NavajoNationThe Ignatian Center's Immersion Program offers students, faculty, staff, and alumni unique immersive journeys into the gritty reality of our globalizing world. Through this direct contact, we seek to help our participants realize the Jesuit Higher Education Mission of forming women and men of well-educated solidarity.

Immersion experiences, both local and global, are designed to help participants see the world with new eyes, to recognize the unjust suffering of marginalized communities and individuals, and to allow those experiences to inform their vocational discernment.

The Ignatian Center strives to empower immersion participants to let the reality of this world into their lives, so they can learn to feel it, think about it critically, respond to its suffering, and engage it constructively.

These immersion experiences, and the profound reflection to which they naturally give rise, are privileged moments of vocational discernment during which participants are uniquely invited to consider their place in the world.

The Immersion Process


After applying and being selected for an immersion trip you will participate in the pre-immersion preparation process. Immersion teams will meet 4-5 times in the weeks leading up to the immersion and all participants will attend a weekend retreat intended for team building and reflection on themes that will be deepened through the immersion itself. Immersion participants commit to attending all team meetings and the pre-immersion retreat. These are opportunities for your team to reflect, share and get to know one another, to learn more about the community you will be visiting and the current issues facing that community and to pass on details on trip preparation, travel, etc.

The Immersion

On your immersion you will be accompanied by a student Immersion Coordinator and/or an Immersion Companion (SCU faculty, staff, or graduate student). Your immersion team will be hosted by a local organization that will take care of the logistics for your stay. Each immersion varies in terms of what activities you will participate in so please be open and flexible. During your immersion you will have the opportunity engage with the local community and learn about the issues facing its members, as well as connect with the other immersion participants and share in reflection about the impact of  the experience.


While the immersion has ended, the full experience is a journey that is never truly over. More than an end goal, we believe that the immersion itself is a starting point for ongoing reflective and critical engagement of the realities of our local and global community. For this reason, participants commit to meeting at least 3 times upon return from the trip to continue processing, sharing stories, and determining next steps toward integrating the immersion experience into life at Santa Clara and beyond. Immersion companions, Ignatian staff members, and other members of the Santa Clara community are here as a resource to assist as you integrate your immersion into post-immersion life. Click here for more resources related to the post-immersion experience.

Student Immersion Coordinators

We encourage students who have had meaningful immersion experiences and want to challenge themselves further to consider becoming an Immersion Coordinator. Click here for more information about this exciting position.

Student Profile – Ecuador

Chris Paschal

Christopher Paschal ’13

A 10-day immersion trip to Ecuador showed Christopher Paschal that “true community is present when the success and satisfaction of the group is promoted over the individual.” He sees his experience there carrying over to how he will live his life as a “man for others.” Read More


Spring Break Immersions

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