Immersion Program

Service-learning experiences help students better understand complicated social-justice issues.

While trip participants will be intellectually stimulated, our hope is that their hearts will likewise be touched by the people they meet and so gain a deeper sense of solidarity with those who may at first appear vastly different.

2019-2020 Immersion Trips

Please note financial aid is available for our domestic trips if a student is already on work scholarship.

San Jose Urban Plunge | Sept. 27-28

Open to Sophomores, Juniors & Seniors
Cost: Free

Participants in the San Jose Urban Plunge will learn about poverty, homelessness, and hunger in San Jose. Students will volunteer at local non-profit agencies such as Sacred Heart Community Service and Sacred Heart Nativity School where they will meet and talk with people who live in poverty. They will prepare a meal and eat with guests at a soup kitchen; they’ll have conversation with homeless women and men from the Downtown Streets Team; and in solidarity with our homeless sisters and brothers, they will spend the night at a church in downtown San Jose. Throughout this service work and conversations, they will learn about the root causes of poverty and what can be done to address them. Time will be spent in prayer and reflection so that when our experience comes to an end, the impact that it has on our lives will only have just begun.

Ignation Family Tech-In (Wash. D.C.) | Nov. 14-18

Open to Juniors & Seniors

Students will attend a three-day learning experience in Washington D.C. with over 1,000 high school and college students to strategize ways on confronting issues of injustice, poverty, and oppression both nationally and internationally. During the trip, students will attend presentations on current events connected with Catholic Social Teaching and dialogue with keynote speakers and organizations about how to effectively respond to the justice issues of our day. The pinnacle event of the Teach-In will be Advocacy Day, when students will meet with their representatives on Capitol Hill and advocate on behalf of the poor and vulnerable communities. This is a dynamic and faith-filled educational experience that focuses on serving marginalized communities through reflection, prayer, networking, and advocacy. This is a great opportunity to be inspired, challenged, and supported by a community that sees faith and justice integrally linked and learn how to put these components into action with our Presentation community.

Freshman Day of Service | Jan 19

Open to Freshmen only
Cost: Free

This daylong immersion experience is specially designed for freshmen to experience homelessness and poverty in San Jose. We will spend part of the day at Sacred Heart Community Service - the recipient of our Holiday Drives donations. We will also prepare and serve dinner at Loaves and Fishes, a community center for homeless women and children in East San Jose.

Sophomore Day of Service | Jan 26

Open to Sophomores only
Cost: Free

During this daylong immersion experience sophomores will learn more about food justice and earth stewardship. Students will spend their morning volunteering at Veggielution, which is a 6-acre non-profit community farm dedicated to creating a more sustainable food system in San Jose. Veggielution empowers youth and adults from diverse backgrounds to change the way they think about food by getting their hands in the soil, connecting with the land and tasting the fruits of their labor. The farm engages the community by providing access to healthy and local food, creating leadership opportunities, and developing creative solutions to social and environmental justice issues.

Los Angeles Immersion | Feb. 16-20

Open to Juniors & Seniors
Cost: not to exceed $500

In Tattoos on the Heart, Fr. Greg Boyle writes about our responsibility to create a community of kinship in which we can stand with those on the margins so that eventually those margins will vanish. On this immersion trip students will have the opportunity to be in solidarity and serve with those who are in poverty and pushed to the margins in Los Angeles, California. Students will spend their days volunteering at the Presentation Learning Center with our Presentation Sisters teaching English as a second language classes. They will visit Homeboy Industries and other non-profits in L.A. county who are working tirelessly to erase the margins and create a more inclusive and equitable society. Students will stay with the Sisters of the Presentation in Watts near the Presentation Learning Center. Being a participant on this trip will prove to be inspiring, eye-opening, and life-changing.

L'Arche Immersion | Feb. 17-21

Cost: $700
Located in Tahoma, WA, L'Arche Tahoma Hope belongs to an international organization and community started by Jean Vanier in France. It is home to people with and without developmental disabilities. This immersion trip provides students an opportunity to engage with our brothers and sisters through community-building activities and daily farm work. Mutual relationships and trust in God are at the heart of the L'Arche community. Tahoma Hope celebrates the unique value of every person and recognizes our need for one another.

San Francisco Immersion *NEW* | Feb. 18-21

Open to Juniors & Seniors
Cost: Not to exceed $400

Students will travel to San Francisco and work closely with the Presentation Sisters in their various ministries. The group will stay at the Presentation Motherhouse and have nightly reflections in their chapel. Participants will visit a variety of organizations dedicated to alleviating poverty in the Mission and Tenderloin areas of San Francisco. A few activities include distributing breakfast to day laborers and learning about The Lantern, a Presentation-run immigrant education and hospitality center. While there, the group will learn more about immigration issues and help tutor ESL students and their children. We will also visit the adult health day program at the Presentation Senior Center, an affordable housing ministry dedicated to helping the elderly of the Tenderloin.

All the organizations that we visit serve a special need in the community. We hope that the variety of organizations visited will open the students’ eyes to a wide range of issues facing the low-income communities of San Francisco.

Prayer and reflection will be essential parts of this trip.

Immigration Immersion with Bellarmine | April 13-17

Open to Juniors & Seniors
price not to exceed $800

Jesus says to us, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."- Matthew 25:45.

Following this calling students from Presentation and Bellarmine will travel to Nogales, Arizona to work with Kino Border Initiative (KBI). This organization was founded by the Jesuit order to serve immigrants who have recently been deported back to Mexico. Students will cross the border during the day to serve in KBI's soup kitchen and women's shelter. Students will also have an opportunity to visit a federal courtroom to witness the process of an immigration hearing. Finally, they will travel out into the desert to deliver water and emergency kits that could make the difference between life and death for immigrants. At night students will stay in Nogales and participate in bonding and reflection time. This collaborative trip with Bellarmine will give students the opportunity to explore their perspectives on immigration and live out God's calling to serve the least of thee.

Appalachia Immersion | April 13-18

Open to Juniors & Seniors
Price not to exceed $1,400

“We dare to speak, and speak strongly, because we believe that the cry of the poor is also a message of hope, a promise that there can be a better way.” – This Land is Home to Me, a pastoral message from the Catholic Bishops of the Appalachian region

The mission of the Appalachian Immersion Trip (specifically, West Virginia) is to learn from and serve the Appalachian people through the Catholic community, Nazareth Farm. Focused on the Gospel message, Nazareth Farm offers a service-retreat experience, inspired by the four cornerstones of community, simplicity, prayer, and service. This trip is an opportunity for the students to explore contemporary Appalachian challenges such as mountain-top removal, natural gas extraction (“fracking”), poverty, hunger and education as well as the incredible work being done by the Appalachian people to resist their exploitation and stand for human dignity. During this immersion, students will assist with building porches, installing floors, and working on additional projects needed in the region, while also building meaningful relationships with the community of Doddridge County, WV.

Dominican Republic Immersion | May 30-June 6

Cost: Not to exceed $3,000

This international trip emphasizes solidarity and building relationships with a community in the Dominican Republic. Our group will be working with Bridges to Community, an organization that strives to build a more just and sustainable world through community development.

Students will work side by side with community members to learn the skills necessary to build a cinder block house, and by the end of the week, they will have built a new home for a family in need, while cultivating meaningful relationships along the way. This trip is sure to be a life-changing trip for every participant.


Contact Us

Crystal Catalan
Director of Community Involvement

408-264-1664, ext. 2979
A.J. Hostak

Assistant Director of Community Involvement

408-264-1664, ext. 2015