Immersion Service Learning - Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do I become involved in Immersion Service Learning (ISL)?

  • Any student in any year or discipline may apply.
  • Information may be obtained by contacting the ISL Program at (902) 867-2583 or Jodi van Dompseler at jvandomp@stfx.ca .
  • Come to an information session. Several will be held in September in the student union building.
  • To apply for the ISL program, please complete the on-line application form here.

Where do Immersion Service Learning experiences go ?

In 2017-2018 we are offering immersion experiences in the following locations:

  • Belize 
  • Ghana
  • Guatemala 
  • L'Arche Ottawa
  • Peru 
  • Slovakia
  • Ecuador
  • Germay/Poland

How much do the Immersion experiences cost; what do these costs include and who pays for costs?

  • Fees will range from $800- $6450 for 2017-2018 immersion experiences and prices vary based on the destination chosen.
  • Fees cover out of pocket expenses for each participant such as airfare, hotels en route, in country meals and accommodations, in country transportation, and host agency/partner costs. Some exceptions may apply- please refer to individual experience pages for details.
  • Fees are paid by participants in installments throughout the year.
  • Students should bring money for incidentals such as: water, snacks, souvenirs, meals en route, etc.

What is not included in the Immersion Experience cost?

What options are available to help raise funds to pay for immersion experience fees?

  • ISL Bursaries are awarded on a financial need basis. Bursary Application Forms are available on-line. (ISL Bursaries are not available to Ghana participants)
  • StFX offers general bursaries which may be applied to any of the immersion experiences (including Ghana) .
  • Many students also fundraise independently or in groups in Antigonish and their home communities.

Will my grades affect my acceptance into the ISL program?

  • Students must be in good academic standing to be accepted into the ISL program (e.g., not on academic probation) and are strongly encouraged to maintain an average of 55% or higher, if they wish to participate in the ISL program.
  • With the exception of Ghana and Belize, the immersion experiences take place during Reading Week.  Students who do not have strong grades should consider whether they should be away during Reading Week and consider how this will affect their academics and study plan.

Do I need to speak the language of the host country I am travelling to?

  • No, interpreters are provided by the host agency/partner and remain with the group at all times.  It is not necessary to speak the language of the host country.

What kind of food do participants eat?

  • Generally, meals on each experience  are eaten as a group, with a preset menu. The menus are mostly local foods, as part of the immersion experience. Participants do NOT usually have a choice of foods.
  • In the event you have food restrictions, please discuss this with ISL staff before applying, so that we can help you choose the most appropriate location.

Will I need a passport or visa?

  • Yes, for all destinations outside of Canada, a passport is required. 
  • Participants must provide their passport information by the end of November.
  • If your passport will expire within 6 months of the return date of your Immersion experience, you will need to apply for a new passport.
  • Visit Passport Canada for information on obtaining or renewing Canadian passports.
  • A visa is required for the Ghana experience

Are certain immunizations required for traveling to the immersion destinations?

  • Yes, immunizations are required for certain destinations.  For more information regarding travel health, please refer to Travel Health Information.

Will I receive course credit for participating in Immersion Service Learning?

  • IDS 398 is a 6 credit course in Ghana offered through Immersion Service Learning.
  • With the exception of Ghana, the immersion experience itself does not provide course credit.  It is a personal learning experience.
  • Students can incorporate a February immersion experience as an assignment within the following courses: IDS 305, BIOL 391 (Dr. Edwin DeMont), and & DEVS 311 (Dr. Jonathan Langdon).

Does StFX have any opportunities to study or work abroad?