There are three immersion trips taking place over spring break in March, and four after commencement in May. More opportunities for immersion trips will then begin in January 2017, including a new trip to the U.S. Mexican border.
Any undergraduate student can apply for an immersion trip. “We always want a mix of majors, ethnicity and ages; the more diverse the better,” said Andy Costigan immersion coordinator at JCU.
Immersion trips are a seven to ten day long experience where JCU students, faculty and staff are immersed in culture as well as the reality of the locations they are going to. Each immersion trip can be different depending on what location the student chooses to go to.
“Honduras is hands on treatment, some are that way.” Costigan said. “In Ecuador and Jamaica, you are to be present with people of that place and build relationships, and challenge yourself to see God in all people.”
Andrea Regrut, a junior communications major, went on an immersion trip to Guatemala last year.
“I feel that students should go on immersion trips because it allows you to experience a culture that is different from your own,” said Regrut. “It gives students an opportunity to see the world from someone else’s eyes.”
When Andrea was in Guatemala, she visited monuments, completed service projects, and went into cities like Antigua. Her group helped build drainage systems for a school and taught preschool lessons.
“My favorite part about going to Guatemala would probably be being with the kids, and also sharing the experience with my JCU group, we had a great group.” Regrut continued, “Being with a group without technology really brought us together, seeing a third world country and the poverty makes you stronger and closer because you see it and experience it together.”
Immersion trips have been a part of John Carroll for 15 years.
“It is faith that does justice to help the poor, and influence how students will perform in and out of the classroom and after graduation,” said Costigan.
Costigan attended an immersion trip as a junior when he attended John Carroll. It opened his eyes to wanting to work with the poor. Costigan is still friends with his immersion group and believes that groups who go experience a true sense of community together.
“Immersions expand circles, make students feel alive and it is life-giving,” said Costigan. If interested in an immersion trip students are encouraged to go to www.jcu.edu/immersion to complete an application.
The application process consists of filling out a few short answers and essay questions. Students will then participate in a short interview given by the student leaders. A week later; students will receive emails telling them if they have been accepted. Applications are due Friday, Feb. 26 at 5 p.m.