International Summer Immersions 2017

Participating in a Cross-Cultural Summer Immersion through the Center for Social Concern is a unique way to expand your education beyond the classroom, into a new culture, a new lifestyle, and a new way of thinking. Each trip offers a distinctive experience for students, involving elements of cultural immersion, study of government, social services, religion, family life, economics and everyday life in the host country. Participants travel in a group with a reflection leader to help guide the group through the joys and struggles of encountering life outside your normal experience and to come to a better understanding of Global Solidarity as God’s children.

Heard about Cross-Cultural Summer Immersions, but aren't sure if it's the thing for you? Come and hear firsthand about student experiences in India, Guatemala, Zambia and Cameroon. The two symposiums, September 26, 2016 at 5:30pm in ArtStreet Studio B and September 27, 2016 at 8:30 pm in ArtStreet Studio C, will provide you with the interesting adventures of many of our students this summer and how you can be involved in the future.

Trips for Summer 2017

Ranchi and Bangalore, India

Estimated dates: June 12-July 30, 2017

India 2015

The India Immersion truly offers an in-depth look at the people and culture of India. Hosted by the Marianists, the students and a reflection leader will stay in Ranchi in the north of India. There, they will see and interact with the Marianist’s REDS program (Ragpickers Education and Development Scheme), the Marianist Sisters and their health clinic, the Chaminade Rural Development Program, schools, novitiates, and cultural sites. Then the group will spend time with the Marianists in the south, in Bangalore. They will work with the REDS program there, as well as play schools, job training centers and more religious and cultural site. The trip will include a visit to New Delhi and the Taj Mahal as well. Options for travel onto to Calcutta are also possible. If you are looking for a truly immersive experience into India as well as learning more about the Marianists and Marianist spirituality and leadership, this is the trip for you! Check out this reflection from Danielle Damon who went on the trip in 2016.

Estimated cost is $1800 for the program and $2000 for the flights.

Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Departs May 12, 2017 (Minimum 4 weeks stay)

Guatemala 2015

Students and a reflection leader spend time learning the Spanish language while immersing themselves in the culture of Guatemala in Quetzaltenango, commonly known as Xela. Students on this immersion stay with host families while learning Spanish at a local language school. The language study on this trip is intensive, involving one-on-one study, for approximately five hours a day. Weekend excursions include trips to natural spas, volcanoes, and the beach. This experience offers a great combination of immersion and education, while reflecting on the differences between culture, religion, and politics of Guatemala and the United States. Credit hours in Spanish can be earned through the Department of Languages.

Estimated program cost (including room, board and some other expenses) for 6 weeks is $2400. Each additional week is around $260. Airfare is anywhere between $600-$1000

Lusaka and Lubwe, Zambia

June 1-July 14, 2017

Zambia 2015

This group will begin their Zambian experience with the Marianists and aspirants in the capital city of Lusaka. There, students will learn about the country, city life and work side by side in various schools and social services with the Marianists. Participants will then travel to Lubwe, Zambia, a rural village in the Northern Province of the country. Students will work on specified sustainable projects that have been identified by the community. These projects in the past have included a sports league, creating a library, teaching in schools, and working in the hospital and with home-based care. Tourist excursions include trips to Victoria Falls and surrounding areas of Livingstone.

Estimated cost is $2100 for program (including room, board and some other expenses) and $2500 for airfare.

Kumba, Cameroon

June 26-July 25, 2017


Students and trip leaders travel to Cameroon to be fully immersed in this unique culture. Students stay with host families, which alone is a great way to see everyday life within the Cameroonian culture. Participants will also have first-hand experience with various industries in the country, meet with political leaders, and learn while traveling through the countryside. According to areas of studies and interests, students will be placed in work sites for two weeks of the trip in the town of Kumba, home for the students while in Cameroon.  

Estimated cost is $2300 for program (including room, board and some other expenses) and $2400 to $2800 for airfare.

