How do I apply? What is the application process?
Students may apply for the Service & Justice Immersion Program by filling out the online application on the Nest. The link for the application is available on the Campus Ministry and Community Service websites.
Students applying for the Habitat for Humanity trip in Washington, DC will use this same application.
After submitting an application, all students will participate in an interview. Interviews will be done in groups and be conducted by Campus Ministry staff and Immersion Program student leaders.
*If you were accepted to the Service & Justice Immersion Program during the 2019-2020 academic year and your trip was cancelled due to COVID-19, you do not need to reapply this year. Email Harrison Hanvey at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell him that you would like to join one of the Immersion trips to either Washington, DC or West Virginia this year. If you would like to go on the Habitat trip, you will need to apply still.
What if my Immersion trip was cancelled last year due to COVID?
If you were accepted to the Service & Justice Immersion Program during the 2019-2020 academic year and your trip was cancelled due to COVID-19, you do not need to reapply this year. Email Harrison Hanvey at email@example.com to tell him that you would like to join one of the Immersion trips to either Washington, DC or West Virginia this year.
If you would like to go on the Habitat trip, you will need to apply still.
Where are the trips?
In 2021, students have the option to participate in an immersion trip in Washington, DC or West Virginia. Students also have the option to join a Habitat for Humanity trip in Washington, DC.
How much money does an immersion trip cost?
The Washington, DC Immersion Trip costs $100 and the West Virginia Immersion Trip costs $200. The Habitat for Humanity Washington, DC trip costs $100. This fee covers all room and board costs, transportation expenses, and any supplies or program costs required. All other expenses are the responsibility of each student.
Can/how does fundraising for trips work?
Individual fundraising is the responsibility of each team member. Fundraising is done by soliciting funds from friends, family and/or their parish community. Individual funds raised are applied directly towards the student’s fee. Funds raised beyond the individual student fee are applied as a donation to the Service & Justice Immersion program, and are used for future student scholarships. Team fundraising is organized by the immersion trip leaders and varies by group. Funds raised by team fundraising are used as donations to the communities we visit during the trips.
When do the trips occur?
This year, trips will occur during 2 different weeks in May:
- May 9-14 (the week after finals/Senior Week)
- May 16-22 (the week after graduation)
Students will have the option to mark which week they are available on the application. Please keep in mind that we will try to accommodate your preference, but we cannot promise that you will be offered a spot during the week that works best for you.
How long does a trip last?
The trips will each last between 6-7 days.
What happens during the trips?
Each trip varies in the types of activities and work that go on during the trip. Look on the Trip Locations page to learn more about each location.
What are the living arrangements?
Living arrangements vary depending on the trip. Students will be staying in retreat houses, schools, or airbnbs. Teams are housed separately by gender, and communal living is expected. Our living arrangements are usually similar to the living conditions of the communities we visit.
Do you have to be Catholic/religious to participate in the trips?
Students do not have to be Catholic to be a part of the Service & Justice Immersion Program or CUA Habitat. However, the trips are sponsored by the Office of Campus Ministry and there is a spiritual component to all of them. All team members are asked to be present for Sunday Mass and participate in nightly reflections/sharing.
What are the COVID protocols?
We will be following COVID protocols according to the CDC, District of Columbia, and West Virginia. This includes wearing masks and social distancing from people outside of our trip group. Each trip group will act as a "pod," spending the week together in service, education, prayer, and reflection.
If a trip participant is coming from outside of DC, Maryland, or Virginia, they will need to come to DC and quarantine for 2 weeks before the trip departure, per DC guidelines.
COVID protocols are subject to change, always following guidance from the CDC, state and local authorities, and the University.
Does the trip require additional insurance?
The only insurance a student needs is the health insurance required for them to be a student at CUA.
Are there professional staff members on the trips?
One or two professional staff members who are employed by The Catholic University of America lead each Immersion trip and Habitat trip. Normally, one is a member of the Office of Campus Ministry and the other a staff or faculty member.
Are there leadership opportunities for students on the trip?
All students are encouraged to be open to the beliefs and cultures they experience in the communities they visit. This team experience provides leadership training that develops prospective leaders for future Campus Ministry activities and programs. Each team has at least one student leader who applies and is chosen during the spring semester of the previous school year.
Are there any class requirements?
There are no class requirements for the May 2021 Immersion or Habitat trips.
Are there any other requirements?
- Students will be expected to participate in 3 formation/preparation meetings throughout April. These will occur on 4/11, 4/18, and 4/25.
- Students will participate in 1 bonding activity with their trip group before May.