Arrupe Program winter break trips run for 8-10 days during the last part of winter break. Each trip departs after January 1st and returns 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.
The participant selection 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 Applicants 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, 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 undergrad 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.
Undergrad Student Leader and Post-Undergrad "Mentor" Candidates
Undergrad “Student Leaders” coordinate a particular Arrupe program as a partnership, and are supported by a pair of “Mentors.” Mentors are post-undergrad adults affiliated with BC as administrators or grad students (and more rarely faculty). Each pair of Mentors accompanies a particular “Small Community” throughout their full-year experience, including the winter break immersion trip.
The Student Leader and Mentor selection 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 and Mentors are selected, 2 for each Arrupe program, ideally before spring break.
Each Arrupe "Small Community" of 14 to 16 people, including the 2 Student Leaders and 2 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, Participants are invited to reflect on and share about their life experience and the insights they've gained from this experience, while in conversation with a variety of wisdom sources, including Catholic social teaching and Ignatian Spirituality.
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 life 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.