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Appalachia, West Virginia

Sunday, March 25- Saturday, March 31st, 2018            

Cost: $800


Engage with individuals and communities in the Appalachian region and their fight for social and ecological justice amidst a complex cultural history.

Santa Clara students will spend the week learning about the Appalachian region, including its complex cultural history and the environmental, social, and economic challenges being faced. Students will engage with the critical issues surrounding energy, sustainability, and public health for communities and economies rooted in the coal industry and devastating practices such as mountaintop removal. The immersion begins in Wheeling, WV, in partnership with the Appalachian Institute at Wheeling Jesuit University. Students will learn about, and meet with, a number of community-based organizations working to strengthen their communities while fighting for social and ecological justice. Students will get the opportunity to work alongside these organizations, getting an in-depth look at their day-to-day experiences. The group will aim to better understand the historical and political context of the Appalachian Region during visits to the Charleston Museum and the West Virginia State Capitol building as well as mountaintop removal and other ‘extraction industry’ sites, like Kayford Mountain. Throughout the week, students will have the opportunity to explore the stunning landscape and natural beauty of the region, cook meals together, and experience what it means to live simply in community.

Application Process 

  • The application for the Class of 2022 Summer San Jose Immersion is now closed.
  • The application for all other Summer Break 2018 trips are closed.
  • The application for Winter Immersion trips will be available 9/19 - 10/3.

Selected participants for immersions will be expected to attend 4–5 pre-trip meetings and a pre-trip weekend retreat,  as well as 3 post-trip meetings upon return.