Program Vision & Overview
Arrupe International Immersion Program
The Arrupe International Immersion Program empowers participating students, primarily through Arrupe Student Leaders, with support from Arrupe Mentors and other mentors, to build intentional faith-sharing communities through which Students and Mentors open themselves to:
- Learn about the complex reality, from a historical, social, economic, political and religious perspective, of people of another country who struggle in poverty.
- Humbly encounter, hear, and celebrate the stories of people from this country in their own words.
- Develop a sense of compassion and responsibility for those who suffer, both in the country visited and all throughout the world.
- By tapping the wisdom of Catholic Social Teaching and Ignatian Spirituality, deepen their faith – especially as it relates to engaging the world in agapic love through service and social justice – and in the process, deepen their understanding of themselves and discern their life’s vocation(s).
- Translate their learning into action by developing a commitment, a capacity, and the accountability necessary to freely and authentically give their passions, talents, and abilities joyfully to a world in need.
Please consider this Defining Statement
Those who participate in the Arrupe program strive to become members of a discerning, agapic community, loving in solidarity.
Arrupe program winter break trips run for 8, 9 or 10 days during the last part of winter break, each trip beginning sometime after January 1 and ending sometime before the spring semester begins. All Arrupe trips travel to different destinations in Latin America – Mexico, Central America, South America, as well as the Caribbean.
Application Process for Undergrad Student Leader Candidates
This process begins in November (more than a year prior to trip departure dates) for candidates who are at BC during the fall semester and who will be studying abroad during the following spring semester, and in January for candidates who are at BC during the spring semester. After submitting an application and interviewing, Student Leaders are selected, 2 for each Arrupe program, ideally before spring break.
Application Process for Undergrad Student Participant Candidates (i.e. Non-Student Leaders)
This process begins in March, typically right after spring break, with campus-wide publicity and a series of information sessions facilitated by Arrupe Program Coordinators and Student Leaders. Applications for Participants are due via an on-line process typically in late March and, after a review process by each program’s selection committee, comprised of that program’s Student Leaders, Arrupe Mentors, and other mentors, interviews are conducted in early to mid April by members of this committee. Each Arrupe "Small Community" is selected by late April, and Arrupe Students immediately launch their collective effort to raise funds , beginning with the “Solidarity Letter Campaign.” Each Arrupe Student continues to raise funds throughout the summer, and begins to prepare for their Arrupe experience by learning about the country which they will visit the following January.
Beginning in September
Each Arrupe "Small Community" of 14 to 16 people, including the 2 Student Leaders and 2 Arrupe Mentors (BC-affiliated faculty members, administrators and/or graduate students who accompany Arrupe Students throughout the entire experience) meet for a full-weekend Pre-Trip Retreat and then continue to meet weekly, typically for two hours, as well as for periodic presentations on relevant topics and other activities. Throughout the trip preparation process Student Leaders lead their particular Small Community in the process of building an intentional community of trust and inquiry. Since Boston College’s Campus Ministry sponsors these faith-based international immersion experiences, prayer, reflection, and conversation – influenced by BC's Jesuit Catholic tradition – are vital components of each program, of the retreats and weekly meetings. During the preparation process and the trip, the Student Leaders and Arrupe Mentors lead their respective small communities in reflecting on and sharing about each other’s life experience and the insights gained from this experience, while in conversation with a variety of wisdom sources, including Catholic social teaching and Ignatian Spirituality.
After the trips happen and everyone returns to campus:
Each Small Community continues to meet for a Post-Trip Retreat and for weekly meetings and periodic presentations, to process their overall Arrupe experience and to begin to discern ways in which they can integrate their trip experience into their everyday lived experience and future aspirations. Ideally, each Arrupe Student begins to learn how they might strive to live in solidarity with the people they met in-country and with the rest of their brothers and sisters throughout the world, especially those who suffer and experience marginalization.