Guatemala Cross-Cultural Summer Immersion
About the ProgramCross-cultural Summer Immersions through Campus Ministry’s Center for Social Concern are a great way to learn about a new culture, meet new people, and grow in cultural understanding, while helping others. Rooted in the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, participants in our program should grow in an understanding of global solidarity, the dignity of the human person, a preferential option for the poor and vulnerable, as well as growing in their own faith and role as a global citizen.
Each immersion has reflection leaders to help facilitate the orientation process as well as the reflection along the way while traveling. Students traveling on immersion are encouraged to connect their learnings to their course of study at UD. There are opportunities for independent study through these experiences.
Students and reflection leaders 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. There are many opportunities for volunteer work in Xela in the afternoons. Common sites include teaching English, working with children, medical clinics, environmental work, and others.
Weekend excursions include trips to natural spas, volcanoes, and the beach. There are also opportunities to travel to the ancient Mayan city of Tikal and to the Caribbean coast. 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.
In 2018, UD's International Assessment Team (IAT) reviewed this program due to the Level 3 Travel Advisory by the U.S. Department of State. The IAT approved this program to be offered because of the specific location of our program within Guatemala, our extensive in-country network, our longstanding experience with student programming there, and our secured transportation methods. We anticipate undergoing a similar review process in 2019.
Health and Safety
UD values the health and safety of all its travelers abroad and all travel locations are considered for general health and safety prior to travel via the University International Travel Process.
Students are able to receive Spanish credit hours through pre-approval by the Department of Global Languages and Cultures.
As a part of your BreakOut or Immersion experience, you will be registered in an Experiential Learning Course (EXP). This is a non-credit bearing course which is the BreakOut/Immersion experience itself. It will show up on your official UD transcript that you participated in this service-learning experience as a measure of your further involvement and learning here at UD.
Mary Niebler, Associate Director, Center for Social Concern
Participants must attend weekly preparation meetings with the group. UDI 361 (Cross-cultural Immersion Prep Course) is held on Wednesdays from 7-9, beginning February 2019. This is a major commitment. You must be willing to commit your time and energy to this effort or you will lose your place on the trip.
Program Costs are available on the Budget Sheet here. A $500 Deposit will be due after acceptance to the program. The remaining cost of the trip will be billed through your student account and is due in late May. Partial scholarships may be available for those who need them. Some grants are available on campus for such experiences. Groups are encouraged to work together to help raise funds. Additional costs include a valid passport (with at least 6 months validation remaining on it), supplies, vaccinations, and possible other preparatory items, if needed.