Seattle University Immersion Experience
Each year, fifteen faculty members and administrators share in a nine-day program to learn about the country of Nicaragua, including the overall social, historical and political context, as well as a more intimate look at the economic challenges that face so many people in urban and rural settings. The program includes significant interaction with the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) including peer meetings and introduction to the university outreach programs. The Faculty/staff immersion has brought 85 faculty, 43 staff and 6 trustees/spouses to Nicaragua on 9 separate trips.
The week’s immersion includes meetings with peers at the Jesuit university in Managua, discussions with leaders and experts on various topics of importance for the country, and conversations with those community members struggling with current economic conditions. In-country assistance is provided by the Center for Global Education, an educational effort of Augsburg College in Minnesota.
The goals of the program include:
* To provide an international experience that explores global justice issues in the context of a developing nation.
* To encourage the application of the international experience into a participant’s curricular and program responsibilities.
* To further participants’ understanding of the mission of Jesuit higher education with its emphasis on education for justice.
The roots of this faculty/staff immersion stem back to 1996 – 1999, when Seattle University facilitated an annual student service-immersion program in Nicaragua through Campus Ministry. Each year, eight students and two chaplains share in the nine-day experience, living with families in the Nicarao Christian Base Community in Managua, and serving in the neighborhood feeding program Olla de Soya (Pot of Soy). Student service immersion program brought 32 students and 4 staff to Nicaragua on 4 separate trips.
In 2001, Seattle University initiated the Nicaragua Immersion Experience for faculty and staff.