Immersion Programs

Archbishop Mitty’s immersion trip program is one of our school’s major strengths as students follow the example of Jesus when he reached out to the poor and marginalized in His society. The impact of these trips can be seen in the enthusiasm and dedication of the many students, faculty and staff who participate in them and then return with renewed hope and dedication in constructing a more just and equitable world. Participating on an immersion trip offers the opportunity to get to know fellow classmates and teachers in a new context and also provides a unique way to serve and learn outside of our own campus community. The immersion program instills four values of social justice, spirituality, simplicity, and community.

Co-curricular Immersions

(Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors Apply)

Application Process 

1.  Attend Immersion Night on November 8, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. to  7:30 p.m. in the chapel to learn more about our trips. This is not a mandatory meeting, but highly encouraged.  We will discuss our curricular trips (ECJ classes, open only to sophomores for their junior year) from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

2.  Apply here from November 13-November 26, 2018 under the Immersions tab.  Applications will not be accepted late.  

3.  Students need to ask one current Mitty academic teacher to complete an electronic recommendation on their behalf. You may only ask teachers who are listed on the dropdown list on the application form.  After asking the teacher, indicate on your application form who will be completing your recommendation.  Please request recommendations from teachers prior to submitting their names on the application.  If you do not ask your teacher for a recommendation but still submit their name, they do not have to complete the recommendation, which could disqualify you. 

4.  Decisions for selection will be sent by email to students on December 19, 2018.  Selections will be based on seniority, quality of application and teacher recommendation, gender balance and previous immersion experience.

5.  Once students are accepted, the payment will be added to the student's SmartTuition payment plan.

Dolores Mission Parish (East Los Angeles, CA)

    • Christian Service Hours: 50
    • Dates: April 16-20, 2019
    • Cost: Approximately $350

This immersion trip will take place during Holy Week and students will have the opportunity to explore the various ministries of this dynamic parish. The economic reality of the people in East Los Angeles makes Dolores Mission the poorest parish in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Students will be involved in the celebration of the parish's Holy Week liturgical celebrations, work with the elementary school students in Dolores Mission School, help prepare food and feed homeless immigrants who sleep in the parish church each night, and see how ex-gang members are rebuilding their lives through Fr. Greg Boyle’s work with Homeboy Industries. Students will share their reactions to the trip through a daily prayer and reflection session each evening. 

St. Anthony’s Foundation (San Francisco)

    • Christian Service Hours: 50
    • Dates: June 3-7, 2019
    • Cost: Approximately $600

This 5-day trip takes place in the Tenderloin of San Francisco. During the day, students serve food in St. Anthony’s Dining Room, sort clothes, talk with seniors at the Senior Day Center, and deliver meals to homes. They are introduced to the full spectrum of services that St. Anthony’s provides to address the needs of the impoverished and homeless in the city. The group sleeps at the International Youth Hostel downtown. In the evenings, there is time for reflection, prayer, and discussion, as well as for exploring various neighborhoods in the city as a group.

Environmental Challenge (Monterey, CA)

    • Christian Service Hours: 50
    • Dates: June 3-7, 2019
    • Cost: Approximately $500

Want to know where your food comes from? Students will spend 5 days in the Monterey Bay area working on local farms, ranches, and visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  Together, students will learn about eating locally and seasonally, conventional vs. organic agriculture, sustainable fishing, the carbon footprint of the food we buy, the impact of food packaging on the environment, and labor practices connected with harvesting food. Lodging will be at a hostel in Monterey.

Habitat For Humanity NW (Medford, OR)

    • Christian Service Hours: 50
    • Dates: May 26-June 1, 2019
    • Cost: Approximately $450

This 7 day trip takes place with the help of Habitat For Humanity in the Pacific Northwest. Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian organization. They are dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and homelessness worldwide and to making adequate, affordable shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat For Humanity will organize a work project for students to build a house for a family in need.  The group will stay at a local church that will provide a safe place to eat, sleep, and have evening reflections. Students must be at least 16 years old at the time of the trip to participate.

Curricular Immersions

(Sophomores Apply For This Junior Level Course)

Application Process

1.  A speaker will come into all sophomore religion classes the first week of November to give information about the ECJ courses for Junior year. 

2.  Attend Immersion Night on November 8, 2018 from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the chapel to learn more about our curricular (ECJ) trips. This is not a mandatory meeting, but is highly encouraged.  We will discuss our co-curricular trips (open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors) from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

3.  Apply here from November 13-November 26, 2018 under the Immersions tab.  Applications will not be accepted late.

4.  Students need to ask one current Mitty academic teacher to complete an electronic recommendation on their behalf.  You may only ask teachers who are listed on the dropdown list on the application form. After asking the teacher, indicate on your application form who will be completing your recommendation.  Please request recommendations from teachers prior to submitting their names on the application.  If you do not ask your teacher for a recommendation but still submit their name, they do not have to complete the recommendation, which could disqualify you. 

5.  Decision letters for selection will be sent by mail to homes in late January 2019. Selections will be based on quality of application, teacher recommendation, and gender balance. We will send notifications as soon as possible.

6. Once students are accepted, the payment will be added to the student's SmartTuition payment plan for his/her junior year.

For questions, contact either John Mosunic (Religious Studies Department) jmosunic@mitty.com or Kristy Savage (Immersion Program Cordinator) ksavage@mitty.com. 

Financial Aid

There is a limited amount of scholarship available to help students attend immersion programs. If you receive financial aid for tuition, you will automatically receive the same percentage of financial aid for your immersion trip (example: 23% tuition reduction = 23% immersion reduction). Due to limited financial aid for immersions, a student can receive financial aid for only one immersion trip during their time at Archbishop Mitty.

