Immersion Service Learning - Frequently Asked Questions

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

  • STFX students 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.

Where do Immersion Service Learning experiences go ?
Immersion Experiences will be offered in the following locations:

  • Belize
  • L'Arche Ottawa
  • Peru
  • Ecuador
  • Germany/Poland

How much do these Immersion Experiences cost; what do these costs include and who pays?

  • Fees can range from $900- $2900 and vary based on the destination chosen.
  • Fees cover out of pocket expenses for each participant such as airfare, hotels enroute, 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 4 installments throughout the year, OR may be paid in a lump sum.
  • Students should bring money for incidentals such as: water, snacks, souvenirs, meals enroute, etc.

What is not included in the Immersion Experience cost?

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

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 Belize and Ottawa,  Immersion Experiences take place during Reading Week.  Students who do not have strong grades should assess whether they should be away during Reading Week and consider how the time commitment 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.  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?

  • 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.

Are certain immunizations required for traveling to the Immersion destinations?

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

  • Participation in ISL itself does not provide course credit.  It is a personal learning experience.
  • Students can incorporate an Immersion Experience as an assignment within the following courses: BIOL 391 (Dr. Russell Wyeth), and & DEVS 311 (Dr. Jonathan Langdon).
  • IDS courses for credit with a travel component may occassionaly be offered through Immersion Service Learning.  Inclusions and fees will differ. Please refer to the course page for details (where applicable).
  • IDS 305 is a 3 credit course offered in second term 2020-21 that incorporates a virtual Immersion project.

Does StFX have any opportunities to study or work abroad?