Immersion Companions are faculty, staff, and graduate students at Santa Clara who accompany our undergraduate immersion programs and participate fully in the trips. Serving as a Companion is a unique opportunity to grow with students in the pillars of simplicity, social justice, spirituality and community through shared experience and reflection. It is an opportunity to participate in high-impact community based and experiential learning, central to the Jesuit Educational Vision, and also to mentor and support students in their own growth.
Role and Responsibilities
The primary role of the Immersion Companion is to be present to the student group and share from her/his own experience. The Student Coordinator handles the majority of the logistical components as well as the facilitation of reflections. The Immersion Companion participates fully in all aspects of the trip, shares his/her life experience with the students to provide a different perspective, and acts as a “wisdom figure.” The Immersion Companion also undertakes responsibility in the event of an emergency, and agrees to be a regular driver on the trip. (Driving does not apply to all immersions.)
Specifically, Immersion Companions are expected to engage in the following activities:
- Student Immersion teams meet 5 times prior to the trip itself. The companion should join the group for at least two of these meetings (more if possible), to be able to build trust and rapport with the group prior to departure.
- Attend two pre-trip meetings hosted by Immersions Staff to learn about the vision of the program, and discuss responsibilities on the trip.
- Participate in all immersion activities including group reflections. Activities vary between different trips but may include, for example, group work projects, educational talks, visits to different individuals/families, various educational activities, etc.
- Model appropriate behavior throughout the immersion experience. Immersion Companions are expected to follow the immersion conduct agreement and to support the Immersion Coordinator in holding students accountable to the conduct agreement.
- Drive one of the rental vehicles during the trip (Not applicable for all trips).
- Handle any emergency situations that may arise on the immersion, in communication with the student coordinator, host organization, and immersions staff emergency contact.
- Attend 2-3 post-trip meetings (schedule permitting) held in the quarter following the immersion to help students integrate the experience into life back on campus.
- Be a conversation partner with students upon return as they deal with the challenge of integrating their immersion experience into their lives at SCU and beyond.
- Assist in the process of evaluation of the program.
- Model mature and honest sharing during reflections (students will follow your lead in sharing)
- Be available for 1-1 mentoring and support to participants as the need arises
- Support and challenge Student Coordinator and Participants
The Ignatian Center will cover all costs for Immersion Companions associated with the trip, including travel, lodging, food and any program fees.
If you are interested in applying to serve as an Immersion Companion, please complete the following steps:
Review the Immersions webpage to get a sense of program offerings.
Review the Immersion Companion Role and Responsibilities (listed above)
Review the Immersions Mission and Learning Objectives.
Contact Maria Autrey (email@example.com), Associate Director, Community Engaged Student Learning, to inquire further about upcoming opportunities: or (408) 554-5342.