 For further information please contact Kristy Savage (Immersion Program Coordinator) in Campus Ministry.

Ethics, Culture and Justice (Central America)

    • Christian Service Hours: 75
    • Dates: early June 2020
    • Cost Approximately $2300

Students will travel to Costa Rica after spending the school year together studying ethics issues in Central America. The program themes will include: post-revolution and democratic transition in Central America, women in post-revolutionary Central America, immigrant communities in Costa Rica, the role of churches in peace and justice, rights for marginalized groups, and sustainability and agricultural issues. During the trip, students will spend time in San José, Costa Rica, learning about its history and current political and social concerns. There, the group will lodge in university dormitories, and for the rest of the trip students will stay in homes with generous host families. Each night will feature group prayer, reflection, and thoughtful discussion. 

Ethics, Culture and Justice (South Africa)

    • Christian Service Hours: 75
    • Dates:  late May/early June 2020
    • Cost Approximately $3600

Students will spend the school year in an ethics course focusing on the history and experience of the transformation of South Africa, especially the unjust structure of apartheid and its dismantling. The June immersion trip will include one week in Johannesburg and one week in Cape Town. Highlights of the trip include a visit to Robben Island Prison, where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated, and time in Soweto. Students will also visit numerous sites that commemorate the struggle for freedom, including the Hector Pieterson Museum in Soweto, the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, and the District Six Museum in Cape Town. Students will be a part of discussions with citizens who lived through the apartheid era and participated in the process of healing and forgiveness. Group prayer and reflection will be a daily part of the experience. 

Ethics, Culture and Justice (California) 

    • Christian Service Hours: 75
    • Dates: Early June 2020
    • Cost Approximately $1200

This course will focus on social justice issues that are particular to California, and particularly the ethical challenges that young adults face in the state. Students will discover and develop for themselves a sense of conscience that will guide them throughout adulthood. Throughout the course, students will explore the components of moral decision-making and be encouraged to form a personal conscience rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition. The course will culminate in an eleven-day immersion experience to different locations in California such as St. Anthony’s Foundation in San Francisco, Save the Bay in San Jose, a migrant farm-working community in Salinas, and Dolores Mission Parish in East Los Angeles. In each of these locations, students will more clearly understand the social justice issues behind the recent experience of many Californians, and we will consider the ways Catholic Social Teaching drives us to do better. The group will pray and reflect together every night. 

Ethics, Culture and Justice (Appalachia) 

    • Christian Service Hours: 75
    • Dates: Early June 2020
    • Cost Approximately $1800

This course is concerned with issues of rural poverty, public health, environmental degradation, and the economic and political complexities of a region that contributed immensely to the overall growth of America in the 20th century. Special emphasis is put on U.S. History, Catholic Social Teaching, and the United States Catholic Bishops' Pastoral Letters on Appalachia. During the trip, students will visit Wheeling, formerly considered the gateway to the West.  They will also visit Weirton, an historic steel mill town located on the Ohio River. Students will then travel to the capital of Charleston, visiting historic and cultural sites and serving the needs of the community in soup kitchens and a community garden. A highlight of the trip is a day on Kayford Mountain where they witness the stark contrast between the beauty and diversity of the Appalachian region and the environmental degradation caused by the mountaintop removal methods of extracting coal. Each night will feature prayerful reflection of the experience. 

Ethics, Culture and Justice (India)

    • Christian Service Hours: 75
    • Dates: late July 2020
    • Cost Approximately $4600

Archbishop Mitty alumna Julie Watts '98 covers ECJ India on her CBS5 Show. View her segments and follow up interviews by clicking below.

Segment One Interview One Segment Two Interview Two

Throughout this course students will gain an awareness of India’s rich history that will illuminate many of India’s contemporary issues. Students will focus on key social justice issues such as rural/urban poverty and the struggle over equitable development. We will also examine the role of globalization in regards to India being a key player in outsourcing centers of multinational corporations, developing technologies, and manufacturing inexpensive goods. Other objectives of the class are to study the complex and evolving role of women in religion, family, and society. The class will also examine the efforts of various religions to coexist and dialogue despite the emergence of fundamentalist and secularist movements. Finally, we will research Gandhi’s non-violent resistance movement and how it is still being lived out today in the face of nuclear build-up and terrorism. The class will culminate in a two-week trip to the cities of Delhi, Agra, Bangalore, and Mysore. Some highlights include visiting temples, call centers, orphanages, the Taj Mahal, and hearing from experts in several fields of study. Reflective prayer services occur each night.

Ethics, Culture and Justice (Jamaica)

    • Christian Service Hours: 75
    • Dates: early June 2020
    • Cost Approximately $3000

Special emphasis is placed on the social ethical issues related to Jamaica. Students will be able to gain an awareness of this country’s rich history and develop an understanding of its contemporary social, religious, and political concerns. Students will focus on key social justice issues such as the impact of the tourist industry on the nation’s wealth gap, the struggle for equitable development, and the efforts of the local and global Catholic community to respond to inequalities in access to education and health care. Most of the experience will be working with an organization called Amizade which works in Petersfield, small and very safe community located in the heart of Jamaica’s sugarcane industry. Students will tutorlocal students, provide computer instruction, and participate in construction, maintenance and repair initiatives, and gain first-hand in the life of a rural community. Students will stay with local families in home stays, designed to give an opportunity for both further cultural learning and deeper personal relationships.