News Story on UD Study Abroad that Features Immersions

Learning Abroad

Where in the world are UD students this summer? Just about everywhere.

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General Information

Applications for Summer 2017 are due November 11, 2016. They will be available on August 1 on the Center for International Programs' Studio Abroad page. Click on “search programs” to apply online. After November 11, we will interview each applicant and you find out if you are accepted to the immersion before Christmas Break.


A preliminary deposit of $100 will be due once you are accepted. An additional deposit of $500 is due by January 15. The remaining cost of the trip will be due in mid-April, 2017. Partial scholarships may be available for those who need them. Some grants are available on campus for such experiences. You can find some information on grants here. Groups are encouraged to work together to help raise funds. Other expenses include a valid passport (with at least 6 months validation remaining on it), visa, supplies, vaccinations, and possible other preparatory items, if needed.

Summer Immersion participants are required to attend the Cross-Cultural Immersion preparation class (1 mini-course credit) on Wednesdays from 7-9 pm starting in February 2017. This credit hour is free, even if you carry a full load. Participants are also expected to turn in a final reflection paper and attend a re-entry class in the Fall Semester following their Immersion experience.

If you have any questions contact Mary Niebler.

If you have something else in mind which is not offered and would like to work through Campus Ministry, please talk to Mary as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do we travel?

Since these trips occur in the summer, students will travel from wherever they choose in the beginning and meet the group in an outgoing international airport. To ensure groups fly into their location together, it is best for the coordinator of cross-cultural immersions to arrange the flights. There are exceptions to this and we can be flexible with summer schedules and other travel.

Once in-country, groups mainly use private transportation to get around, which ensures groups stay together and provides an additional element of safety. There are occasions where groups or individuals will use public transportation in-country, which will be discussed with the travelers.

Who is in charge?

All of our Cross-Cultural Summer Immersion groups are led by at least one staff or faculty member, and oftentimes, two. We incorporate student leadership as well. The staff or faculty person is trained in emergency protocol and is there to work through emotional, spiritual, and physical struggles with the students. They will also provide valuable reflection and processing of the experience with the group.

Our trips are also hosted by in-country organizations, who serve as transportation, guides, local experts and general hospitality. Over the years, we have built long-standing, trusted relationships with these organizations and individuals.

We do view all students over the age of 18 as adults. Therefore, they are responsible for signing release forms and waivers for these trips. We strongly encourage students to share all information they are learning with their families.

What if I can’t afford the whole cost of the trip?

It is our goal that these experiences are open to all students, regardless of financial circumstances. We will work with you in a variety of ways to make this trip a possibility. We greatly encourage students to fundraise through our annual fair trade sale and through letter writing. Also, there are few grants available for these experiences. Finally, we can set up a payment plan or a reduced price to make it work.

What happens if there is an emergency?

We partner closely with the University of Dayton’s Center for International Programs on our emergency protocol. We have an international emergency team, which assembles to determine the best course of action in the case of either an individual or group emergency.

Our group leaders are trained in our protocol and we receive great assistance from our local hosts.

Emergencies don’t happen often, but we are prepared. We are members of International SOS, and all traveling with our group will received their services.

Our leaders and campus offices have students’ emergency contact information and will notify those contact if deemed necessary.

What is International SOS?

International SOS is a worldwide emergency medical and travel assistance company. The University of Dayton holds a membership and groups and individuals traveling with us are covered under their services. They are not an insurance company, but provide a variety of medical and travel advice, both prior to and during travel; they are a phone call away during emergencies, whether we need advice on where to seek medical attention, or we need to evacuate a group due to an environmental disaster.

Please visit their website at for more information. The University of Dayton’s member ID is 11BYSG000008.

Who should my parents or I contact if we have a question?

You or your parents may contact Mary Niebler, Coordinator of Cross-cultural Immersions in Campus Ministry’s Center for Social Concern, with any questions. 

Contact Us

Campus Ministry's Center for Social Concern

Liberty Hall 107 
300 College Park Ave. 
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0408