in mid-October in Washington, D.C.

SLU-Madrid Opportunities 

Community ESL Program

The Community ESL Program provides free weekly English language classes to local community members. Sessions take place weekly over a semester.  

School Outreach Program

Through the School Outreach Program, students visit a state-sponsored school in a socio-economically challenged neighborhood of Puertollano, a town in the Castilla-La Mancha region of Spain. Participants provide activities and workshops in English to promote the school's image and encourage children to practice and continue to study English.

Volunteering While Abroad

While volunteering during their stay abroad, students will work with members of the community of Madrid to assist individuals facing detrimental circumstances and who are at risk of social exclusion. Students will have a unique opportunity to create a dialogue with individuals living in various states from underdeveloped socio-economic conditions, cognitive and physical disabilities, and victims of gender violence to communities of individuals seeking to improve their educational skills. Volunteering with organizations within the city of Madrid can allow students to participate in a language exchange, develop cultural sensitivity and work alongside groups whose life experiences/situations vastly differ from their own.

Volunteering with Fundación Sanders

Through Volunteering with Fundación Sanders, students regularly visit one of several Fundación Sanders centers in Madrid. These centers provide “safe spaces” where school children from underprivileged or complicated family situations can study, socialize and improve their academic and language skills. Many of the children are immigrants and may speak languages other than Spanish or English. Volunteers assist the children with their English-language and computer skills, boost their self-confidence, and motivate them. The interaction generally leads to a candid cultural exchange.