Immersion Trip Requirements
This document provides an overview of therequirements for the development of and participation in short-term, travel programsdeveloped by student clubs and organizations. This document covers all service projects and student organizationsponsored travel, both domestic and international. For the purpose of this document, “short-termimmersion trips” have the following characteristics:
- 30-days or less in duration
- Noacademic credit granted for participating
- Developedand implemented by student clubs/organizations
Theserequirements have been developed to
- Facilitatethe University’s assistance to you and the immersion trip participants
- Helpreduce the level of risk and liability for you, your organization, and theuniversity
- Ensureethical and effective planning and implementation for the trip
- Maximize educational value forparticipants.
Alltrips—new and continuing—must be approved through this process.
Becauseplanning an immersion trip is a complex and time-consuming process,Clubs/organizations planning an immersion trip must have the trip approved atleast six months prior to the desired date of departure. Failure to do so will result in the trip notbeing approved. A document—the ImmersionTrip Request Form—has been developed to help you in the planning process.
Seattle University Immersion Trip Planning Form Request
Following this document will help you addresscritical planning elements such as budget and fundraising, participantselection, pre-trip orientation, trip itinerary, contact information, etc.
Onceyou have obtained all of the appropriate information, you will need to submitthe document to the Director of Student Activities. The Director of StudentActivities will consult with Education Abroad and other entities as necessary onthe proposal. Initial review ofimmersion trip proposals will be conducted with Education Abroad (international);domestic service trips will be conducted with the Center for Service andCommunity Engagement (CSCE). In alllikelihood, the Director of Student Activities will want to meet with you todiscuss your trip. Once the reviewprocess is complete, the Director will either approve,ask for greater clarification, or deny your proposal.
Participation—Who Can go on the Trip?
At least one faculty/staff membertravel with the group as an on-site advisor for the experience. Because immersion trips are educational innature and sponsored by the university, having non-SU participants may distractthe group from that goal and exposes the university to undue risk. Therefore, trip participation will berestricted to currently enrolled SU students, current SU faculty and/or staff,or community members registered as SU volunteers.
Waivers and Other Paperwork—when does it need to beturned in?
Onceparticipants have been selected, each will be required to submit a variety ofpaperwork at least one-month prior to departure to Student Activities. This paperwork includes:
- SU Travel Waiver
- SU Volunteer registration (obtainedthrough Human Resources)
- Medicaltravel statement form (obtained from Education Abroad)
- HealthDisclosure form (obtained from Education Abroad)
- Documentedpurchase of an ISIC card or verification of purchase of SU travel abroadinsurance (for international travel)
- Documentedproof of health insurance
Individualsfailing to submit this paperwork in a timely manner will not be allowed totravel with the group.
A participant orientation ismandatory. At minimum, this orientationshould include:
- Overview/purpose of trip
- Review of itinerary
- Pre-trip education
- Reviewof health and safety on the trip and review of individual health and dietaryneeds.
Pre-tripeducation should provide participants with a basic understanding of theculture, politics, economics and other issues connected with the immersion tripexperience. Trip planners are encouragedto contact appropriate faculty and staff resources in developing pre-tripeducational curricula (www.seattleu.edu/studyabroad/). Such a curriculum will help better prepare immersiontrip participants to enter into and work effectively in different communities.
In order to ensure that universitypolicies are followed—especially in the event of an emergency—immersion tripleaders must be trained in emergency protocols prior to departure. More information on developing leadertraining can be obtained from the Director of Student Activities.
On Trip Requirements
Code of Conduct
It is important for immersion tripparticipants to realize that such activities are a privilege. The opportunity to represent the University,the city, the state, and/or nation is a responsibility that should be takenseriously.
Becauseimmersion trips are University sponsored activities, all participants areexpected to abide by the SU Code of Conduct while traveling. This is true whether a group is travelingdomestically or internationally. Anyviolation of the Code of Conduct will be reported to the Dean of Students bythe group’s advisors.
Groups sponsoring immersion tripsare strongly encouraged to facilitate reflection sessions during and after thetrip. Such opportunities enhancelearning by allowing participants to develop the vocabulary necessary to makemeaning of their experiences. Thismeaning-making process can be very profound and should not be taken lightly.
In addition to post-trip reflection,groups sponsoring immersion trips must present their experiences to the universitycommunity within a reasonable time after returning to Seattle. Examples of such presentations include Soup with Substance (Campus Ministry), What Matters to Me (StudentDevelopment), etc. Failure to do so may result in withholding funds, prohibitionof developing and/or implementing further immersion trips.
Note on International Trips
Seattle University recognizes that well-planned,intentionally-designed international travel can provide exceptional learningopportunities. Communicating across cultures, languages, faith traditions andworld views can produce some of the most powerful personal growth inparticipants. However, international travel presents many challenges (safety, health,logistical, communication and cultural) that inherently increase individual andinstitutional risk. Therefore, the University requires student groups to consultwith Student Activities and EducationAbroad in designing immersion trip experiences.
AnSU faculty or staff member is expected to assist in developing the trip and tobe included in the group travel unless explicit permission is granted bythe University. Finally, theInternational Student Travel Policy prohibits travel to countries where the US Department of State has issued aTravel Warning (or other conditions listed in the policy) no matter how worthythe cause.