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Immersion Experiences

Are you interested in getting out of the “Saint Louis University bubble” to learn more about the injustices present in this country? Do you want to build community with fellow students through engaging in meaningful conversations about faith and justice? Are you ready to discover how you are being called to work toward a more just world?

Spring Break Immersion Program

Through engaging in the pillars of community, spirituality, justice and solidarity, the Campus Ministry Spring Break Immersion Program will challenge you to step out of your comfort zone in order to accompany people on the margins and to critically engage with the social injustices facing those people — and to allow yourself to be radically transformed in the process.

While your actual immersion trip may last only a week, the knowledge you gain and the growth you experience will last long after that, and our program will continue to support and engage you in your ongoing efforts to work for justice in your communities and to stand in solidarity through practices of accompaniment and advocacy. 

2021-2022 Immersion Program Applications

Applications for the 2021-2022 Immersion Program are open now. All applications will be due on Sunday, November 7, 2021. Contact Michelle Verner, immersion program coordinator, at or 314-977-1532 with any questions.

Financial assistance is available for any student who wishes to participate in an immersion experience, but would have difficulty paying the total cost.

Apply for Immersion Program Financial Assistance

2021-22 Program Dates

Dates Events
Sept. 20, 2021 Application launch
Oct. 7, 2021, 7-8 p.m. First information session  (optional)
Nov. 3, 2021, 7-8 p.m. Second information session (optional)
Nov. 7, 2021 Application/deposit deadline
Dec. 1, 2021 Participant forms due
Dec. 10, 2021 First payment due
Jan. 21, 2022 Second/final payment due
Jan. 27, 2022, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Program kickoff event (required)
Jan. 31 - Mar. 4, 2022 Five weeks of pre-trip meetings with individual trip groups (required)
Mar. 10, 2022, 6-7 p.m. Sending Forth Service (required)
Mar. - Apr. 2022 Complete solidarity projects with trip group
Mar. 11/12 - 19/20, 2022 Spring Break immersion trips (exact dates vary by trip)
Mar. 28 - Apr. 8, 2022 Two weeks of post-trip meetings with individual trip groups
Apr. 9, 2022, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Post-trip Day of Reflection (required)

Trip Descriptions

Mobile, AL - Building Community with L’Arche

This immersion is designed to help you see the world through the experiences, unique challenges and joys of someone with an intellectual and or physical disability. You will spend a week with the L'Arche Community, an organization that provides homes and workplaces where people with and without disabilities share life together as peers. You will serve with the community as a companion and helper, sharing meals, having conversations and accompanying members, as well as performing basic maintenance such as painting and cleaning in the houses themselves or at partner agencies.

Partner organization: L’Arche of Mobile

Trip cost: $300

Pre-trip meeting day/time: Mondays from 6:30-8:00pm

West Virginia - Public Health in Appalachia

Through this trip you will examine the unique public health challenges created by rural poverty in Appalachia, as well as the ways local communities are and are not addressing them. You will spend time in various sites in rural West Virginia, where you will attend presentations about alcohol and drug abuse, access to nutritious food, and the effects of environmental degradation due to industrial activities in the region. You will also work with the local agencies below  to gain a more nuanced understanding of these issues through personal connection with patients in public health clinics and children in after-school programs.

Partner organizations: Appalachian Institute of Wheeling University, ABLE Families

Trip cost: $300

Pre-trip meeting day/time: Tuesdays from 7:00-8:30pm

Chicago, IL- Racial Justice

This trip, in partnership with the Br. David Darst Center in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago, IL, serves as an experiential learning space to confront injustices and the reality of oppression. Through partnerships with local agencies in Chicago, trip participants are able to get to know people directly impacted, challenge societal stereotypes, and break down barriers that continue to perpetuate inequity and indifference.

Partner organization: Br. David Darst Center for Justice & Peace, Spirituality & Education

Trip cost: $300

Pre-trip meeting day/time: Wednesdays from 7:00-8:30pm

Navajo Nation, AZ - Spirituality, Culture, and Justice

At St. Anne’s Mission located on the Navajo Nation, we will immerse in service and education, helping with some manual work and visiting with students at a local Catholic school. You will learn from some Navajos about life on a reservation today. There will be a focus on public health-related issues including substance abuse, diabetes and access to healthy food. You will also experience the distinctive cultural richness of the Navajo people, including their history, landscape, mythology and rituals, learning opportunities for solidarity and accompaniment.

Partner Organization: Saint Anne’s Mission

Trip cost: $300

Pre-trip meetings: Wednesdays from 7:00-8:30pm

Los Angeles, CA - Restorative Justice and the Criminal Justice System  

This immersion explores how crime impacts communities, what measures and policies can help them heal, and what our responsibilities are to those who have hurt us. You will work with the Jesuit Restorative Justice Initiative in the prisons and jails around Los Angeles County. The group will also meet with organizations working to reform the criminal justice system in California.

NOTE: Due to age restrictions for visiting prisons/jails in the state of California, you must be 21 years of age to participate in this immersion.

Partner Organization: Jesuit Restorative Justice Initiative, Anti Recidivism Coalition, Homeboy Industries, Inside Out Writers

Trip cost: $600

Pre-trip meetings: Thursdays from 5:30-7:00pm

El Paso, TX/Juarez, MX - Immigration and Border Issues

Step out of your everyday life -- out of your comfort zone -- and into in-depth, experiential learning and cultural immersion.  The Border Immersion Experience is an opportunity to learn about the issues that affect lives of people living on the border. The program includes: fellowship at El Paso-Ciudad Juárez fence, presentations at various social justice ministries, assisting with after school program, personal accounts of border life exposure to Mexican & Mexican-American culture, tours of colonias (rural settlements) in El Paso, daily reflections, visit to ministries in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and bilingual worship at Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey.

**Please note, depending on up-to-date US State Department travel warnings, we may not cross the border to spend time in Juarez, MX**

Partner Organization: Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey

Trip cost: $600

Pre-trip meetings: Tuesdays from 7:00-8:30pm