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The Immersion Trips

What is Immersion?

Our primary task on the journey is to open our hearts, listen and try to be compassionate, that is to deeply allow ourselves to “see” as the local people see. Immersion is a window through which we see the world in new ways. It forces us beyond our comfort zones, invites us to grow and opens up new possibilities for LIFE. We don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. The rules and norms of your culture may not all be valid and may block the experience. People world-wide live and think differently from you and that is a good thing.  The border is a place of encounter; it becomes a place where we can share life with people of different economic levels, who speak a different language, who have distinct ways of thinking and living. Encounter is a place for breaking down the walls that divide.
-Reflection from Juan Casey, a Christian Brother in Peru

Please contact Stephen Hill for more information.

Immersion Trips 2016-2017

Winter Break Immersions

I'M India (Service-Learning, Religious Studies)
Dates: January 2017
We will partner once again with the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers in Kolkata, India serving in various Brothers’ ministries: St. George’s school, the Mary Rice Centre for children with disabilities, and outreach programs to ‘the Untouchables.’ The group will also serve at Mother Teresa house serving the extremely poor, sick and dying.
First-year students are not permitted to apply.
Estimated cost: $1,500 - $1,600
Student Leader: Divya Kumar
I'M Ireland (Service-Learning, Religious Studies)
Dates: January 4 - 14, 2017
Students will walk in the footsteps of Blessed Edmund Rice during this mission immersion in Ireland. One week will be spent in Dublin serving at the Wheatfield Prison, the Peter McVerry drop-in center for people who are homeless or suffering addiction, and soup kitchens while learning about social justice issues relating to these populations. The team will also head to Waterford and Callan to visit the Blessed Edmund Rice heritage sites and to Belfast to serve with the Edmund Rice Network ministries at the Westcourt Centre.
Estimated cost: $2,000
Student Leader: Anna Kearney
I'M Nazareth Farm, West Virginia
Dates: January 2017
At Nazareth Farm, students will learn about the economic and environmental injustices and cultural richness of Appalachia and engage in service opportunities such as constructing homes and visiting community members. This service-retreat experience will focus on the cornerstones of simplicity, community, prayer and service.  
Estimated cost: $250 - $350
Student Leader: Kristin Morehead

I'M Lima, Peru
Dates: January 2 - 14, 2017
The Iona in Mission group will be partnering with Los Hermanos (Christian Brothers) in the Canto Grande barrio of Lima, Peru to build relationships of solidarity through home construction, family visits, and running a day camp for the children of the neighborhood.
Spanish speakers are strongly encouraged to apply!
Estimated cost: $1,500 - $1,800
Student Leaders: Alexa Filipe and Gustavo Ramirez
I'M Washington, D.C.
Dates: January 2017
The Pilgrimage seeks to help young adults connect their faith with social awareness and action. In doing this, the Pilgrimage hopes to build communities where people are invested in eradicating hunger, homelessness and poverty. The Iona in Mission team going to Washington, D.C., will embark on a transformative week of action and reflection with our neighbors who are poor in the nation’s capital.   
Estimated cost: $300 - $400
Student Leader: Grace Watters
I'M President’s Weekend Philadelphia Immersion
Dates: February 17 - 20, 2017
The Saint Francis Inn is a place of ministry with people who are homeless, addicted, mentally ill and very needy. The main service site is the restaurant-style soup kitchen serving hundreds of people a day.
Estimated cost: $75
Student Leader: Caroline Farella

Spring Break Immersions

I'M Brownsville, Texas
Dates: March 11 - 17, 2017
The team will be hosted by the Christian Brothers and partner with a variety of community organizations to directly serve in their work and to learn about immigration and life in a border town. Some of the partners will be the Catholic Charities immigration assistance center serving immediate needs of people just crossing the border, La Posada Providencia which is a community for migrants, Guadalupe Regional Middle School which is sponsored by the Christian Brothers, and the Brownsville Wellness Coalition in their urban farming and health education initiatives.
Spanish speakers are strongly encouraged to apply!
Estimated cost: $900 - $1,000
Student Leader: Alejandro Banda
I'M Chicago
Dates: March 11 - 17, 2017
Port Ministries, a Franciscan inspired non-profit organization, will engage our group in their comprehensive services addressing the basic needs of food, healthcare and education while also educating the group about the root causes of poverty, hunger, gang violence and despair on the Southside of Chicago. 
Estimated cost: $600 - $850
Student Leader: Kayla Edwards
I'M Habitat for Humanity
Dates: March 12 - 18, 2017
The team will partner with the Habitat for Humanity Chapter of Greater Harrisburg, Pa., for a week of service on their home construction and repair builds for families and veterans in need. The group will also volunteer in the Habitat ReStore and a local food bank. During the week, the group will have the chance to explore the city of Harrisburg and have a community night with home owners and Habitat for Humanity staff.
Estimated cost: $300
Student Leader: Frank Nikolaidis
I'M New Orleans
Dates: March 11 - 18, 2017
Camp Restore will host our IIM team who will partner and serve at a variety of community organizations to explore the social realities of poverty, racism, environmental restoration efforts while also exploring the unique and rich culture of New Orleans.
Estimated cost: $700 - $900
Student Leader: Kayla Voltaire
I'M New York City
Dates: March 11 - 18, 2017
The team partners with community-based organizations in New York City, and focuses on the issues facing working families, children living in poverty, the homeless and those affected by HIV/AIDS. Students may potentially work at sites such as: Abraham House, NYC Food Bank, Catholic Worker, Missionaries of Charity soup kitchen or the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC).  Spanish speakers are strongly encouraged to apply!
Estimated Cost: $250 - $300
Student Leader: Kayla Rodriguez

Summer Break Immersions

I'M Disaster Response Team
Dates: May 22 - 28, 2017
The Disaster Response Team plans to aid the residents in Baton Rouge, La., afflicted by the devastating floods by partnering with the St. Bernard Project (SBP). If the situation on the ground is not ready to host college volunteers by May, the Disaster Response Team will partner with SBP in their Hurricane Sandy rebuilding efforts in New York or New Jersey.
Estimated cost: $700
Student Leader: Alysha Gagnon  (
I'M L’Arche Boston North & Syracuse
Dates: May 22 - 28, 2017
L’Arche is world-wide network of communities of people with and without developmental disabilities. The two Iona in Mission groups will be sharing time and living together with the L’Arche Syracuse and Boston North members to witness their community and the dignity of every person regardless of ability.  This immersion will be a journey of spirituality, community, and awareness of developmental disability.,,
Estimated cost: $300 - $400
Student Leader (Boston): Erin Kutch
Student Leader (Syracuse): Clair Smith
I'M Friendship Camp, Mississippi
June 10 - 17, 2017
Volunteer as a camp counselor this summer at Friendship Camp in Amory, Mississippi for a fun-filled week with children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Friendship Camp was established by the Glenmary Fathers and Brothers in the 1970’s as a way to bring racial reconciliation and healing to Mississippi by bringing children of all backgrounds together.  The Iona group will be joined by other volunteers, of all ages, to make up the camp staff for the week’s activities. Every child has a right to safety, food and a childhood. Help make this a reality by being a fun, energetic and loving presence, which Friendship Camp has embodied for nearly forty years.
Estimated Cost: $500
Student Leaders: Gabriella Archbold and Jaclyn D’Argenio
I'M Zambia
Dates: Late May - Early June 2017
Participants in the Zambia immersion act as servant-learners, immersing themselves in the Zambian culture and customs in Mazabuka, “the sweetest town in all of Zambia.” The group serves at the Christian Brothers’ Changa Changa community school, the City of Joy home for at-risk girls, and it accompanies home care-giver teams on visits to the elderly sick and people living with HIV/AIDS. The team also visits the Magoye Village to experience rural Zambian life and travels to Livingstone, Zambia to visit the natural wonder of Victoria Falls.
Estimated cost: $2,500 - $3,000
Student Leader: Joe Tumino

Application Deadlines:

  • Group A (India, Ireland, Peru): September 9
  • Group B (Nazareth Farm, Washington, D.C.): September 23
  • Group C (Brownsville, Chicago, New Orleans): October 7
  • Group D (Habitat for Humanity, New York City): October 21
  • Group E (Zambia): November 4
  • Group F (Philadelphia): January 23
  • Group G (Disaster Response, L’Arche Boston, L’Arche Syracuse, Mississippi): February 6